School Structure and Organization
Understanding schools as organizations illuminates the mechanisms and high-impact levers that drive school improvement. The Consortium's seminal research found that strength on five essential organizational supports were highly correlated with whether schools continued improving student learning. UEI's work also explores the impact of school closings and turnarounds, school disciplinary policies, and the charter model, while many of UEI's resources are designed to help schools build their organizational capacity to take on the day-to-day challenges of schooling.
Understanding schools as organizations illuminates the mechanisms and high-impact levers that drive school improvement.
Consortium report finds racial disparities in suspension rates driven by schools with concentrated disadvantage. Students’ risk of suspension is more strongly determined by which school they attend than by their backgrounds—including their race, gender or income. Following an earlier UChicago Consortium report that found Chicago has been experiencing an overall decline in suspension rates since 2009, Suspending Chicago’s Students: Differences in Discipline across Schools examines reasons for racial and gender disparities in suspension rates and finds that suspensions are concentrated among schools serving the most vulnerable student populations.
- Past research found that schools strong in three or more of the "5Essential" organizational supports—effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment, and ambitious instruction—were ten times more likely to improve student learning than schools weak in three or more of the essentials »
- Suspension rates in Chicago Public Schools have declined markedly but still remain very high, particularly among the system’s most vulnerable students. In the 2013-14 school year, 16 percent of all CPS high school students—and 33 percent of African American boys—received an out of school suspension »
Latest from UEI on School Structure & Organization
Surveys of CPS Schools
The 5Essentials School Reports: Utilizing 15 years of data, researchers at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research found that schools strong on at least three of the Five Essentials are 10 times more likely to improve in math and reading. The Five Essentials a
Achieving School Reform in Chicago: What We Need to Know
The Consortium's five-year research agenda identifies four topical areas for further research: school governance, teaching and learning, the quality of the school as an organization, and systemic change. Related Links: Short Version
A View from the Elementary Schools: The State of Reform in Chicago
This report offers an assessment of reform efforts in Chicago elementary schools. Schools had been faced with the challenge of initiating local governance, evaluating their principals, and following a timetable to be at national norms in student learning by 1994. The authors draw on field research,
Charting Reform in Prairie School: Results of Student and Teacher Surveys
Prairie Elementary School is a pseudonym for a representative Chicago public elementary school. Prairie School data from the 1994 teacher and student surveys were analyzed and keyed to the district's self-analysis guide for schools. Each school that participated in the surveys received a report
School Reform, Retention Policy, and Student Achievement Gains
Students who lag behind their classmates are sometimes retained in the same grade to give them a chance to "catch up." In 1987, the Chicago Public Schools discouraged teachers from retaining students in the same grade for another year. Using a propensity for retention measure, the authors
Social Trust: A Moral Resource for School Improvement
Do trusting relationships among adults in a school help children learn? In an era of widespread distrust of educational institutions and their ability to educate children, Chicago attempted to expand local control in order to improve its schools, calling on parents, teachers, and administrators to &
Charting Reform in Chicago: The Students Speak
Charting Reform in Chicago: The Students Speak seeks to give voice to students' perceptions regarding their Chicago Public School experiences, how they describe their teachers and peers, their classes and their own efforts. The focus of the report is on upper elementary and early high schoo
Habits Hard to Break: A New Look at Truancy in Chicago's Public High Schools
This research brief, the first in a series produced by the Student Life in High Schools Project with the assistance of the Consortium on Chicago School Research and the Chicago Public Schools, examines truancy in Chicago's public high schools. It focuses on attendance patterns in the CPS ninth g
Improving Chicago's Schools: John Tyler High School
John Tyler is the pseudonym for a representative Chicago public high school. Each school that returned a sufficient number of the 1997 student and teacher surveys received an individualized school report like the Millard Fillmore report. These reports aredesigned to correspond to the Chicago Public
Improving Chicago's Schools: Millard Fillmore School
Millard Fillmore is a pseudonym for a representative elementary school in the Chicago Public Schools. Each school that returned a sufficient number of the 1997 student and teacher surveys received an individualized school report like the Millard Fillmore report. These reports are designed to corresp
Charting Reform: LSCs—Local Leadership at Work
CCSR is analyzing survey data from Local School Council (LSC) members in the Chicago Public Schools. The purpose of the survey is to develop baseline information from one of the sites of power that governs schools. These data will complement survey data from two other sites of power: teachers (eleme
Academic Productivity of Chicago Public Elementary Schools
Technical Report This study sought an accurate and defensible way to chart student improvement in the Chicago Public Schools. The technical report explains why the current statistic used to measure year-to-year student achievement, "percentage of students at or above national norms," i
Getting Started: A First Look at Annenberg Schools and Networks
This report is the first of a series by the Chicago Annenberg Research Project, which studies the activities of schools and networks participating in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The report provides baseline data and identifies patterns of characteristics, activities, and accomplishments across
Charting Chicago School Reform: Democratic Localism as a Lever for Change
In 1989, Chicago began an experiment with radical decentralization of power and authority. This book tells the story of what happened to Chicago's elementary schools in the first four years of this reform. Implicit in this reform is the theory that expanded local democratic participation would s
Changing Standards, Changing Relationships: Building Family-School Relationships to Promote Achievem...
Most educators agree that the extent to which children receive day-to-day home support for their work in school is critical in determining how well they do in school. This is as true during adolescence as it is during the elementary school years. However, after the transition to high school parents
Setting the Pace: Opportunities to Learn in Chicago Public Elementary Schools
During in-depth field studies in Chicago Public Schools classrooms, researchers began to notice that similar lessons were being taught to students several grades apart. Concepts such as the definition of a parallelogram were being taught again and again, with little or no development in depth and co
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge: The First Three Years
This study examines the activities and influence of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, founded in 1995 as part of a nationwide initiative to improve public schools. Although the Chicago Challenge began as a collaborative of community organizations, it has since evolved into an activist foundation with
How Do Kenwood Graduates Perform?
Sample of the customized reports published for every Chicago public high school. Addresses graduation and dropout rates and the success of at-risk students. Tracks students by feeder schools and eighth-grade test scores.
How Do Barton Graduates Perform in CPS High Schools?
Sample of the customized reports published for every Chicago public elementary school. Addresses graduation and dropout rates and the success of at-risk students.
Ending Social Promotion: Results from the First Two Years
In 1996, the Chicago Public Schools implemented a policy designed to end social promotion and raise academic achievement. The centerpiece of this initiative is a set of promotional test-score cutoffs for third, sixth, and eighth graders. Students in these grades must achieve a minimum score on the I