UEI Units and Initiatives

We believe that by working together at the intersection of research and practice, we can continue to raise the bar and change this trajectory in Chicago and across urban America. The Urban Education Institute (UEI) has amassed decades of empirical evidence that documents the extraordinary influence schooling can have on the lives of poor children in urban areas. UEI believes it has the opportunity and ability to influence the lives of future generations of children nationwide by building knowledge born from exemplary practice and scholarship, creating new methods to develop and support teachers and school leaders, cultivating scalable models of pre-K to 12 schooling, and developing and disseminating research-based tools and training to schools across the country. UEI follows in the tradition of John Dewey, one of America’s most influential educa- tion scholars, who was a professor at the University of Chicago soon after its founding. Like Dewey, UEI brings together expert practitioners working at the classroom, school, and system levels with distinguished researchers and scholars from across disciplines to improve pre-K through 12 education for children in urban schools. In essence, UEI seeks to join research and practice to transform schools—and thereby to improve lives.

UEI Units

The four integrated units of the Urban Education Institute work at the intersections of research, practice, policy, and innovation to find and focus on what matters for Students & Learning, Teachers & Instruction, Leadership & Accountability, School Structure & Organization, and High School & College Success.

UChicago Consortium on School Research (UChicago Consortium)

The Consortium leads UEI’s applied research effort, informing practice, policy, and the public about schooling in Chicago. Since its founding in 1990, the Consortium has undertaken research to document, analyze, and assess Chicago’s school reform efforts. It is a national model for undertaking research to track the progress of urban school systems, partnering closely with district leaders, creating and administering longitudinal surveys of schools, and creating indicators and methods to deepen understanding of school reform and improve educational practice. UChicago Consortium has inspired replicas in New York City, Los Angeles, Baltimore, San Diego, and other major cities nationwide.

Visit the UChicago Consortium website »

UChicago Urban Teacher Education Program (UChicago UTEP)

UChicago UTEP prepares exemplary teachers for Chicago Public Schools while empirically testing a model for urban teacher preparation and support. UChicago UTEP is a two-year graduate program accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education. Students enroll in rigorous course work and receive intensive clinical preparation over a 15-month period. Graduates receive three years of in-classroom coaching upon entry into Chicago schools. UChicago UTEP’s five- year retention rate is 90%, far exceeding the national rate of 50% of teachers leaving the profession within five years.

Visit the UChicago UTEP website »

UChicago Charter School (UChicago Charter)

UChicago Charter is a pre-K–12th pathway to college. UChicago Charter’s four campuses educate 1,900 students on Chicago’s South Side near the University. The Donoghue and North Kenwood/Oakland campuses serve pre-K—5th grade students, the Carter G. Woodson campus serves 6th–8th grade students, and the Woodlawn campus serves 6th–12th grade students. UChicago Charter School is non- selective, admitting all students by lottery. 100% of graduating seniors have been accepted to college for four years in a row and UChicago Charter has one the highest college persistence rates of any non-selective high school in the city of Chicago.

Visit the UChicago Charter website »

UChicago Impact

UChicago Impact provides schools, school systems, and states with the highest quality research-based diagnostic tools and training designed to produce reliably excellent schooling. UChicago Impact tools and training are derived from knowledge culled across UEI—from our applied research, teacher training, and the day-to-day operation of effective schools. All UChicago Impact products are research and practice based—designed to improve instruction, leadership, and college readiness and to accelerate academic achievement. UChicago Impact currently works in 60 major cities across 31 states and 4,500 schools—including some of the highest performing school systems and charter management organizations nationwide.

Visit the UChicago Impact website »

UEI Initiatives

Major UEI initiatives cut across the Urban Education Institute, pulling from the best knowledge and innovation from across UEI's units. Learn more about UEI's current major initiatives below:

The To&Through Project

The To&Through Project empowers educators, students, and parents with the research, data, and training they need to move more students to and through high school and college.

Over the past decade, Chicago has dramatically improved educational outcomes for tens of thousands of students—significant system-wide improvement in high school graduation rates and a moderate improvement in college enrollment have moved thousands more students through high school and to college. College completion rates, however, have remained frustratingly stagnant. While our progress is extraordinary, it is not enough.

To change this trajectory and raise the bar, families, policymakers, and educators need clear, actionable data on the milestones that research demonstrates are pivotal to college success. To&Through seeks to provide the information and tools necessary to make Chicago the Attainment City—a place where every 9th grader goes on to earn a college degree.

A collaboration between UEI, UChicago Consortium, UChicago Impact, and the Network for College Success located at the University's School of Social Service Administration, The To&Through Project has hosted a launch event, a workshop, as well as numerous training institutes for principals and instructional leadership teams. In 2016, To&Through will release a new interactive tool—the first time such extensive school-level data will be available in one online, publicly accessible hub—and will also hold new events to bring key players from across the city and education sector together on the work on college success. Learn more at or contact