UChicago Impact's Winter Highlights From The Field

We wanted to take a moment to share some of our recent work with you. We hope you will read on to learn more about our ongoing efforts to support educators in their work to improve school and student outcomes.

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UChicago Impact's Work Featured in The Urban Education Institute's New Knowledge Report

UChicago Impact is excited to be a part of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute's latest New Knowledge and Developments in Public Education Report. This second annual report summarizes the past year's new knowledge and developments on major issues and topics of discussion in preK-12 education.

The report features UChicago Impact's work to foster Spanish literacy proficiency and an overview of Cultivate, a forthcoming survey designed to help educators better understand how the learning environments they create impact student learning. Read the full report and see below for more about Cultivate.


UChicago Impact Set to Launch New Survey to Illuminate Impact of Classroom Conditions on Student Learning

Of all the outcomes schools measure, grades are the best indicators of students’ future success. This is largely because, in addition to academic skill, grades reflect students’ mindsets and attitudes about learning. Most recently, we’ve learned that the mindsets and strategies that impact student learning are influenced by the conditions of their classrooms. Meaning, what teachers do and say in their classrooms has a strong influence on how students experience school, their perceptions of themselves, and the effort they put into their work. In other words, the conditions a teacher creates in a classroom influences their students' mindsets and learning strategies which, in turn, influence students' academic performance as measured by grades.

With the support of the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation, UChicago Impact has partnered with The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research to develop and test Cultivate, a new survey designed to help educators understand the link between classroom conditions and grades. Cultivate illuminates how the learning environments educators create, from the way their classrooms are organized to seemingly mundane daily practices, influence aspects of their students’ social, emotional, and academic development. More specifically, it provides educators with actionable data on the seven dimensions of a classroom that research shows matter most for cultivating students' academic mindsets and learning strategies: Teacher Support, Learning Connections, Developmental Relationships, Classroom Community, Learning Goals, Organization, and Class Work.

The survey is set to launch this spring. In the meantime, you can take a sneak peek at the survey reporting site here to get a sense of the kind of insight it provides!


Chicago Tech Academy Partners with UChicago Impact to Drive Improvement

Chicago Tech Academy is a school on Chicago’s West Side. In 2016, the school was struggling with a low Freshman OnTrack rate, a low graduation rate, and below average ACT/SAT scores—as well as a significant number of students not enrolling in or persisting through college. Their 5Essentials Survey results reflected some of these challenges, particularly under Instructional Leadership. Instructional Leadership is a Measure on the 5Essentials Survey that gauges the extent to which school leadership sets high standards for teaching and student learning. A low score on Instructional Leadership suggests that teachers feel they are not receiving the type of support or feedback from leadership that would help them improve their teaching and, ultimately, student achievement.

The school’s leadership team decided to partner with UChicago Impact to receive 5Essentials School Leadership Coaching as a way to accelerate the pace of improvement and better support teachers in improving classroom instruction.

Watch this short video to learn more about how Chicago Tech Academy worked with UChicago Impact to experience significant improvement, including a 37-point increase on Instructional Leadership.



UChicago Impact to Present on the Power of Formative Literacy Assessment Data

UChicago Impact's Co-CEO Maggie Walsh has been invited to share how formative assessment data can foster improvement in student reading outcomes at this year's Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education. The Carnegie Foundation Summit brings together educators, researchers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and policymakers who are dedicated to accelerating improvement in education, and this year's sixth annual Summit will take place April 16-18 in San Francisco, California. Learn more here.


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