UChicago CCSR was created in 1990 after the passage of the Chicago School Reform Act that decentralized governance of the city's public schools. Researchers at the University of Chicago joined with researchers from the school district and other organizations to form CCSR with the imperative to study this landmark restructuring and its long-term effects. Since then CCSR has undertaken research on many of Chicago's school reform efforts, some of which have been embraced by other cities as well. Thus CCSR studies have also informed broader national movements in public education.
A number of features distinguish CCSR from other, more typical research organizations: our comprehensive data archive, a focus on one place—Chicago, our engagement with a diverse group of stakeholders, a wide range of methods and multiple investigators, and our commitment to sharing research findings with diverse publics.
University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (UChicago CCSR) conducts research of high technical quality that can inform and assess policy and practice in the Chicago Public Schools. We seek to expand communication among researchers, policymakers, and practitioners as we support the search for solutions to the problems of school reform. CCSR encourages the use of research in policy action and improvement of practice, but does not argue for particular policies or programs. Rather, we help to build capacity for school reform by identifying what matters for student success and school improvement, creating critical indicators to chart progress, and conducting theory-driven evaluation to identify how programs and policies are working.
This short (6.5 minute) film examines the mission, model and national impact of the Consortium on Chicago School Research. It also explores its long-time relationship with and outreach to Chicago Public Schools.