Elaine Allensworth, PhD is the Lewis-Sebring Director of CCSR where she has conducted research on educational policy for the last 14 years. She is best known for her studies of high school graduation and college readiness, but has also published in the areas of school leadership and school organization. Dr. Allensworth is one of the authors of the book, Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago, which provides a detailed analysis of school practices and community conditions which promote school improvement. Her research on early indicators of high school graduation, particularly the study What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating, has been used to create student tracking systems used in Chicago and districts across the country. She is now extending that work to examine factors in the middle and elementary grades that affect high school graduation and college readiness, as well as continuing her study of high school processes. Through a grant funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she is examining the ways in which middle school records can be used to predict success in later years. She has grants from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to study issues around high school choice, and credit recovery. And she is studying early grade attendance and its relationship to later achievement through a grant from the McCormick Foundation. Her work on school leadership continues through a grant from IES to study the mechanisms through which school leadership influences instruction and student learning.
Dr. Allensworth has received a number of awards from the American Educational Research Association for outstanding publications, including the Palmer O. Johnson award for an outstanding article in an AERA journal for the article Instructional Program Coherence, and Division H awards for Outstanding Instructional Research and Planning Research for What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating, and Policy and Management Research for The Schools Teachers Leave. Dr. Allensworth has briefed members of congress and their staffers on CCSR research findings through private meetings, briefings and congressional testimony. Her work is frequently covered in the local and national media, including the New York Times,Ed Week, Chicago Tribune, local and national public radio and CNN. She has served on several committees for the National Academies, as well as local, state and national research and policy advisory groups.