Elaine Allensworth is the Lewis-Sebring Director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research, where she conducts studies on what matters for student success and 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. In addition to studying educational attainment, she conducts research in the areas of school leadership and school organization. She 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. She has been the principal investigator on research grants from funders such as the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Allensworth frequently works with policymakers and practitioners to bridge research and practice, serving on panels, policy commissions, working groups, and review panels at the local, state, and national level.
Dr. Allensworth has received a number of awards from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for outstanding publications, including the Palmer O. Johnson award for an outstanding article in an AERA journal (for the article Instructional Program Coherence), Division H awards for Outstanding Instructional Research and Planning Research (for What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating), and a Policy and Management Research award (for The Schools Teachers Leave). Dr. Allensworth has briefed members of congress and their staffers on Consortium 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.