Latest Reports

Latest Education and Learning Reports

November 24, 2020

This report, the seventh in IGPA's Policy Spotlight series, examines the impact the pandemic has had on teachers and school administrators in Illinois. While some of these challenges predated the pandemic, many have been exacerbated by COVID-19. This Policy Spotlight places the challenges facing Illinois educators in the context of COVID-19. It closes with suggestions for what can be done to support teachers at this crucial time.

June 19, 2020

This Policy Spotlight examines how the pandemic is affecting child care centers and family child care providers, who offer care in their homes. It also documents the financial assistance from the state and federal governments that has been available for providers so far and makes some policy suggestions.

Like many other industries, the child care sector has been hit hard by the pandemic. Providers closed their doors or dramatically reduced capacity under government orders put in place to slow the spread of the virus.

September 4, 2019

Note: This article was produced by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs as part of IGPA’s efforts to connect relevant, nonpartisan research and expertise from the University of Illinois System to the public policy discussion in Illinois.

January 9, 2019

School districts across the United States are developing systemic, district-wide approaches to support students’ social and emotional learning (SEL), due to the increasingly recognized role that students’ social-emotional competencies (SECs) play in their academic success. Such initiatives have increased the need for cost-effective measures of students’ SECs that are feasible for large-scale use, embedded in scholarly literature, and aligned to local needs.

October 23, 2018

This policy brief looks at policies that affect what scholars call the school improvement industry. It focuses on how products developed within this industry - many with development and use paid for by public schools and state or federal education agencies - are disseminated via open- or closed-source licensing.

July 26, 2018

Beginning in 2014, IGPA's Early Investments Policy Initiative team began a project designed to modernize observational techniques used in early-childhood educational settings using video technology. Click the download link below for their report, which looks at the project's goals, methods, progress, and outcomes, and looks into possible future uses of video technology to improve rating systems for early childhood education.

April 11, 2018

Results from the IGPA Early Investments Initiative's Preschool-Aged Classroom Video Project were presented by UIC Honors College capstone projects by UIC undergraduate students Nicole Szydlowski, Yasmine Toledo, and D’Andre Walker. IGPA Faculty Member Rachel Gordon is the PI of the initiative and the students' capstone advisor. The students presented their findings at the UIC Undergraduate Research Forum on April 13, 2018.

April 11, 2018

The Early Investments Policy Initiative team presented findings from a systematic review of the literature regarding practices to promote young children's emotional competencies at the American Educational Research Association conference in New York City on April 13, 2018.  

March 14, 2018

Early childhood education has seen increased high-stakes use of observational measures of child care and preschool quality in recent years. Scoring above or below a particular cut-score on these measures now has substantial financial and reputational consequences for child-care centers and preschools. This policy brief (click download button below) summarizes a study of the effectiveness of these observational assessments that reveals problems that have important implications for the high-stakes use of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, Revised (ECERS-R).

August 31, 2016

This presentation discusses the challenge of using observational quality rating tools and accountability systems and strategies to address them. IGPA Expert Rachel Gordon delivered the presentation to the National Research Conference on Early Childhood on July 13, 2016.

The presentation discusses highlights from research findings, including: 

The general importance of freshly considering the evidence base specifically for each use of a measure (high stakes, professional development, research, and self assessment)