Latest Reports

Latest Social Policy Reports

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).

September 9, 2016

This document provides an overview of the data discussed on the
Trends in Racial Attitudes website.


How do people feel about race?

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)

February 19, 2016

This presentation by Rachel Gordon to the Commission to Reform Child Care in Illinois (est. by HR 0254) goes over survey data of child care centers. 

The first study regarded funding delays from the state in 2011-2012. In a comprehensive survey through the Chicago Area Study, the researchers interviewed child care center directors on the west and north sides of Chicago. They documented the directors' experiences with delays from public and private funding streams.