Urban Labs Education Lab

The Education Lab partners with school districts to design, evaluate, and scale programs and practices that advance student learning and opportunity.

New CPS and AbbVie partnership

The Crime Lab, Education Lab and Crime Lab New York work to have social impact by carrying out R&D in close collaboration with the public sector and community-based partners. We are committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in our work, and to fostering a workplace environment that is supportive of everyone on staff and dedicated to preventing workplace harassment and discrimination.

Innovation Fund for Safety, Justice, and Opportunity
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Our Theory of Change.

Despite the progress we have made in public education, schools still fail to address the unique barriers many students face to learning and opportunity. As a result, one-fifth of America’s high school students do not graduate, which has implications for a host of life outcomes including health, earnings, and safety. School systems must rethink their approach.In cities across the country, the barriers preventing students from learning – including high rates of homelessness and violence victimization – have a disproportionate impact on Black students and low-income students in particular. The Education Lab is an independent research organization that designs, tests, and scales programs and practices that advance learning and opportunity. By generating cutting-edge evidence in a real-world setting, we create insights that can be applied both in the classroom and in the community, and then continuously improved over time. Through partnerships with large school districts like Chicago Public Schools, we identify innovations that support students at scale to improve education in the cities where we work and inform policy change in districts throughout the country. By demonstrating the effectiveness of high-leverage, evidence-based programs and practices that address the barriers students face, we help policymakers and education leaders across the country support students they struggle to reach.

How We Work

We are charting a new course for how the world’s leading research universities can work in partnership with their home cities. We analyze policies and identify evidenced-based solutions to tackle today’s most pressing social challenges, through collaborations with faculty not just at the University of Chicago but at leading institutions around the country such as UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Michigan, Northwestern, NYU, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. As part of the University of Chicago, our projects and partnerships are subject to the university’s internal vetting procedures to ensure our work is ethical, transparent, rigorous, and objective. We have a responsibility to act urgently and always center the lived experience of the neighborhoods and people for whom we do this work first.

We partner with public school districts, non-profits and community groups to provide students in America’s most disinvested schools with greater opportunities and supports. From intensive tutoring and mentoring programs, to citywide systems-level initiatives, we leverage data to allocate resources according to student need and design and test programs that support students most at highest risk for high school dropout and gun violence involvement.

To see a list of our projects, click here.

Our People

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