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UIC’s Center for Urban Education Leadership (CUEL) engages in research, development, dissemination, and policy advocacy to disrupt the systemic inequality that affects the lives of Pk-12 urban students and to improve the educational outcomes and life opportunities of PK-12 urban school students locally and throughout the world. We accomplish these outcomes by applying our expertise in the areas of educational leadership, organizational development, equity/social justice, and continuous improvement/improvement science as we collaborate with other researchers and practitioners locally, nationally, and internationally.

The CUEL is housed in UIC’s College of Education (COE) in Chicago, IL. Given our location in one of the world’s great/global cities, a portion of our work seeks to directly impact the city of Chicago and learn from research into its “grand challenges” to incubate solutions portable to other urban settings throughout the world.

The CUEL is closely affiliated with COEs nationally recognized Department of Educational Policy Studies, which since 2014, has been rated in the top 14-22 educational administration departments in the country by US News and World Report. A primary client of and partner to the CUEL has been the department’s doctoral program in urban educational leadership. Our ongoing support of this leadership preparation program’s continuous improvement has led to the design/enactment of a program identified as “exemplary” by the University Council for Educational Administration. The program has been recognized for its program quality by an assortment of other national organizations such as the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the George W. Bush Institute’s Alliance to Reform Educational Leadership (AREL). Our work with this program allows us to both research and incubate practices that can be ported to other organizations throughout the US and the world.

During 2021, CUEL formalized a research and development partnership with the Chicago Public Schools called P2 for Practice Partnership.  This partnership is designed to identify areas where new knowledge is essential to pressing CPS problems and use the partnership to generate and support the utilization of such knowledge within CPS.  See our partnership’s theory of action here.

The CUEL works with other research centers and institutions as well as a variety of international and national educational organizations, state and regional departments of education, school districts and schools, community organizations, and university-based educational leadership preparation programs.