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Read the To&Through Project's latest op-eds, essays, and updates.

To&Through Project Newsletter Winter 2021

The To&Through Project Winter 2021 Newsletter

Read our winter newsletter to learn about updates to our data tools for educators and stakeholders, new middle grades success resources, and our recent research releases and op-eds.

Karen Lewis smiles

Remembering Karen Lewis

"Karen was a powerful education leader in Chicago who impacted teachers, schools, and students across the city, but behind the scenes, she was also a great friend who pushed me and many others to be kind, reflective, and human," writes To&Through Project Director Alex Seeskin.

A high school senior walks into his college counselor's office.

Understanding the Limitations of Descriptive Research and Data

At the To&Through Project and the UChicago Consortium, we have done a lot of critical reflection over the past year about the ways we show up as individuals and as an organization, the limitations of descriptive research and data, and the importance of framing our findings around equity.

High school students walk into their school building during the springtime.

Chicago, It’s Time to Rethink the “Selective” Part of Selective Enrollment Schools

To&Through Project Director Alex Seeskin makes the case for changing the makeup of Chicago's selective enrollment public high schools through shaking up the admissions process. He argues that a more equitable admissions system would eliminate or substantially reduce the role of standardized tests scores and place all students into separate lotteries within socioeconomic tiers or other groups.

A collage of photos of the students the To&Through team talked to this summer about the impact of COVID-19 on their college persistence journeys.

Can “Grit” Alone Fuel College Persistence During COVID-19?

2020 has stretched the limits of “grit” to its breaking point. As college success advocates in this moment, we must consider whether asking our students to persevere more is truly a credible or responsible strategy. Our conversations with CPS alumni in college provided perspective on how higher education institutions, college success organizations, and practitioners can better respond to the evolving needs of current first-generation, low-income students.

A middle school student engages in remote learning on her laptop.

Why Middle Schoolers Are Frustrating But Endearing

Some will say an intentional focus on relationship-building means lost academic time, but relationships are the foundation for academic achievement. Through the To&Through Middle Grades Network, each of our partner schools committed to using what they heard from students to strengthen relationships in ways that make them equal partners in the process.

A sophomore student works on a computer during class.

Why Sophomore Year Matters More Than Ever

Sophomore year presents students with both opportunities and challenges, and our findings suggest that ensuring a successful sophomore year is critical for students’ success later in high school. But amidst turbulence from a global health crisis and increased economic insecurity and health challenges, protests over racial injustice, and virtual learning, sophomores are both more vulnerable than ever and even more likely to be forgotten.