Berends Awarded Two-Year Grant from IES

Mark Berends, a professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) at Notre Dame, has been awarded a $540,000 two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences for his project, “School Improvement in Indiana: Exploring Differences among Charter, Voucher Private, and Traditional Public High Schools.”

The grant will support Berends’ ongoing research with colleagues that examines the impact of school choice on students’ high school and post-secondary outcomes.  Colleagues from the University of Kentucky—R. Joseph Waddington and Ron Zimmer—and from the University of Washington Bothell—Joseph Ferrare—will collaborate on the study.

“Although a host of studies have examined the impact of charter schools and voucher programs at the elementary and middle school levels, few have looked at the longer-term outcomes for students in high school and beyond,” said Berends.

Berends, a national and international expert on school choice and school reform, hopes the study will further our understanding of whether school choice is effective, for whom, and under what circumstances.

“Mark’s research is an essential part of our mission to show what works in education reform,” said John Staud, the acting director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives. “If we are to ensure that all students have access to an excellent education, we need to know the most effective tools to achieve that reform.”