Two Notre Dame faculty placed on Edu-Scholar rankings

Two professors from the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives were among the 200 scholars selected for the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. Published by Education Week, the annual listing highlights academics who had the biggest impact on educational practice and policy.

Ernest Morrell, the associate dean for the humanities and equity in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, the Coyle Professor in Literacy Education and the director of the Notre Dame Center for Literacy Education, ranked 71st in the 2022 list. Mark Berends, the Hackett Family Director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, a professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, placed 169th.

Morrell’s research focuses on how the use of popular culture in the classroom can successfully engage urban youth and communities and on translanguaging — the idea that students can maximize their learning by using the many different languages they use in their everyday lives. He also co-designed the first AP seminar on the African diaspora.

Morrell holds appointments in the University’s Department of English and Department of Africana Studies. He is a fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the director of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) James R. Squire Office for Policy Research in the English Language Arts. This is the eighth year he has been included in the rankings.

Berends has written and published extensively on educational reform, school choice, the effects of family and school changes on student achievement trends and the effects of schools and classrooms on student achievement. His research focuses on how school organization and classroom instruction are related to student outcomes, with special attention to underserved students and school reforms aimed at improving their educational opportunities. Currently, he is conducting several studies on school choice, including an examination of the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program.

Berends, who became director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives in July after a national search, is a member of the National Academy of Education, a fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and a fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. This is his fourth appearance on the list.

“These selections show the impact that Notre Dame is having on K-12 education across the country,” Berends said. “We represent the many talented faculty in the Institute who are working each day to improve the education of all children, especially the most disadvantaged.”

Rick Hess, the director of education policy studies for the American Enterprise Institute, compiles the rankings each year. The rankings are based on performances in nine categories that include publications, inclusion on syllabi across the country, education press and web mentions and mentions in the Congressional Record.

Also included in the rankings were two graduates of the Alliance for Catholic Education’s Teaching Fellows, a two-year Notre Dame program in which participants earn a master’s degree in education while teaching in Catholic K-12 schools in the United States. David Yeager, now an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, placed 128th. Anna Egalite, now an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development in the College of Education at North Carolina State University, placed 194th.