Two Notre Dame faculty placed on 2024 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, an annual listing published by Education Week highlighting academics who had the year's 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, director of the Notre Dame Center for Literacy Education, and Coyle Professor in Literacy Education ranked 80th. Mark Berends, the Hackett Family Director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives and professor of sociology placed 172nd. 

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. 

Morrell holds appointments in the University's Department of English and Department of Africana Studies. He was elected in 2022 to the National Academy of Education, and he is a fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the director of the National Council of Teachers of English James R. Squire Office for Policy Research in the English Language Arts. Morrell is also a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). This is the tenth 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 is a member of the National Academy of Education and an AERA fellow. He is also a fellow of in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. This is his sixth appearance on the list.

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 syllabuses across the country, education press and web mentions and mentions in the Congressional Record.

Also included in the rankings is David Yaeger, a graduate 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. Yaeger, now an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, placed 97th.