Mark  Berends Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Mark Berends

Professor
University of Notre Dame

Berends is professor of sociology and director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO). He has published extensively on educational reform, school choice, and the effects of families, schools, and classrooms on student outcomes. His research focuses on how school organization and classroom instruction are related to student performance, with special attention to disadvantaged students and school reforms aimed at improving their educational opportunities.

Biography

As a professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Berends directs the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO). He has published and lectured extensively on educational reform, school choice, the effects of family and school changes on student outcomes, and the effects of schools and classrooms on student achievement.  His research focuses on how school organization and classroom instruction are related to student performance, with special attention to disadvantaged students and school reforms aimed at improving their educational opportunities. Within this agenda, he has applied a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods to understand the effects of school reforms on teachers and students.

Currently, Berends is conducting several studies on school choice, including an examination of the nation’s largest school voucher program, parent decision making and satisfaction in a lottery-based study of charter schools, and how in-school enabling conditions and classroom instruction are related to student achievement gains in charter, private, and traditional public schools.  Berends serves on numerous editorial boards, technical panels, and policy forums. He is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and a former vice president of the American Educational Research Association's Division L, Educational Policy and Politics. He is a former co-editor of AERA’s American Educational Research Journal and of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. He also served as the AERA Program Chair for the 2014 annual meeting. His latest books are School Choice and School Improvement (Harvard Education Press, 2011), School Choice at the Crossroads: Research Perspectives (Routledge, 2019), the Handbook of Research on School Choice, 1st and 2nd Editions (Routledge, 2009, 2020), and the International Handbook of the Sociology of Education (SAGE, forthcoming).

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Sociology of Education, Educational Policy, Research Methods, Stratification and Inequality, Work, Economy and Organization

Personal Interests

    Cooking, exercise, reading, bee-keeping

Websites

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Handbook of Research on School Choice 2nd edition - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

Teachers College Record, 112(4), 978-1007

Increasing Racial Isolation and Test Score Gaps in Mathematics: A 30-Year Perspective


Published: Jul 17, 2019 by Teachers College Record, 112(4), 978-1007
Authors: Berends, M., & Peñaloza, R. V. (2010)
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

The authors analyzed nationally representative data from 1972, 1982, 1992, and 2004, examining the mathematics achievement of four high school senior cohorts, and several school and family background characteristics. Their estimates revealed that between 1972 and 2004, increases in school segregation corresponded to significant increases in the black-white and Latino-white test score gaps, outweighing the positive changes in family background measures for these minority groups.

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 29, 263-285

Neo-classical education transition: A corrected tale for three cohorts


Published: Jul 17, 2019 by Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 29, 263-285
Authors: Lucas, Samuel R., Mark Berends, and Phillip N. Fucella. (2011)
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

The authors re-assess the educational attainment process for a baby boomer cohort, a Generation X cohort, and a Generation Y cohort using a neo-classical education transition approach. All cohorts fail to replicate the waning coefficients pattern. Substantively, the study undermines confidence that standard education transitions research can provide policy guidance and the claim of late-stage egalitarianism in the United States educational attainment process.

Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 5(3), 20-40

Voucher Pathways and Student Achievement in Indiana's Choice Scholarship Program


Published: Mar 01, 2019 by Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 5(3), 20-40
Authors: Austin, M., Waddington, R. J., & Berends, M (authors contributed equally)
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

This article examines the pathways that students can follow within the Indiana voucher program and the associations with their math and English language arts achievement in grades 5-8. Students who switch from a public to a private school with a voucher experience significant achievement losses. Students who have always attended a private school, both before and after receiving a voucher, experience no significant changes in achievement.

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 37(4), 783-808

Impact of the Indiana Scholarship Program: Achievement effects for students in upper elementary and middle school


Published: Aug 08, 2018 by Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 37(4), 783-808
Authors: Waddington, R. J., & Berends, M.
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

Scholars analyzed student‐level longitudinal data from public and private schools taking the same statewide standardized assessment. Voucher students experienced an average achievement loss of 0.15 SDs in mathematics during their first year of attending a private school compared with matched students who remained in a public school. This loss persisted regardless of the length of time spent in a private school. In English/Language Arts, there were no statistically meaningful effects.

Education Next 18(2), 50-51, 60-63.

Lessons learned from Indiana.


Published: Apr 01, 2018 by Education Next 18(2), 50-51, 60-63.
Authors: Berends, M., Waddington, R. J., & Austin, M.
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

This 4-yr study of the Indiana voucher program finds statistically significant negative effects on achievement for students using a voucher to switch from public to private school (gr 5-8) in the first years after the program’s launch. These students begin to recoup their academic losses in their 3rd & 4th years of attending a private school. Starting students in private schools in earlier grade levels, thus giving them more time to adjust, might produce better outcomes.

Education Finance and Policy, 13(2), 227-255

School choice in Indianapolis: Effects of charter, magnet, private, and traditional public schools


Published: Apr 01, 2018 by Education Finance and Policy, 13(2), 227-255
Authors: Berends, M., & Waddington, R. J.
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

Analyzing longitudinal data for Indianapolis students (grades 3-8), scholars used fixed-effects models to estimate the impacts of switching from a traditional public school to a charter, magnet, Catholic, or other private school. Students transferring from traditional public to charter school had no differences in achievement gains; those switching to magnet schools had modest losses in math and English Language Arts. Those switching to Catholic schools showed losses in mathematics.

Teachers College Record 118(11), 1-38

Does the organization of instruction differ in charter schools? Ability grouping and students' mathematics gains


Published: Nov 01, 2016 by Teachers College Record 118(11), 1-38
Authors: Berends, M., & Donaldson, K.
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

Grounding their work in neoclassical market and institutional theories, scholars examined differences in students’ math achievement gains between charter and traditional public schools, focusing on ability grouping. They found some significant differences between ability group placement and student achievement gains in math. Consistent with institutional theory, both sectors still group students by ability and have similar relationships between gains and grouping.

The Journal of School Choice, 10:1, 22-47

The Catholic school advantage in a changing social landscape: Consistency or increasing fragility?


Published: Mar 11, 2016 by The Journal of School Choice, 10:1, 22-47
Authors: Freeman, K. J., & Berends, M. (2016)
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

In this study, the authors analyze nationally representative data to examine whether attending a Catholic school consistently promotes educational attainment. On net, they find that students who attend Catholic high schools are more likely to continue in education, although this advantage is not persistent across measures of institutional selectivity.

ERA Open, 2(1), 1-14

School choice decision making among suburban, high-income parents


Published: Jan 07, 2016 by ERA Open, 2(1), 1-14
Authors: Altenhofen, S., Berends, M, & White, T.G. (2016)
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

In a sample of charter schools in predominantly White and SES-advantaged Denver, CO suburbs, scholars examined both the closed- and open-ended responses of parents who reported the importance of various factors in the decision-making process. Findings show that parents rely on their social networks in choosing schools; report that effective teachers, distance to school, and academic quality are important; and “do their research” on schools to which they are applying.

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(1S), 3S-5S

Special issue introduction: Research using longitudinal student data systems: Findings, lessons, and prospects


Published: May 01, 2015 by Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 37(1S), 3S-5S
Authors: Dynarski, S., & Berends, M. (2015)
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

State longitudinal data systems have grown over time. Recognizing the potential of these powerful datasets, academic researchers began to exploit them in their work. Thus, states and districts developed a variety of models for releasing their data to outside researchers. In this introduction, the editors describe the articles that follow, challenging readers--academics and educators alike--to form research partnerships that have the potential to inform research, policy, and practice

Annual Review of Sociology, 41(15), 159-180

Sociology and school choice: What we know after two decades of charter schools


Published: Apr 29, 2015 by Annual Review of Sociology, 41(15), 159-180
Authors: Berends, M. (2015)
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

This article places charter school research on student achievement and attainment within a framework that draws on both market and institutional theories. It concludes that additional research on the social organization of charter schools and traditional public schools is needed to better understand the conditions under which school choice is or is not effective.

Economics of Education Review, 31(2), 318-330

School innovation in district context: Comparison of traditional public schools and charter schools


Published: Apr 01, 2012 by Economics of Education Review, 31(2), 318-330
Authors: Preston, C., Goldring, E., Berends, M., & Cannata, M. (2012)
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

A charter school is innovative in its use of a practice if the traditional public schools in its local school district are not using that practice. The article explores factors that may affect charter schools’ propensity toward innovation. It finds that, on the whole, these schools do not fulfill their promise of innovation. Teacher tenure is the most notable exception.

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 29, 263-285

Neo-classical education transition: A corrected tale for three cohorts


Published: Sep 01, 2011 by Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 29, 263-285
Authors: Lucas, Samuel R., Mark Berends, and Phillip N. Fucella. (2011)
Subjects: Education, Sociology & Social Policy, Research Methods

The authors re-assess the educational attainment process for a baby boomer cohort, a Generation X cohort, and a Generation Y cohort using a neo-classical education transition approach. All cohorts fail to replicate the waning coefficients pattern. Substantively, the study undermines confidence that standard education transitions research can provide policy guidance and the claim of late stage egalitarianism in the United States educational attainment process.