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Mark Berends, Ph.D.

Hackett Family Director, Institute for Educational Initiatives

Mark Berends

310 Visitation Hall

On special research assignment through May 2024.

Mark Berends (Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is the Hackett Family Director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives. He is also a professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, where he directs the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO). He has written and published extensively on educational reform, school choice, the effects of family and school changes on student achievement trends and gaps, and the effects of schools and classrooms on student outcomes. His research focuses on how school organization and classroom instruction are related to student development, with special attention to underserved students and school reforms aimed at improving their educational opportunities. Within this agenda, he has applied a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods to understanding the effects of school reforms on teachers and students.

Currently, he is conducting several studies on school choice, including an examination of the Indiana Choice Scholarship 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 schools and traditional public schools. Professor Berends serves on numerous editorial boards, technical panels, and policy forums; he is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Education; a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA); former co-editor of AERA’s American Educational Research Journal and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis; and twice the former vice president of the AERA's Division L, Educational Policy and Politics. His latest books are School Choice at the Crossroads: Research Perspectives (Routledge, 2019), Handbook of Research on School Choice, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 2020), and the International Handbook of the Sociology of Education (SAGE, 2023).


Listen to Mark's Episode of Think. Pair. Share. 


- Dallavis, J. W., & Berends, M. Charter schools after three decades: Reviewing the Research on School Organizational and Instructional Conditions. (In Press). Education Policy Analysis Archives.

- Hwang, N.Y., Graff, P., & Berends, M.  (In Press). Timing and frequency matter: Same race/ ethnicity teacher and student achievement by school level and classroom organization. Educational Policy. 

- Fitzpatrick, B., Berends, M., Ferrare, J. J., Waddington, R. J.  (2020). Virtual Illusion: Comparing Student Achievement and Teacher Characteristics in Online and Brick-and-Mortar Charter Schools in Indiana.  Educational Researcher, 49(3), 161-175.

- Berends, M., & Waddington, R. J. (2018). School choice in Indianapolis: Effects of charter, magnet, private, and traditional public schools. Education Finance and Policy.
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- Waddington, R. J., & Berends, M. (2018). Impact of the Indiana Scholarship Program: Achievement effects for students in upper elementary and middle school. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 37(4), 783-808.
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- Altenhofen, S., Berends, M, & White, T.G. (2016). School choice decision making among suburban, high-income parents. AERA Open, 2(1), 1-14.

- Berends, M., & Donaldson, K. (2016). Does the organization of instruction differ in charter schools? Ability grouping and students’ mathematics gains. Teachers College Record, 118(11), 1-38.

- Freeman, K. J., & Berends, M. (2016) The Catholic School Advantage in a Changing Social Landscape: Consistency or Increasing Fragility? The Journal of School Choice, 10:1, 22-47, DOI: 10.1080/15582159.2015.1132937.

- Berends, M. (2015). Sociology and school choice: What we know after two decades of charter schools. Annual Review of Sociology, 41(15), 159-180.