Mark Berends is a sociology professor and the Hackett Family Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives; he also directs the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO). He is an expert on a number of issues surrounding education reform, including: educational equity, school choice, particularly regarding charter and Catholic schools, and the effects of family, schools, and classrooms on student achievement. His research incorporates quantitative and qualitative methods, and gives special attention to disadvantaged students and school reforms that can improve educational opportunities.  

His current research addresses three main areas: the effects of school choice on student achievement growth, the scale-up of a reading intervention in Haiti, and the effects of ability grouping and tracking on students’ academic and social outcomes. His work also examines the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program. 

Berends has published numerous books, journal articles, and other works, and previously served as co-editor of both the American Educational Research Journal andEducation Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

He serves on numerous editorial boards, technical panels, and policy forums, and is a fellow at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) andchair of the Notre Dame Program for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (PIER) Faculty Committee.He previously served as director of the National Center on School Choice (NCSC) at Vanderbilt University, as vice president of AERA’s Division L, Policy and Politics of Education, and as a senior social scientist at RAND Corporation. 

Berends earned a BA from Calvin College and an MS and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


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Book Chapters