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In the News, National Center on School Choice
  • November 1, 2007
    Students at 30 of Philadelphia’s lowest performing schools placed under the direction of for-profit education companies learned more in math, after three and four years, than would have been expected had schools remained under district management. NCSC partner Paul Peterson’s new study released by the Kennedy School of Government’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at Harvard University also found gains in reading scores, but those gains were not different from expected at statistically significant levels.
    Read the press release

    October 30, 2007
    Nashville’s magnet schools are not reaching their desired goal of encouraging de-segregation and academic achievement. NCSC scholars Ellen Goldring and Claire Smrekar discussed these findings at a public forum hosted by the Vanderbilt Center for Nashville Studies at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
    Read the article

    October 1, 2007
    As perhaps the fastest-growing sector in the school choice movement, charter schools claim to offer a bigger bang for the public education buck. The question is, is it true? According to Charter School Outcomes, a new book from Lawrence Erlbaum Associates featuring some of the leading charter school researchers in the country, it depends.
    Read the press release

    April 30, 2007
    Recent issues of Education Daily and the Chattanooga Times cited NCSC research on school transfer options under No Child Left Behind. Preliminary findings indicate that students who opted to transfer from persistently low-performing schools to higher performing ones had slower achievement growth rates in their new schools than students who stayed in their underperforming schools.
    Read the paper "An Empirical Investigation of the No Child Left Behind School Choice Policy and Academic Achievement in a Western State" (Anna Nicotera, Bettie Teasley, and Mark Berends)

    April 9, 2007
    Center Scholars Attend AERA A team of scholars from the Center attended the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in Chicago, Illinois this spring. As panel chairs, presenters, or discussants, these researchers covered topics including charter law, school transfer options under No Child Left Behind, and schooling conditions that promote student achievement.

    April 8, 2007
    Center Researcher Wins Award Vanderbilt senior and NCSC researcher Warren Langevin was this year’s winner of the Avery Leiserson Award, presented annually by Vanderbilt’s Department of Political Science to the author of the best paper written for that department. Langevin wrote "Reconsidering Political Influence in Japanese Courts" for a Spring 2006 course taught by Professor Neal Tate. After graduation this May, he will join the research staff at Vanderbilt’s National Center on Performance Incentives.

    March 27, 2007
    Supreme Court Defendants to Speak at Vanderbilt Representatives from Kentucky’s Jefferson County Board of Education, a defendant in a significant U.S. Supreme Court case on school integration and choice which cited the work of NCSC researchers Mark Berends, Ellen Goldring, James Guthrie, and Claire Smrekar, will speak at Vanderbilt this Friday, March 30 at 1:30 pm in the Wyatt Building. Dr. Robert Rodosky, director of accountability, research and planning, and Dr. Bernard Minnis, special assistant to the Superintendent, will discuss their role in the U.S. Supreme Court case in a talk entitled “An analysis of school integration and school choice in the Jefferson County Public Schools.”

    November 30, 2006
    Vanderbilt Social Scientists Cited in Supreme Court Case Mark Berends, Ellen Goldring, James Guthrie, and Claire Smrekar cited in amicus briefs for a Supreme Court case about school choice and the use of race as a deciding factor in student assignments.

    October 18, 2006
    Loveless Announces New Research Study on No Child Left Behind Act Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution will discuss new research findings on the No Child Left Behind Act and National Assessment of Educational Progress at a public forum in Washington, DC.

    September 28, 2006
    Department of Education Announces New Scientific Research Grant The National Center on School Choice is pleased to announce that it has received a new grant from the United States Department of Education’s Institute of Education Services. The $3.3 million grant will fund a three year study comparing achievement gains and growth in schools of choice to regular public schools. The study will also look at differences among these schools in curriculum, instruction, and organizational conditions that promote achievement. Center researchers will administer principal and teacher surveys in about 280 schools of choice (charter, magnet, Catholic, and other religious and independent schools) and matched regular public schools. The data collected will allow for multi-leveling modeling strategies to estimate student achievement growth nested in students nested in teachers nested in schools - a rare quasi-experimental design across districts and school types.

    May 10, 2006
    National Conference on Charter School Research Announced The first conference of the National Center on School Choice is scheduled to take place for one and a half days at Vanderbilt University from September 28-29, 2006. The theme of the conference is "Charter Schools: What Fosters Growth and Outcomes?" and will feature new research conducted by leading scholars in economics, law, political science, psychology, public finance, public policy, and sociology. Dr. Mark Schneider, Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), will deliver the keynote address. The full line of papers presented at the conference will be published in an edited volume by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    April 16, 2006
    Berends Named Vice President of AERA Division on Policy and Politics Director Mark Berends was recently elected to serve as Vice President of Division L (Policy and Politics) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). As the fifth largest division of AERA, Division L brings together researchers and educators who are interested in understanding how educational policies affect educational organizations, students, teachers, parents, and communities.

    March 20, 2006
    Berends, Guthrie to Chair Summer Program for Charter School Leaders Professors Mark Berends and James W. Guthrie of the National Center on School Choice are jointly chairing a charter school leadership institute to be hosted at Vanderbilt University in summer 2006. The institute is an intensive one-week experience designed for individuals and teams who lead and manage charter schools. The institute will benefit members of an administrative team who are responsible for providing leadership within various domains of charter school administration. Participants will enhance their ability to make choices for their schools grounded in theory and supported by data.

    March 15, 2006
    Researchers to Direct New Publication on School Choice Research National Center on School Choice researchers Mark Berends, Matthew Springer, Dale Ballou, and Herbert Walberg, accepted an invitation from the Lawrence Erlbaum Associates publication firm to edit the first Handbook of Research on School Choice. The volume will compile the most rigorous and policy-relevant scholarly research on elementary and secondary school choice, including charter schools, vouchers, home schooling, magnet schools, cyber school. The ultimate goal of the collected volume is to define the current state of research, policy, and practice in school choice.

    February 1, 2006
    Peterson Coordinates New Edited Volume on Future of School Choice Paul E. Peterson, director of Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and researcher with the National Center on School Choice, recently edited a new volume, Choice and Competition in American Education. In a group of essays originally published in Education Next, the book examines the promise and pitfalls of reform in American education. Overall, the new volume from Rowman and Littlefield paints the picture of an education landscape that will be greatly shaped by choice and competition in the 21st century.

    January 27, 2006
    Researchers Lead Finance Seminar for Charter School Leaders James W. Guthrie and Matthew G. Springer led a workshop on resource allocation and deployment practices for Tennessee charter school leaders. The workshop was part of a two-day conference organized by the Tennessee Charter School Resource Center and Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Professional Institutes.

    January 26, 2006
    Loveless Holds Public Forum on Policy Design of School Choice Tom Loveless, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and faculty affiliate with the National Center on School Choice, lead a discussion on the design of school choice policy and the concerns about the distribution of educational opportunities. The public event was coordinated for the release of Getting Choice Right: Ensuring Equity and Efficiency in Education Policy, a new book authored with Julian Betts. The forum was held at the Brookings Institution in the District of Columbia.

The NCSC is funded by a 5 year, $13.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. Its lead institution is Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The center is housed on the campus of Peabody College, one of the nation's top graduate schools of education.