Mark Berends


Research Interests

Sociology of Education, Educational Policy and Research Methods


Sociology of Education, Stratification and Inequality


Mark Berends (Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame. 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 priority populations 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.

At Notre Dame, he has served as the director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI), Associate Vice President for Research, director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO), and director of Notre Dame’s Program for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (PIER)

Currently, he is conducting several studies on school choice, including an examination of the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program and how in-school enabling conditions and classroom instruction are related to student outcomes in charter, Catholic, 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), the SAGE Handbook of the Sociology of Education (SAGE, London, 2024), and Opportunities for Learning: A Sociological Perspective (Notre Dame Press, 2025).


Phone: (574) 631-0195
Office: 4054 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
Office Hours: ZOOM - By appointment