Mark Berends

Professor; Director, Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO); Hackett Family Director, Institute for Educational Initiatives

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 the Hackett Family Director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives and 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 marginalized 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 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).


Phone: (574) 631-0195
Office: 310 Visitation Hall
Office Hours: ZOOM - By appointment