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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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National Center on School Choice

Mark Berends, Vanderbilt University
Dale Ballou, Vanderbilt University

Abstract: The National Center on School Choice conducts scientific, comprehensive, and timely research on the individual and systemic effects of school choice and competition. The Center has assumed national intellectual leadership in coordinating multiple disciplines, methodologies, and substantive issues that are associated with the design, implementation, and effects of school choice. Its programs of research will engage nationally known scholars across major social science disciplines from nationally ranked top research universities. This collaborative effort has partnered the center's lead research institution, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, with organizations including the Brookings Institution, Brown University, Center of Excellence for Leadership of Learning, Harvard University, National Bureau of Economic Research, Northwest Evaluation Association, and Stanford University.

Our main program of research consists of data that researchers jointly collect, share, and analyze. As part of this effort, the center coordinates major experimental studies of students randomly selected to attend charter schools; we compare the academic performance over time of students who win the lottery to those who lose. In addition, we are gathering a variety of data in similarly matched charter and regular public schools to understand differences in classroom instruction, school resources, professional development, and student achievement growth. And we are investigating other choice options, such as magnet and private schools; vouchers; school transfer options under No Child Left Behind; supplemental educational services; and home schooling.

This poster session will highlight ongoing research and development efforts associated with the Center on School Choice. Specifically, we will display: (1) a description of the Center's program of research; (2) a description of the website, including information about recent working papers, journal articles, and books; (3) program materials from charter school leaders professional institutes; (4) and forthcoming dissemination efforts, such as the Fall 2006 national research conference and edited conference volume, and plans for the future handbook of research on school choice (both under contract with Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates, Inc).The Center's director, Mark Berends, and associate director, Dale Ballou will be present to discuss all facets of the Center's work.