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IES Grant

Title: National Research and Development Center on School Choice
Center: NCER Year: 2004
Principal Investigator: Goldring, Ellen Awardee: Vanderbilt University
Program: National Research and Development Centers      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years Award Amount: $9,972,909
Goal: Multiple Goals Award Number: R305A040043
Description:

Co-Principal Investigators: Marisa Cannata, Dale Ballou, Timothy C. Caboni, John Cronin, Ellen B. Goldring, Ruth Green, James W. Guthrie, William G. Howell, Caroline M. Hoxby, Michael Kamil, Tom Loveless, Paul Peterson, Claire Smrekar, Matthew G. Springer, Herbert J. Walberg, Kenneth K. Wong.

Topic: Innovation in Education Reform

Purpose: The National Center on School Choice conducts scientific, comprehensive studies on school choice to inform policy and practice. The Center is examining both individual and systemic aspects of school choice through coordinated multidisciplinary research initiatives conducted by an expert team of scholars—sociologists, economists, psychologists, political scientists, curriculum experts, psychometricians, statisticians—from some of the nation's top research organizations. The methodology includes experimental and quasi-experimental design studies, as well as studies focusing on institutions and governance.

Established through a five-year grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, the NCSC is located at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. The $13.3 million grant includes the original $9,972,909 grant and a supplement to conduct an additional research study.

Projects

Effects of Choice on Student Achievement
The main objectives of this study are to demonstrate how charter schools affect the achievement of students who attend them, and how the loss of students to charter schools affects the student composition of regular public schools. Researchers are currently conducting analyses employing an experimental research design in the evaluation of charter schools in New York City, Illinois, and Florida.

Impact of Choice, Competition, and Governance
This project examines whether school choice and accountability have increased student performance. Researchers will use student-level data (as opposed to school-level) from the Milwaukee Public School System, which should allow researchers to address factors such as the mobility of students among schools, the changing demography from one grade cohort to the next, and differential testing participation rates each year.

Effects of Charter Schools at the Individual and Systemic Levels
This study examines the way charter schools begin (conversion versus start-up) and how they perform. Researchers are comparing the current enrollment, faculty, and achievement characteristics of conversion schools in California to those characteristics prior to conversion, and to the characteristics of start-up charters. In a different study of charter schools in ten states, researchers are examining various aspects of performance, including over time (e.g., is there a depressing effect on test scores during the first two years of operation) and oversight (e.g., schools run by education management organizations). Additionally, economic, political, and organizational rationales for the founding of charter schools are examined.

Opening the Black Box in Choice and Regular Public Schools
Researchers aim to discover what organizational, curricular and instructional conditions promote student achievement and whether/how these conditions differ between schools of choice—charter schools, magnet schools, private religious and nonreligious schools—and matched regular public schools. Researchers are currently collecting and analyzing data to address: (1) how schools of choice differ from traditional public schools in terms of autonomy, innovation, and accountability; and (2) how these core components of choice schools are related to instructional conditions that promote more positive educational outcomes, such as increased student achievement in reading, Language Arts, and mathematics. The project will estimate growth in student achievement using a three-level hierarchical linear models (with students nested within classrooms nested within schools).

Center Website: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/schoolchoice/.

Publications from this project:

Journal Articles

Berends, M., Goldring, E., Stein, M., and Cravens, X. (2010). Instructional Conditions in Charter Schools and Students' Mathematics Achievement. American Journal of Education, 116 (3): 303–335.

Berends, M., Langevin, W. and Springer, M.G. (2007). Editors' Preface, Special Issue on Policy, Politics, and Organization of School Choice. Peabody Journal of Education 82 (2–3): 179–183.

Berry, C., and Howell, W. (2007). Accountability and Local Elections: Rethinking Retrospective Voting. Journal of Politics, 69 (3): 844–858.

Campbell, D.E., West, M.R., and Peterson, P.E. (2005). Participation in a National Means-Tested School Voucher Program. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 24 (3): 611–620.

Cannata, M. (2011). Charter Schools and the Teacher Job Search. Journal of School Choice: International Research and Reform, 5 (1): 111–133.

Chingos, M., Henderson, M. and West, M.R. (2010). Grading Schools. Education Next, 10 (4): 60–67.

Howell, W.G. (2006) Switching Schools? A Closer Look at Parents' Initial Interest in and Knowledge about the Choice Provisions of No Child Left Behind. Peabody Journal of Education, 81 (1): 140–179.

Howell, W.G., Peterson, P.E., and West, M.R. (2009). The Persuadable Public. Education Next, 9 (4): 20–29.

Howell, W.G. and West, M.R. (2008). Is the Price “Right”? Education Next, 8 (3): 36–41.

Howell, W.G. and West, M.R. (2009). Educating the Public. Education Next, 9 (3): 40–47.

Howell, W.G., Peterson, P.E., and West, M.R. (2007). What Americans Think about Their Schools: The 2007 “Education Next”-PEPG Survey. Education Next, 7 (4):12–26.

Howell, W.G., West, M.R., and Peterson, P.E. (2008). The 2008 “Education Next”-PEPG Survey of Public Opinion. Education Next, 8 (4): 12–26.

Hoxby, C.M., and Murarka, S. (2008). Charter Achievement in New York City. Education Next, 8 (3): 54–61.

Hoxby, C.M. and Rockoff, J. (2005) Findings from the City of Big Shoulders: Younger Students Learn More in Charter Schools. Education Next, 5 (4) 52–58.

Loveless, T. (2010). How Well Are American Students Learning? With Sections On NAEP Trends, The Persistence School Test Scores, And Conversion Charter Schools. 2009 Brown Center Report, 2 (4): 1–32.

Peterson, P. (2008). School Vouchers in the United States: Productivity in the Public and Private Sectors. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft—Journal of Educational Science, ZfE, 11 (2): 253–267.

Peterson, P.E. and Chingos, M.M. (2009). For-Profit and Nonprofit Management in Philadelphia Schools. Education Next, 9 (2): 64–70.

Peterson, P.E. (2007). The Case for Curriculum-Based, External Examinations Which Have Significant Consequences for Students. Peabody Journal of Education 82 (4): 645–666.

Peterson, P.E. and West, M.R. (2006). Is Your Child's School Effective? Don't Rely on NCLB to Tell You. Education Next, 6 (4): 76–80.

Peterson, P.E., and Llaudet, E. (2007). The NCES Private-Public School Study: Findings Are Other than They Seem. Education Next, 7 (1): 75–79.

Peterson, P.E., Howell, W.G., and West, M.R. (2008). The 2008 Education Nextand PEPG Survey of Public Opinion. Education Next, 8 (1): 13–26.

Springer, M. (2007). The Influence of an NCLB Accountability Plan on the Distribution of Student Test Score Gains. Economics of Education Review, 27 (5): 556–563.

Springer, M. (2008). Accountability Incentives: Do Schools Practice Educational Triage? Education Next, 8 (1): 74–79.

West, M.R. and Peterson, P.E. (2006). The Efficacy of Choice Threats within School Accountability Systems: Results from Legislatively Induced Experiments. The Economic Journal, 116 (510): C46–62.

Wong, K.K. and Langevin, W. (2007). Policy Expansion of School Choice in the American States. Peabody Journal of Education, 82 (2–3): 440–472.

Wong, K.K. and Walberg, H.J. (2006). Introduction to the Special Issue on Contemporary School Choice Research. Peabody Journal of Education, 81 (1): 1–6.

Book Chapters

Ballou, D. (2009). Magnet School Outcomes. In M. Berends, M. Springer, D. Ballou, and H. Walberg (Eds.), Handbook of Research on School Choice. (pp 409–426). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ballou, D., Teasley, B., and Zeidner, T. (2008). Charter School Outcomes in Idaho. In M. Berends, M.G. Springer, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.), Charter School Outcomes. (pp. 221–241). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Berends, M. (2009). Social Perspectives on School Choice. In M. Berends, M. Springer, D. Ballou, and H. Walberg (Eds.), Handbook of Research on School Choice. (pp. 35–53). New York, NY: Routledge.

Berends, M., Watral, C., Teasley, B., and Nicotera, A. (2008). Charter School Effects on Achievement: Where We Are and Where We're Going. In M. Berends, M.G. Springer, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.), Charter School Outcomes. (pp 243–266). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Goldring, E. (2009). Perspectives on Magnet Schools. In M. Berends, M.G. Springer, D. Ballou, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.), Handbook of Research on School Choice. (pp 361–378). New York, NY: Routledge.

Goldring, E., and Cravens, X. (2008). Teachers' Academic Focus on Learning in Charter and Non-Charter Schools. In M. Berends, M.G. Springer, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.), Charter School Outcomes. (pp 39–59). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Howell, W.G. (2008). Education Policy, Academic Research, and Public Opinion. In F. Hess (Ed), When Research Matters: How Scholarship Influences Education Policy. (pp 135–154). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Hoxby, C.M., and Murarka, S. (2008). Methods of Assessing the Achievement of Students in Charter Schools. In M. Berends, M.G. Springer, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.), Charter School Outcomes. (pp 7–37). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hoxby, C.M., and Murarka, S. (2006). A Tapestry of Choice Programs. In P.E. Peterson, Reforming Education in Florida. (pp 167–211). Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press.

Loveless, T. and Field, K. (2009). Perspectives on Charter Schools. In M. Berends, M. Springer, D. Ballou, and H. Walberg (Eds.), Handbook of Research on School Choice. (pp 99–114). New York, NY: Routledge.

Peterson, P.E. (2009). Voucher Impacts: Differences between Public and Private Schools. In M. Berends, M.G. Springer, D. Ballou and H. Walberg (Eds.), Handbook on Research on School Choice. (pp 99–114). New York, NY: Routledge.

Peterson, P.E. (2007). The A+ Plan. In Paul E. Peterson (Ed.), Reforming Education in Florida: Recommendations From the Koret Task Force. (pp 49–66). Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press.

Peterson, P.E., Torinus, N., and Smith, B. (2006). School Choice in Milwaukee: Fifteen Years Later. In P.T. Hill (Ed.), Charter Schools Against All Odds. (pp 71–101). Stanford, CA: Education Next Books.

Smrekar, C. (2009). Social Context of Magnet Schools. In Berends, M.G. Springer, D. Ballou, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.) Handbook of Research on School Choice. (pp 393–407). New York, NY: Routledge.

Springer, M.G., Pepper, M., Gardner, C.D., and Bower, C.B. (2009). Supplemental Educational Services Under No Child Left Behind. In M. Berends, M. Springer, D. Ballou, and H. Walberg (Eds.), Handbook of Research on School Choice. (pp 569–592). New York, NY: Routledge.

Teasley, B. (2009). Charter School Outcomes. In M. Berends, M.G. Springer, D. Ballou, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.) Handbook of Research on School Choice. (pp 209–226). New York, NY: Routledge.

Wong, K. and Klopott, S. (2009). Politics and Governance in Charter Schools. In M. Berends, M.G. Springer, D. Ballou, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.) Handbook of Research on School Choice. (pp 115–136). New York, NY: Routledge.

Wong, K., and Shen, F.X. (2008). Charter Law and Charter Operations: Re-Examining the Charter School Marketplace. In M. Berends, M.G. Springer, and H.J. Walberg (Eds.), Charter School Outcomes. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.P131–157.

Wong, K., and Wishnick, D. (2007). Expanding the Possibilities: The Diverse-Provider Model in Urban Districts. In R. Rothman (Ed.), City Schools. (pp 73–86). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Technical Reports

Hoxby, C.M., and Murarka, S. (2007a). Charter Schools in New York City: Who Enrolls and How They Affect Their Students' Achievement. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Hoxby, C.M., and Murarka, S. (2007b). New York City's Charter Schools: Overall Report (Reporting on Results through the 2005–06 School Year). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Hoxby, C.M., and Murarka, S. (2007b–Rr). A Series of Reports on Individual Charter Schools in New York City (Reporting on Results through the 2005–06 School Year). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Hoxby, C.M., Murarka, S., and Kang, J. (2009). How New York City's Charter Schools Affect Achievement, August 2009 Report. Second report in series. Cambridge, MA: New York City Charter Schools Evaluation Project.

Books

Berends, M., Springer, M.G., Ballou, D., and Walberg, H.J. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of Research on School Choice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Berends, M., Springer, M.G., Walberg, H.J. (Eds.). (2008). Charter School Outcomes. New York, NY: Routledge.

Books by Center Partners

Betts, J. and Loveless, T. (Eds.). (2005). Getting Choice Right: Ensuring Equity and Efficiency in Education Policy. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

Howell, W.G. (Ed.). (2005). Besieged: School Boards and the Future of Education Politics. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Howell, W.G., and Peterson, P.E. (2006). Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools, Revised Edition. Washington, DC: Brookings.

Peterson, P.E. (Ed) (2006). Generational Change: Closing the Test Score Gap. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Peterson, P.E. (Ed.) (2005). Choice and Competition in American Education. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Walberg, H.J. (2007). School Choice: The Findings. Washington, DC: Cato Institute.

Woessmann, L. and Peterson, P.E. (Eds.) (2007). Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Wong, K., Shen, F.X., Anagnostopoulos, D., and Rutledge, S. (2007). The Education Mayor: Improving America's Schools. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Working Papers

Ballou, D. and Springer, M.G. (2008). Achievement Tradeoffs and No Child Left Behind. NCSC Working Paper.

Finn, J. (2010). Review of “The Impact of a Universal Class-Size Reduction Policy: Evidence from Florida's Statewide Mandate.” Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved from http://epicpolicy.org/thinktank/review-class-size-florida.

Chingos, M.M., Henderson, M., and West, M.R. (2009). Citizen Perceptions of Government Service Quality: Evidence from Public Schools. Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG 10–16). Cambridge, MA: KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series, Harvard University.

Howell,W. and Henderson, M. (2010). Public Opinion on Merit Pay: Self Interest vs. Symbolic Politics. Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG 10–05). Cambridge, MA: KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series, Harvard University.

Peterson, Paul E. (2007). School Reform in Philadelphia: A Comparison of Student Achievement at Privately-Managed Schools with Student Achievement in Other District Schools. Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG 07–03). Cambridge, MA: KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series, Harvard University.

Peterson, P.E., and Chingos, M.M. (2009). Impact of For-Profit and Non-Profit Management on Student Achievement: The Philadelphia Intervention, 2002–2008. Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG09–02). Cambridge, MA: KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series, Harvard University.

Peterson, P.E., and Llaudet, E. (2006). On the Public-Private School Achievement Debate. Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG 06–02). Cambridge, MA: KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series, Harvard University.

Peterson, P.E., and Llaudet, E. (2007). Heterogeneity in School Sector Effects on Elementary Student Performance. Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG 07–08). Cambridge, MA: KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series, Harvard University.

Springer, M.G., Pepper, M.J., and Ghosh-Dastidar, B. (2009). Supplemental Educational Services and Student Test Score Gains: Evidence from a Large, Urban School District. National Center on School Choice. Working Paper. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

Stuit, D.A., and Smith, T.M. (2009) Teacher Turnover in Charter Schools. NCSC Working Paper.

West, M., and Woessmann, L. 2008. Every Catholic Child in a Catholic School: Historical Resistance to State Schooling, Contemporary Private Competition, and Student Achievement Across Countries. Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG 08–05). Cambridge, MA: KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series, Harvard University.

Wolf, Patrick J. (2007). Civics Exam: Schools of Choice Boost Civic Values. Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG 07–05). Cambridge, MA: KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series, Harvard University.

Key Personnel: Marisa Cannata, Dale Ballou, Timothy C. Caboni, John Cronin, Ellen B. Goldring, Ruth Green, James W. Guthrie, William G. Howell, Caroline M. Hoxby, Michael Kamil, Tom Loveless, Paul Peterson, Claire Smrekar, Matthew G. Springer, Herbert J. Walberg, Kenneth K. Wong

IES Program Contact: Dr. Katina Stapleton
Email: Katina.Stapleton@ed.gov
Telephone: (202) 219-2154


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