The Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) is a part of the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI) at the University of Notre Dame. We conduct basic and applied research on schools and the learning process. Learn More >>>

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Karl Alexander to Present "Long Shadow"

October 21, 2014

Karl Alexander , Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, will be presenting  "The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Youth, & the Transition to Adulthood"

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CREO hosts the 2014 Midwest Sociology of Education Conference

October 10, 2014

CREO hosted the 2014 Midwest Sociology of Education Conference on October 16th and 17th. In attendance were faculty members and graduate students from several midwest universities: DePaul, Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern, University of Cinncinnati, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin. The conference series was originally developed by the founding CREO Director Maureen Hallinan in the 1980's. The intentions of Hallinan and her esteemed colleagues was to build a regional academic community in which research is shared and discussed. The group met annually through the 1990's and, after a long hiatus, reconvened by popular demand last year at the University of Wisconsin. CREO is honored to be hosting the  second year conference after the hiatus.  See photos from the event:

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Indianapolis Peers and School Transitions Study (IPAST)

The goal of this study is to understand how changes that students experience in their schools and classmates at the transition to 7th grade results in changes in their academic achievement.  To this end, we are collecting data over multiple school years on Indianapolis students’ peers, educational attitudes, and behaviors as they transition from 6th to 7th grade across public, charter, and private schools. These transitions provide a unique opportunity to observe students as their school peers and closest friends change.
Our data collection will focus on two processes:

1)  The formation of and change in students' school and non-school friendships, and
2)  The formation of and change in students’ academic expectations, self-assessments, and engagement.

Starting in the fall of 2014 we will survey all 7th graders in key middle schools throughout Indianapolis. We will continue to follow these students throughout the school year with short surveys at regular intervals. In the spring of 2015, we will add a new survey of 6th graders attending key elementary or middle schools. We will continue to follow this new group 6th graders as they transition to and complete the 7th grade in the 2015-16 school year. For more information, visit the Research tab.

Teacher Effectiveness in Indiana

With funding from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, Mark Berends and David Stuit (Basis Policy Research) are examining value-added models of teacher effectiveness based on different assessments in mathematics and reading.  Value-added models refer to a collection of statistical techniques that are designed to estimate the “effects” of teachers (or schools) based on the changes in students’ test scores over time.  In theory, value-added models provide a more accurate estimate of what individual teachers contribute to student learning, but in practice they involve technical challenges and much debate.  Several states and districts are moving toward incorporating the results of value-added models into their evaluations of teachers and other human resource decisions (e.g., recruitment, termination, and compensation).  In light of this trend, it is critical for policymakers and practitioners to have a sound understanding of the technical issues related to the accuracy of teachers’ value-added estimates. To date, much of the technical research on value-added focuses on how different statistical models influence teachers’ value-added estimates.   Less attention has been paid to how different test scores used in the models influence teachers’ value-added estimates.  The purpose of study is to provide insight into this important issue to both policymakers and practitioners.




Catholic School Effectiveness

With funding from the Walton Family Foundation, the University of Notre Dame is initiating a project to collect and analyze student achievement data from Catholic schools across the country. The research will obtain longitudinal student test score and other outcome data from Catholic schools in nine cities across the United States, which data will then be used to study how students, schools, and communities contribute to student learning in Catholic schools and to help schools guide their improvement efforts.

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