Research News

TIPSHEET: Vanderbilt education experts presenting new research on student achievement, charter schools and more in Chicago April 9-13

Education experts from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development will be presenting their latest research April 9-13, 2007, in Chicago at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference.

Vanderbilt Peabody College was ranked as the No. 3 education school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2007 rankings of graduate schools.

To see abstracts from all Vanderbilt faculty presenting at AERA, go to and search the conference program for “Vanderbilt.”

Thomas Smith: Alternatively Certified Teachers: Where They Come From, What They Teach and Where They Go
Smith, associate professor of public policy and education, will discuss his and his colleagues findings that alternative certification, often touted as a way to bring non-teachers with professional experience into teaching to improve quality and boost teacher ranks, does not generally achieve those goals.

Donna Ford and Gilman Whiting: A Study of Attitudes, Behaviors and Peer Pressures Facing Gifted and Potentially Gifted Black Students
Ford and Whiting will present their findings, based on a survey of approximately 1,000 highly talented black students, about the impact negative peer pressure and other challenges have on these students’ success, and what the findings mean for educators working to close the achievement gap.

Ford is a professor of education and Betts Chair of Education and Human Development. Whiting is senior lecturer in African American and diaspora studies.

Matthew Springer, Dale Ballou: Achievement Tradeoffs and No Child Left Behind
Springer, director of the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt, and Ballou, associate professor of public policy and education, will discuss the unintended negative impacts No Child Left Behind may be having on student achievement.

Mark Berends and Ellen Goldring: Teaching, Learning and Student Achievement in Charter Schools
Berends and Goldring will discuss their research into conditions, policies and practices at charter schools, what impact they have on student achievement, what this data means in the bigger question of public policy and school choice.

Berends is the director of the National Center on School Choice. Goldring is professor of educational leadership and policy.

Kevin Leander: Girls, Positional Identities, and New Technologies
Leander, associate professor of language and literacy, will discuss how the Internet and today’s ever-present technology is impacting adolescent girls’ perceptions of themselves and one another.

Media Contact: Melanie Moran, (615) 322-NEWS
(615) 473-2204 (cell)