Research News

TIPSHEET: Vanderbilt K-12 experts presenting new research about charter schools, drop-out rate and more in New York March 24-28

K-12 experts from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development will present their latest research March 24-28 in New York City at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference.

Peabody College was ranked as the No. 3 education school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2007.

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

National Math Panel Report: Implications, Issues and Research Directions
Camilla Benbow, dean of Vanderbilt’s Peabody College and vice chair of the president’s National Mathematics Advisory Panel, will head up this discussion of the panel’s recently released report.
Schedule: Tuesday, March 25, 12:25 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.
Hilton New York / Rendezvous Trianon, 3rd floor

Prospective teachers confused by, not interested in charter schools
Marisa Cannata, a post-doctoral researcher at the National Center on School Choice at Vanderbilt, will present her research that found most prospective elementary teachers did not want to work in a charter school and were confused about whether charter schools are public schools. Cannata also found African American teacher applicants were more likely to seek out positions in charter schools because they served predominantly minority students.
Schedule: Monday, March 24, 2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
New York Marriott Marquis Times Square / Shubert Complex, Uris Room, 6th Floor

How and why does parental involvement during adolescence make sense?
Graduate student Manya Whitaker will present her research with Vanderbilt colleagues Christa Lynn Green and Kathleen Hoover-Dempsey about the impact of parental involvement during middle and high school, an area that has previously received scant attention. Whitaker will offer suggestions for research, practice and policy to support effective school-family relationships during adolescence.
Schedule: Monday, March 24, 2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
New York Marriott Marquis Times Square / Wilder Room, 4th Floor

Parent, student and stakeholder perspectives of urban charter schools
Mark Berends, director of the National Center on School Choice; Associate Professor of Public Policy and Education Claire Smrekar; Professor of Education Policy and Leadership Ellen Goldring and several of their Vanderbilt colleagues will present detailed information about charter school reform in an urban district. Issues to be covered include the impact of mayoral control and politics on charter schools, how parental involvement varies and why, how white and Asian student achievement may be linked to their and their parents’ “social capital” in these schools, and differences in student achievement between traditional and charter schools.
Schedule: Wednesday, March 26, 10:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
New York Marriott Marquis Times Square / Empire Complex, Empire/Hudson Room, 7th Floor

The pipeline from high school to the GED
Professor of Special Education Carolyn Hughes will discuss her work with students in low-performing, high-poverty high schools to understand the reasons why increasing numbers of students in these schools, particularly African American males, are dropping out and enrolling in GED programs. Her findings indicate the need to modify school environments and address goal setting to increase students’ engagement in school to prevent high school dropout.
Schedule: Thursday, March 27, 2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Hilton New York / Gramercy Suite B, 2nd Floor

What exactly do school leaders do?
Professor of Education Policy and Leadership Ellen Goldring, graduate student Jason Huff and the University of Pennsylvania’s Henry May will present findings from their three-year, longitudinal study of all school principals in one Southeastern school district and discuss how school leaders spend their time, how they change from year to year, and how leadership practice is influenced by teaching and organization structure.
Schedule: Friday, March 28, 10:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.
Hilton New York / Concourse C, Concourse Level

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