Notre Dame announces an innovative partnership with Indiana Department of Education

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Indiana Department of Education

The University of Notre Dame has entered into a historic partnership with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) that aims to improve learning for Indiana children. Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., of the University of Notre Dame, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett announced the partnership at a press conference in South Bend this afternoon.

This new research partnership will allow scholars at Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives and others from around the country to conduct independent research to inform policymakers as they seek strategies to improve educational quality in Indiana.

The principal mission of the partnership will be to provide independent, nonpartisan, empirical research to inform education policy that serves and supports the children and families of Indiana. The research will be conducted by some of the nation’s leading educational experts at Notre Dame as well as interdisciplinary faculty and professionals from around the country. The research will focus on such subjects as the effects of parental choice programs on schools, teachers and students; improving the quality of teaching; and effective teacher preparation.

Tony Bennett,  Rev

“Students across the state will benefit from the rich, collaborative thought leadership of research scientists from across the country who will bring a wide variety of independent perspectives to this initiative,” Father Scully said. “It is our greatest hope that this effort will prove to be a vibrant hub of scholarly activity that will ultimately benefit our country’s most treasured gifts — our schools and the children they serve.”

“I am pleased the University of Notre Dame will join us as partners in our effort to continuously improve student learning in Indiana,” Bennett said. “Notre Dame is well-known for outstanding scholarship, and I have no doubt this research will add an important voice to our statewide discussions on education policy. This additional perspective will be helpful as we work to make sure all students receive the educational opportunities they need to succeed in college and careers.”

The new research effort will be led by Mark Berends, professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity at Notre Dame. It will have an advisory board whose members include national experts in education research, professionals from the IDOE, former elected officials, and school administrators and teachers.

Contact: Mark Berends, 574-631-0195,

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on June 21, 2012.