codirector, Chicago School Research
Melissa Roderick is the Hermon Dunlap Smith Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a co-director at CCSR. Professor Roderick is an expert in urban school reform, high school reform, high-stakes testing, minority adolescent development, and school transitions. Her work has focused attention on the transition to high school as a critical point in students school careers and her new work examines the transition to college among Chicago Public School (CPS) students. In prior work, she led a multi-year evaluation of Chicago's initiative to end social promotion and has conducted research on school dropout, grade retention, and the effects of summer programs. Professor Roderick is an expert in mixing qualitative and quantitative methods in evaluation. Her new study focuses on understanding the relationship between students' high school careers and preparation, their college selection choices and their post-secondary outcomes through linked quantitative and qualitative research. In this joint project with the Chicago Public Schools, Professor Roderick is assisting CPS in tracking successive cohorts of Chicago students and building new indicators through analysis of high school transcripts and surveys of students and teachers to assess the preparation of CPS graduates for college. Professor Roderick has a Ph.D. from the Committee on Public Policy from Harvard University, a master's degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an A.B. from Bowdoin College.