June 9, 1994
Vol. 13, No. 20

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    Spencer Fellowship to Roderick

    Melissa Roderick, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Service Administration, has been awarded a 1994-95 National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship.

    The National Academy of Education, which promotes scholarly inquiry and discussion concerning education in the United States and abroad, offers the only fellowship in education research for recent doctoral recipients. The $35,000 award is given to assist with research expenses over the fellowship year.

    Roderick's research project, titled "Peering Into the Black Box of Tracking: What Do Students Do in High School and How Does It Affect Them," will examine the effects of high school "tracking" systems that separate students into academic and general tracks. The study specifically will address why general-track students do not perform as well as those in academic tracks and what tracking means to a student's curriculum, classroom activities and relationships with teachers.

    The study will consist of a two-year statistical analysis of data from the 1988 National Educational Longitudinal Study, compiled by the National Opinion Research Center. The analysis will cover data on 7,600 students in more than 400 schools nationwide.

    Roderick, a faculty member in SSA since 1991, teaches statistical analysis and studies the influence of school policy on the social and academic development of adolescents. Her research has focused on developing policy approaches for improving educational outcomes among at-risk youths.