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Claire Smrekar

Associate Professor, Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations

Claire Smrekar is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Education at Vanderbilt University. Smrekar earned her doctorate in Education Policy at Stanford University in 1991. She conducts qualitative research studies related to the social context of education and public policy, with specific focus on the impact of desegregation plans and choice policies on families, schools, and neighborhoods. She is currently studying the effects of private school markets and demographic trends on school voucher plans. Professor Smrekar’s work has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Danforth Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the W.T. Grant Foundation, and Peabody College.

Smrekar is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and reports. She is the author of three books: The Impact of School Choice and Community: In the Interest of Families and Schools (1996), State University of New York (SUNY) Press; School Choice in Urban America: Magnet Schools and the Pursuit of Equity (1999), Teachers College Press; and From the Courtroom to the Classroom: The Shifting Landscape of School Desegregation (2009), Harvard Education Press.

Smrekar's research has been featured in multiple national newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and The Los Angles Times. In 2002, Professor Smrekar was featured on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” in a segment that highlighted her research related to student achievement in Department of Defense-managed schools.

Research Area

The social context of education and the social organization of schools, with specific reference to family-school-community interactions in public, military-sponsored, non-public, and choice schools.

Media Mentions

The Tennesean: Report: Charter schools don't have higher student exits

Indiana Public Media: Many Factors Influence Voucher Parents’ Decisions, But Not Neccesarily A-F Grades

New York Times: A View of What's Missing From the Classroom

Southern Education Desk: Segregation Shifts – Nashville Wrestles With Re-Segregation

WPLN News (Nashville): Closures Intrinsic to Charter-School System

The Tennessean: In Nashville, housing options push working class to the edge

NPR StateImpact: Why Indianapolis Is The Only City Where The Mayor Authorizes Charter Schools

The Tennessean: Study up on school choices