Much of my current research focuses on the role of place in education. Currently, I work in two major areas related to place-based education policy:

  1. the effects of gentrification on the longterm residents of urban neighborhoods and their schools, and
  2. school choice.

Effects of Gentrification


My dissertation is a qualitative interview study that explores the educational experiences of immigrant students who have been displaced by gentrification. While gentrification is gaining traction in the educational research world, much of the research emphasizes the schools in gentrifying communities. My dissertation explores how immigrant students experience and make sense of the experience of moving and attending a new school. In addition, by working with the students themselves, I argue that we can better inform practices to serve this student population.

School Under-enrollment Case Study

One of the consequences of gentrification is the under enrollment of schools. Although many case studies have focused on the schools the change, other research has documented schools closing. Working with Greg Pulte at the University of Texas at Austin, we seek to understand why parents who previously sent their child to a case elementary school are no longer doing so. This study will be presented at the University Council for Educational Administration meeting.

School Choice

I am currently working on two separate projects related to school choice: one based on Arizona schools, and the other based on Philadelphia.


Working with Ben Creed at Northern Illinois University and Huriya Jabbar at The University of Texas at Austin, I working with them to conduct studies that examine competition of both charter schools and traditional public schools across the entire state. The data for these projects include an original survey of school leaders, administrative data from both the State of Arizona Department of Education and the national Common Core of Data, and the coded mission statements of each school. Some of this work has been presented at the American Educational Research Association and the Association for Education Finance and Policy meetings, and a manuscript is currently under review.


Working with David Marshall at Auburn University, we are examining patterns of school choice in the Philadelphia market. By using publicly-accessible administrative data from the School District of Philadelphia and public transit schedules from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, we explore the roles of commute in both the feasibility of choices for students and their families, the spatial equity of school choice sets, and predictors of choosing to attend a given school. This work has been presented at the International School Choice and Reform Conference and the American Sociological Association meeting. One article has been published in Journal of School Choice, and another is under review.

Previous Work

In the past, I have also worked on research projects related to supporting young children’s interests in science, the recruitment and retention of teachers in an urban teacher residency program, and instructional supports for English learners.