Research

I am a mixed-methods education policy researcher focused on school choice, school diversity, and teacher careers. In particular, I am interested in how education policy is enacted and experienced in local communities. To do so, I draw on my training in methods ranging from ethnography to econometrics. 


For example, I was part of a national mixed methods study of the practices and outcomes of intentionally diverse charter schools. I led a project exploring how these schools operationalize their diversity mission through recruitment and enrollment practices, and whether they are more diverse than comparison schools, published in  Teachers College Record in 2022. 

My dissertation combines seven years of student-level administrative data and a qualitative case study to explore how our increasingly complex school choice landscape influences which students go to school together. In recognition of it's promise, my research was awarded a Small Research Grant by the American Educational Research Association, Division G (Social Context of Schooling). 

I am also an applied researcher. As a Policy Fellow at Research for Action,  I conducted policy scans, created evidence-based tools, and collaborated with practitioners on technical assistance projects. 

"In working closely with Sophia for over a year I have found her to be an insightful, hard-working, multiskilled mixed-methods researcher, with significant potential to be a thought-leader in the intersection between education research, policy, and practice." 

-David Lapp, Director of Policy Research, Research for Action