Carrie Townley-Flores

Carrie Townley Flores

Carrie ( is a doctoral candidate in the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, advised by Professors Sean Reardon and Jelena Obradović. Her research aims to inform the design of policies at the intersection of education, health, and welfare in early childhood to mitigate inequality and improve children's lives. 

She is a member of SPARK Lab, where she is examining the long-term impacts of means-tested and universal preschool programs, and where she supports a research-practice partnership with San Francisco Unified School District’s Early Education Department. She is also a member of the Educational Opportunity Project, where she researches how contemporary racial, ethnic, and economic segregation and inequality in neighborhoods and schools have directly related to trends in inequality in school districts over the last decade.

Her dissertation is grounded in a partnership she developed with the Kentucky Department of Education and Kentucky Center for Statistics, where she is examining how racial and economic inequality in early childhood education environments relate to inequality in early elementary school. She follows this with an analysis of the early elementary impacts of an exciting state policy that places robust family-resource centers in schools to provide direct support for academic, health, and basic needs.

Through her early career as a faculty member in a School of Education, she intends to continue pursuing a line of research that looks across an array of intersecting family, neighborhood, and school factors to consider what policy levers may be most effective at improving equity in early childhood experiences and educational outcomes.

As a teacher, Carrie taught in urban and suburban schools in the U.S. and Finland. These experiences highlighted the immense variation in opportunities and constraints across school districts in the U.S. as well as how public policy has the potential to mitigate educational disparities. She holds a B.A. in Education and English from University of Michigan.

Programs and projects:

Faculty advisors: 

sean reardon & Jelena Obradović

Research interests: 
Education Policy, Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Childhood Health and Welfare, Racial and Economic Inequality, Quantitative Methods, Research-Practice Partnerships

Ph.D., Education Policy - Expected 2023
Certificate in Quantitative Policy Analysis
Certificate in Partnership Research
Stanford University, Graduate School of Education, Stanford, CA

B.A., English and Education (2009)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Contact info: 

Center for Education Policy Analysis
Stanford University
520 Galvez Mall Stanford, CA 94305