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. A member of the Educational Opportunity Project and SPARK Lab, her research aims to reduce racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequality in the U.S. by identifying effective practices and policies in early childhood spaces and K-12 schools.

Often working closely with school practitioners and policy makers to design and disseminate research, she earned a Certificate in Partnership Research from Stanford for her support of two California school district research partnerships. She worked with district leaders and other Stanford researchers to examine how aspects of early childhood opportunities contributed to Kindergarten-readiness and longer-term outcomes in the districts. Carrie also supported the formation of a research partnership between the Educational Opportunity Project and the New York State Education Department. She has applied for and won two fellowships for collaborative research designed for social impact, which provided further funding and training for partnership research. Following the principles she learned through these experiences, she formed a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education and Kentucky Center for Statistics, working closely with department members to design research questions that would be both generalizable and relevant to their needs. Her dissertation on how family, neighborhood, and early educational opportunities contribute to educational outcomes is grounded in this partnership.

Through her early career as a faculty member in a School of Education, she intends to continue to pursue a line of research that looks across 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 educational opportunities 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: