Sean's Biography

Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education and Professor (by courtesy) of Sociology
Director, Stanford Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Program in Quantitative Education Policy Analysis

Phone: (650) 736-8517
Fax: (650) 723-9931
Address: 520 Galvez Mall #526,CERAS building, Stanford, CA 94305-3084

Sean Reardon is the endowed Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education and is Professor (by courtesy) of Sociology at Stanford University. His research focuses on the causes, patterns, trends, and consequences of social and educational inequality, the effects of educational policy on educational and social inequality, and in applied statistical methods for educational research. Reardon is the developer of the Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA). Based on 300 million standardized test scores, SEDA provides measures of educational opportunity, average test score performance, academic achievement gaps, and other information for every public school district in the US.

Professor Reardon received his doctorate in education in 1997 from Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award, the National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship, and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

Curriculum Vitae: 
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My research investigates the causes, patterns, trends, and consequences of social and educational inequality. In particular, I study issues of residential and school segregation and of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement and educational success. In addition, my work develops methods of measuring social and educational inequality (including the measurement of segregation and achievement gaps) and methods of causal inference in educational and social science research.

Current Research:
The causes and patterns of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic achievement disparities
The effects of school integration policies on segregation patterns and educational outcomes
Income inequality and its educational and social consequences


View Sean's publications


I am currently working on a study of the trends in the income achievement gap and the reasons for its sharp rise in recent decades. I am also working on an ongoing study of the patterns, trends, and causes of racial/ethnic achievement gaps. In addition, I have an ongoing project developing methods of measuring and analyzing patterns of residential and educational segregation and inequality.


EDUC 255B: Causal Inference in Quantitative Educational and Social Science Research (SOC 257)
Quantitative methods to make causal inferences in the absence of randomized experiment including the use of natural and quasi-experiments, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, matching estimators, longitudinal methods, fixed effects estimators, and selection modeling. Assumptions implicit in these approaches, and appropriateness in research situations. Students develop research proposals relying on these methods. Prerequisites: exposure to quantitative research methods; multivariate regression.

EDUC 255C: Applied Quasi-Experimental Research in Education (SOC 258)
Course will provide hands-on practice in analysis of data from experimental and quasi-experimental research designs, including a) instrumental variables estimators; b) regression discontinuity estimators; c) difference-in-difference estimators; d) matching estimators; e) fixed effects estimators; and f) panel data methods (including individual fixed effects models, lagged covariate adjustment models, growth models, etc.). Prerequisites: satisfactory completion of EDUC 255B, EDUC 257C or SOC 257.

EDUC 339: Advanced Topics in Quantitative Policy Analysis
For doctoral students. How to develop a researchable question and research design, identify data sources, construct conceptual frameworks, and interpret empirical results. Presentation by student participants and scholars in the field. May be repeated for credit.


2015 - Spencer Foundation Lectureship, Association for Public Policy and Management
2014-15 - Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation
2014- - Member, National Academy of Education
2013 - Palmer O. Johnson Award, American Educational Research Association
2004-06 - Carnegie Scholars Program Fellowship. Carnegie Corporation of New York.
2002-07 - William T. Grant Faculty Scholars Award. William T. Grant Foundation.
2002-04 - National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.
1998-99 - Postdoctoral Fellowship in Evaluation of Programs for Children. Harvard Children's Initiative
1996-97 - Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. Spencer Foundation
1995-96 - Advanced Doctoral Student Fellowship, Harvard Graduate School of Education
1991-95 - Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education
1991-92 - Entering Award, Harvard Graduate School of Education
1990-91 - International Scholars Fellowship, University of Notre Dame
1986 - Graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Notre Dame

Service/Advisory Boards/Other: 
  • Program Chair, Spring Meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (2011)
  • Editorial Board (2010-), Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness
  • Editorial Board (2009-12), Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
  • Editorial Board (2008-11), American Educational Research Journal
  • Editorial Board (2007-), Journal of Economic Inequality
  • Editorial Board (2007-09), Education Policy Analysis Archives
  • Editorial Board (2005-07), Sociology of Education
  • Contributing Editor, (2004) American Journal of Education
  • Editorial Board (1992-94), Harvard Educational Review
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award (2009), American Educational Research Journal
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award (2009), Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award (2005), Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
  • Review Panel Member (2010) National Science Foundation
  • Small Grants Review Board Member (2010‐2012), Spencer Foundation.
  • Ad Hoc Proposal Reviewer, William T. Grant Foundation, Spencer Foundation, National Science Foundation.
  • Reviewer,

    American Educational Research Journal, American Journal of Education, American Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Public Health, American Sociological Review, Applied Developmental Psychology, Demography, Developmental Psychology, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Education Finance & Policy, Education Policy Analysis Archives, Geographical Analysis, Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Journal of Economic Inequality, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Journal of Urban Affairs, Health & Place, Pediatrics, Population Space & Place, Prevention Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Science, Social Forces, Social Problems, Social Science Research, Social Science Quarterly, Sociological Methodology, Sociological Methods and Research, Sociological Theory, Sociology of Education, Teachers College Record.
  • Member,

    American Educational Research Association, American Sociological Association, Population Association of America, Social Science History Association, Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, Sociology of Education Association
  • Nominations Committee (2001-02; 2003-04),

    American Sociological Association, Section on Sociology of Education