Scott Davies


My research has several branches. One examines trajectories of student achievement over several years. My ultimate aim is to compile data sets that will allow researchers to track students from their early years into post secondary levels, and to assess the impact of various interventions in reducing educational inequality. For instance, I am currently partnering with Ontario’s Ministry of Education to assess the power of summer learning programs to reduce numeracy and literacy gaps.

Another branch examines educational organizations, paying attention to the variety of school forms that are emerging at all levels of schooling, including various types of private schools and tutoring businesses, and various public schools of choice.

In a third branch, I am attempting to contribute to sociological theories of education, variously interpreting how schooling and society have become more deeply ‘interpenetrated’ over time, charting different forms of cultural capital, and attempting to apply Interaction Ritual Theory to school.

As a recent Canada Research Chair and recipient of CFI and ORF grants, I have built a research lab at OISE that will house a wide variety of education data, I hope it will become a major hub for policy-relevant research in the Toronto area.

Recent Publications:

Davies, S., D. Cyr and J. Rizk. “Exploring Patterns of Educational Achievement Gaps: Where Do They Come From?” Chapter for The Sociology of Education in Canada: Contemporary Debates and Perspectives, edited by Wolfgang Lehmann, Oxford University Press.

Davies, Scott, Magdalena Janus and Eric Duku. Forthcoming. “It Takes a Whole Child to Achieve.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Davies, Scott, Janice Aurini, Johanne Jean-Pierre and Emily Milne. “Les effets des programmes d’été de littératie : Les théories d’opportunités d’apprentissage et les élèves « non-traditionnels » dans les écoles ontariennes francophones.” (The Effects of Summer Literacy Programs: Learning Opportunity Theory and “Non-Traditional” Students in Ontario French Language Schools). Canadian Journal of Sociology, 2015.

Davies, Scott, Vicky Maldonado and David Zarifa. 2014. “Effectively Maintaining Inequality in Toronto: Predicting University Destinations of Toronto District School Board Graduates.” Canadian Review of Sociology 51(1):22-53

More information about my work can be found here:

Ruth Childs


Ruth A. Childs is a professor and the Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Policy and Measurement in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Her research investigates the design and equity of large-scale assessments, admissions processes, and other evaluation systems.

Recent Publications:

Childs, R. A., Broomes, O., & Herbert, M. B. (2018). Deciding whether to respond: A latent class analysis of nonresponse on Ontario’s Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 64, 70-87.

Childs, R. A., Broomes, O., & Herbert, M. B. (in press). Deciding whether to respond: A latent class analysis of nonresponse on Ontario’s Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. Alberta Journal of Educational Research.

Childs, R. A., Ferguson, A. K., Herbert, M. B., Broad, K., & Zhang, J. (2016). Evaluating admission criteria effects for underrepresented groups. Higher Education Research and Development, 35, 658-668.

Childs, R. A., Hanson, M. D., Carnegie-Douglas, S., & Archbold, A. (2016). Investigating the effects of access initiatives for underrepresented groups. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 21(2-3), 73-80.

Childs, R. A., Broad, K., Gallagher-Mackay, K., Sher, Y., Escayg, K.-A., & McGrath, C. (2011). Pursuing equity in and through teacher education program admissions. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 19(24), 1-16.

More information about my work can be found here:

Anna Katyn Chmielewski

Assistant Professor

I am an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy in the LHAE department at OISE. I received my PhD in Education from Stanford University in 2012. My research examines trends and patterns of educational inequality, both internationally and over time. Specifically, I am interested in socio-economic disparities in academic achievement, school segregation, curriculum differentiation/streaming/tracking and the consequences of childhood inequality for adult skills and university access. I use a sociological lens and quantitative methods, including multilevel modelling and methods for measuring segregation and achievement gaps. Much of my research draws on data from international large-scale assessments, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

Recent Publications:

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Sean F. Reardon. 2016. “Patterns of Cross-National Variation in the Association Between Income and Academic Achievement.” AERA Open 2(3): 1-27.

Jerrim, John, Phil Parker, Anna K. Chmielewski, and Jake Anders. 2016. “Private Schooling, Educational Transitions and Early Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Three Anglophone Countries.” European Sociological Review 32(2): 280-294.

Jerrim, John, Anna K. Chmielewski, and Philip D. Parker. 2015. “Socioeconomic Inequality in Access to High Status Colleges: A Cross-Country Comparison.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 42: 20-32.

Chmielewski, Anna K. 2014. “An International Comparison of Achievement Inequality in Within- and Between-School Tracking Systems.” American Journal of Education 120(3): 293-324.

Chmielewski, Anna K., Hanna Dumont, and Ulrich Trautwein. 2013. “Tracking Effects Depend on Tracking Type: An International Comparison of Mathematics Self-Concept.” American Educational Research Journal 50(5): 925-957.

More information about my work can be found here:

Claudia Díaz Ríos

Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, OISE

I hold a PhD in Comparative Public Policy from McMaster University and I am currently a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. I study the effects of governance reforms on school improvement and the global-local politics of governance reforms in different areas of Latin American education, including school choice, curriculum decentralization, and accountability. My current project examines the operation and effects of publicly subsidized private schools on student learning in Colombia and Argentina.

Recent Publications

Díaz Ríos, C. (forthcoming). “Varieties of Education Privatization in Latin America”. Journal of Education Policy.

Díaz Ríos, C. (2017) “La traducción de las ideas globales en la gobernanza de la educación secundaria en Colombia” (Translation of Global Ideas in the governance of Colombian secondary education). Universitas Humanistica 83.

Díaz Ríos, C (2016) “Foreign Prescriptions and Domestic Interests: A Comparison of Education Reform in Argentina and Chile”. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice 0 (0): 1–16.

Díaz Ríos, C. (2016) “When Global Ideas Collide with Domestic Interests: The Politics of Secondary Education Governance in Argentina, Chile and Colombia.” Ph.D. Thesis, McMaster University.

Díaz Ríos, C. (2012) “La política de articulación entre la educación media y la superior. El caso de los programas de la Secretaría de Educación de Bogotá.” Investigación & Desarrollo 20 (2): 230-259.

Graduate Assistants

Erica Cheng

MEd student, Educational Leadership and Policy Program

She completed her Bachelor of Arts at York University, Glendon Campus in International Studies and obtained a Professional Certificate in Public Administration and Law. She has teaching experience through Peace by PEACE, a charity organization that works with university students to go into classrooms of grade 4 – 6 across Toronto to teach a 10-week curriculum on various topics such as conflict resolution, bullying, community, diversity and etc. Through this experience, she became interested in studying the achievement gap between Public and Catholic Schools in Ontario, looking at both school level and student level characteristics.


Zahide Alaca

PhD Student, Leadership Higher and Adult Education

Zahide is a PhD student in Educational Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, where she holds a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She previously completed a Master’s and Bachelor’s (Honours) of Social Work at Carleton University. Zahide studies students’ educational trajectories and the emergence, growth, and curbing of various inequalities therein. She is particularly interested in the ways in which multiple service sectors (e.g., education, social services) jointly impact student trajectories. A major focus of her research is on the appropriate use and advancement of quantitative methods and causal inference techniques in education and social research.

Cosmin Marmureanu

PhD Student, Leadership Higher and Adult Education

I am a PhD student interested in examining how the environment can have an impact on students, specifically the relationship between vegetation around schools and student achievement. My background is in Geography, but my work experience is in the Education sector. I have worked with the Toronto District School Board, Knowledge Network of Applied Education Research (KNAER), the Ministry of Education, and Conestoga College. My role in the lab is to maintain the datasets, reach out to other researchers who may be interested in working with us, and to ensure this website is working (and since you’re reading this it is!)

Research Assistants

Angran Li

PhD Student, Sociology, University of Connecticut

Angran Li is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Connecticut. He is currently a research database manager at York University. He also serves as a research assistant at the Data, Equity and Policy in Education (DEPE) Lab at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. His research interests lie in social stratification, sociology of education, neighborhood effect, higher education, quantitative methods, and Chinese studies. He studies how various social settings (e.g., schools, communities, and families), independently or jointly, influence educational outcomes. His work explores how those relationships affect intergenerational transmission of advantages/disadvantages across social groups and national contexts from a comparative perspective. In the DEPE lab, he is currently collaborating with Professor Scott Davies to examine nontraditional educational transitions using unique administrative and longitudinal data on tens of thousands of Toronto District School Board (TDSB) students who were tracked from high school to their entry in post-secondary institutions in Ontario.  

Recent Publications:

Li, Angran. 2018. “Unfulfilled Promise of Educational Meritocracy? Academic Ability and China’s Urban-Rural Gap in Access to Higher Education.” Princeton Research Network on Contemporary China (PRCC) Working Paper Series, edited by Yu Xie.

Obach, Heidi, Angran Li, and Simon Cheng (equal authorship). 2018. “Boys, Girls, and the Second Shift: Paid and Unpaid Labor in High School and Adolescents’ Enrollment in College.” Social Currents. 5(2):173-92.

Li, Angran, and Mary J. Fischer. 2017. “Advantaged/Disadvantaged School Neighborhoods, Parental Networks, and Parental Involvement at Elementary School.” Sociology of Education 90(4):355-77.

Graduate Students

Perry Schlanger

Doctoral Student, Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Perry is a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership and Policy program of the Department of Leadsership, Higher, and Adult Education. His research focuses on the social determinants of educational achievement. Current projects include analyzing the relationship between Early Development Instrument (EDI) results and Grade 3 EQAO scores in Ontario’s French-language school system. Another project involves determining how school funding affects the relationship between student demographic factors and academic achievement.

Originally from New York City, Perry spent part of his early teaching career in the Bronx. For the last ten years, he has been teaching for the District School Board of Niagara. Currently, he is a Student Success Teacher with the DSBN’s Alternative Pathways Centre where he works to re-engage students who have not experienced success in traditional secondary school settings.

Post Doctoral Students

Daniel Hamlin

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

Daniel Hamlin is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. His research examines how school governance influences non-tested measures of performance in urban schools with an emphasis on school climate, parental involvement, and student safety. He has received approximately $250,000 in research grants and awards. Hamlin previously received his PhD from the Educational Leadership and Policy Program at the University of Toronto.

Selected Publications

Hamlin, D. (2017). Are charter schools safer in deindustrialized cities with high rates of crime? Testing hypotheses in Detroit. American Educational Research Journal, 54(4), 725-756.

Hamlin, D. (2017). “The types of kids we get are different” The characteristics of school choosers in Detroit, Michigan. Journal of School Choice. Advance online publication.

Hamlin, D. (2017). Parental involvement in high choice inner cities: A comparison of charter and public schools in Detroit. Urban Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0042085917697201

Hamlin, D. & Flessa, J. (2016). Parental involvement initiatives: An analysis. Educational Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0895904816673739

Hamlin, D., & Davies, S. (2016). Toronto: A new global city of learning. London Review of Education, 14(2), 186-198.

Sá, C., & Hamlin, D. (2015). Research use capacity in provincial government. Canadian Public Administration, 58(3), 468-486.