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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Anna Katyn Chmielewski

Anna Katyn Chmielewski
Associate Professor

phone: 416-978-1174

Department: Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Research Overview

My research examines trends and patterns of educational inequality, both in North America and internationally. 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. My research draws on survey and administrative data from Toronto and Ontario, as well as 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).

I am cross-appointed in the Department of Sociology (status only). I am also affiliated with the Data, Equity and Policy in Education (DEPE) lab (, the Education + Skills Research Initiative ( and with the collaborative specializations in Comparative, International & Development Education (CIDE) and Educational Policy (CSEP).

I am currently recruiting masters and doctoral students interested in writing theses using quantitative methods to study educational inequality, policy and/or international comparisons in K-12 school systems. See the Supervision section of my CV below for examples of student research topics I have supervised. (Please simply apply to the program in Educational Leadership & Policy within the department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education, and mention my name in your Statement of Intent. To be considered for a graduate funding package, please apply to the full-time MA or PhD [not MEd, EdD or flex-time] programs.)

Curriculum Vitae

Academic History


PhD in Education, Stanford University (2012)
MA in Sociology, Stanford University (2010)
BA in Education Policy, Duke University (2005)

Academic positions:

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy, OISE, University of Toronto (2020-present)
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy, OISE, University of Toronto (2014-2020)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pathways to Adulthood program, Michigan State University (2012-2014)

Teaching Overview

I teach the following courses at OISE:

JOI3048 Intermediate Statistics in Educational Research: Multiple Regression Analysis [RM] (Winter)
LHA6005 Multilevel and Longitudinal Modelling [RM]
LHA1004 Research Literacy in Educational Leadership and Policy
LHA1065 Educational Equity and Excellence in International Comparison

For more information about quantitative methods training in the LHAE department, please see:

Representative Publications

Publications within my 5 research strands below:


1. Socio-economic disparities in academic achievement

Chmielewski, Anna K. 2019. "The Global Increase in the Socioeconomic Achievement Gap, 1964 to 2015." American Sociological Review 84(3): 517-544.

Salmela-Aro, Katariina and Anna K. Chmielewski. 2019. “Socioeconomic Inequality and Student Outcomes in Finnish Schools.” Ch. 9 (pp. 153-168) in Socioeconomic Inequality and Student Outcomes: National Trends, Policies, and Practices, edited by L. Volante, S. Schnepf, J. Jerrim, and D. Klinger. Springer Press.

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.


2. School segregation and neighbourhood inequality

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Sachin Maharaj. 2022. "Socioeconomic Segregation between Schools in Canada." FutureSkills Research Lab.

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Omar Khan. 2020. "Toronto's Rich Neighbourhoods Opt for In-Person School." Blog post.

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Corey Savage. 2015. "Socioeconomic Segregation between Schools in the US and Latin America, 1970-2012." Ch. 12 (pp. 394-423) in Land and the City: Proceedings of the 2014 Land Policy Conference, edited by George McCarthy, Gregory Ingram, and Samuel Moody. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. 

Reardon, Sean, John Yun, and Anna K. Chmielewski.  2012.  "Suburbanization and School Segregation."  Ch. 5 (pp. 85-102) in Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility, edited by Willam F. Tate IV.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.


3. Curriculum differentiation, streaming and tracking

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Sheena Bell. Forthcoming, 2023. "Cross-National Socioeconomic Inequality and Educational Policy." Handbook on the Sociology of Education, edited by Mark Berends, Barbara Schneider, and Stephen Lamb. SAGE.

Chmielewski, Anna K. 2017. "Social Inequality in Educational Transitions under Different Types of Secondary School Curricular Differentiation [pre-print link; book available for purchase here]." Ch. 1.2 (pp. 51-72) in Pathways to Adulthood: Educational Opportunities, Motivation and Attainment in Times of Social Change, edited by Ingrid Schoon and Rainer Silbereisen. London: UCL IoE Press.

Chmielewski, Anna K.  2014.  "An International Comparison of Achievement Inequality in Within- and Between-School Tracking Systems [pre-print link; post-print available here]."  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.


4. Consequences of childhood inequality for adult skills and university access

Chmielewski, Anna K. 2018. "Can We Close Gaps in Literacy by Social Background over the Life Course? Evidence from Synthetic 1950-1980 Birth Cohorts." OECD Education Working Papers, No. 178, OECD Publishing, Paris.

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.


5. Methodology and policy impact of international assessments

Jerrim, John, Philip Parker, Alvaro Choi, Anna K. Chmielewski, Christine Sälzer, and Nikki Shure. 2018. "How Robust are Cross-Country Comparisons of PISA Scores to the Scaling Model Used?Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice 37(4): 28-39.

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Elizabeth Dhuey. 2017. "The Analysis of International Large-Scale Assessments to Address Causal Questions in Education Policy." Background paper commissioned by National Academy of Education for workshop series on Methods and Policy Uses of International Large-Scale Assessments.

Chmielewski, Anna K., Karen Mundy, and Joseph P. Farrell. 2017. "International Indicators and Assessments: Issues for Teachers [pre-print link; book available for purchase here]." Ch. 13 (pp. 361-391) in Comparative and International Education: Issues for Teachers, 2nd Edition, edited by Kathy Bickmore, Ruth Hayhoe, Carly Manion, Karen Mundy, and Robyn Read. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press Inc.

Chmielewski, Anna K. and Yossi Shavit. 2014. "Recommendations for Measuring and Monitoring Equity in Upper Secondary Education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training." Memo presented at Workshop on "Framing and Measuring Inequalities in Post 2015 Education Targets." Sponsored by Education For All Monitoring Report and UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics. Dec. 1-2, 2014, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.


Research Grants and Contracts

SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2018-2020)

University of Toronto Connaught New Researcher Award (2015-2016)

American Educational Research Association (AERA) Dissertation Grant (2011)

Honours and Awards

National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017-2019)

Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2015-2016)

Gerhard Casper Graduate Fellowship in Science and Engineering (Stanford University) (2006-2010)

Professional Activities

Editorial board, American Educational Research Journal (2020-2023)

Secretary/treasurer, AERA Sociology of Education SIG (2019-2021)

External assessor, SSHRC Insight Grant (2019)

Member of Steering Committee on Methods and Policy Uses of International Large-Scale Assessments, National Academy of Education (2015-2018)

Committee member, Bereday Award for best article of 2016 in Comparative Education Review (2017)

Co-Instructor, Workshop on Hierarchical Linear Modelling with Large-Scale International Databases (2015 CIES and AERA Annual Meetings)

Discussion co-leader (with Yossi Shavit), "Recommendations for Measuring and Monitoring Equity in Upper Secondary Education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training," Workshop on "Framing and Measuring Inequalities in Post 2015 Education Targets," sponsored by Global Education Monitoring Report and UNESCO's Institute for Statistics. Dec. 1-2, 2014, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.

Instructor, "Calculating Indicators of Equity: Categorical Variables and Trends." Workshop on Techniques for Collection and Analysis of Learning Assessments for Equity Studies, April 16-19, 2013, Interamerican Development Bank, Washington, DC.