Stanford Experts

Sean Reardon

Professor of poverty and equality at the Graduate School of Education and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.


(650) 736-8517


Sean Reardon’s research investigates the causes, patterns, trends and consequences of social and educational inequality. He studies issues of residential and school segregation and of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement and educational success. Current research focuses on causes and patterns of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic achievement disparities; effects of the No Child Left Behind legislation on racial academic achievement gaps, the effects of school integration policies on segregation patterns and educational outcomes; and income inequality and its educational and social consequences.Reardon’s research has shown that the gap in academic achievement between children from high- and low-income families has grown sharply in the last three  decades. This research notes that income has become a more powerful predictor of educational success than race in recent decades. Reardon’s current research explores the reasons for this important change.Coverage of his research has noted that the shift in housing patterns has far-reaching implications for the next generation because youngsters in poor neighborhoods have less access to high-quality schools, child care and preschool. Also, they see fewer economically stable neighbors who might serve as role models. The isolation of the prosperous can lead to less support for policies and investments that benefit the broader public, such as schools, parks and public transportation systems.