Bailey Alexandra Brown

Bailey Alexandra Brown


Parent Behavior and School Choice

Dissertation Review Committee

Research Interest


Bailey Brown is a Ph.D. student in Sociology, a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow and Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. Her research specialities include education and education policy, race/ethnic studies, urban sociology, and social stratification/inequality.

Bailey’s most recent research has explored issues of race and educational inequality in urban neighborhoods. Bailey's work focuses on how neighborhood contexts shape family and youth outcomes. She has used GIS analysis to examine charter school development in the Greater Philadelphia area and conducted a qualitative study of West Philadelphia’s rental housing sector to provide a context for understanding how low-income parents seek affordable rental housing. As part of her dissertation work, Bailey researches the specific disadvantages low-income Black and Latino families face in the area of housing and school choice in New York City.

Bailey’s senior thesis, which was awarded the E. Digby Baltzell Award, focused on the intersection of housing choices and schooling options available to families in West Philadelphia. She conducted interviews with parents to explore how they navigated their decision-making process and to provide insight into the obstacles parents may face given limited access to neighborhood resources.

Bailey received her undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania with minors in urban education and Africana studies. She participated in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program at her home institution and the Leadership Alliance research program at the University of Chicago. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a mentor and tutor for students attending schools in West Philadelphia, which cultivated her interests in schooling experiences and neighborhoods.


  • M. Phil. Columbia University
  • M.A. Columbia University
  • B.A. University of Pennsylvania (Cum Laude)


  • Sociology of Education (Instructor)
  • Sociology Senior Seminar (TA)
  • Workshop on Wealth and Inequality (TA)