Desiree O'Neal

  • 2021

Research Concentration

  • K-12 Education Policy

Research Interest

Community Engagement, School Improvement, School Design, Race and Education, Poverty and Social Mobility, Resource Equity, Policy Analysis and Program Implementation, Access and School Choice
Desiree  O'Neal

Contact Information

Websites and Social Media


  • Julie Marsh

Research Center


Desiree O’Neal is a Ph.D. student in the Urban Education Policy program at the University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education and research assistant at the National Center Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH) and the USC Rossier Center for Education Policy, Equity, and Governance (CEPEG). She is advised by Dr. Julie Marsh. Her research critically interrogates the racial politics of public education while also exploring the various ways class and social capital shape local, state, and federal K-12 education policy and decision-making. Desiree uses mixed methods to examine the effectiveness of education reform policies and their role in creating more access and opportunity for marginalized students and their communities. 

Prior to attending the University of Southern California, Desiree worked as a Research and Policy Intern for the Learning Policy Institute and as a Community Coordinator/ Consultant for the New York City Department of Education. Desiree is also a former middle school reading and social studies teacher. She received a M.A. in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College.