Amy Hawn Nelson

Amy Hawn Nelson is a member of the Research Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as the Director of Training and Technical Assistance for Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, an initiative out of UPenn that focuses on the development, use, and innovation of integrated data systems (IDS) for policy analysis and program reform. Prior to joining AISP in 2017, Dr. Hawn Nelson was the Director of Social Research for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Director of the Institute for Social Capital, an IDS charged with supporting university research and enhancing data-informed decision-making in the Charlotte region. Prior to entering the world of IDS in 2012, Hawn Nelson served as a teacher and school leader for 11 years. She is a community engaged researcher generally focusing on intersectional topics related to education policy, and was selected as a Charlottean of the Year in 2015 largely due to her research and community engagement around issues of educational equity. She is a co-editor of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: School Desegregation and Resegregation in Charlotte (Feb. 2015, Harvard Education Press). Amy and her husband Allen are proud graduates of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and continue to live in Charlotte with two feisty daughters, Fincher and Emory (CMS Class of 2032 and 2035).

Stories by Amy Hawn Nelson

As charters and choice expand, so does segregation

As charter school enrollment expands, statistics show they are more segregated than traditional public schools. Are they more effective? Research is inconclusive. A look at charter schools in the...

School choice: Many options but conclusions elusive

Around 80,000 students in Mecklenburg County choose to attend a school other than their neighborhood public school. But what might that mean for the caliber of education the students receive? 

Charter, private, home school or CMS? Is enrollment shifting?

Are more Mecklenburg County parents these days opting for private school over public, or for charters or home schools?

Beyond the test score bump at Shamrock Gardens School

This article is a summary of a yearlong study to be published in an edited volume printed by Harvard Educational Press in fall 2014. The study uses administrative records from the N.C.