Rachel Fish is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her M.A.T. in Special Education from Western New Mexico University. She received her A.B. in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College.
Fish's research examines the roles of race/ethnicity, gender, and other social categories, as well as the role of school context, in how students are placed in special and gifted education, and in how these services affect student outcomes. She is interested in the construction of perceptions of ability and disability, and in how special and gifted education relate to broader stratification processes. Fish uses multiple methods to address these questions, including experimental and quasi-experimental methods, observational data analyses, and interviews. Her work has been published in Social Science Research, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, the American Journal of Education, and Education and Urban Society. Her research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, and the Institute of Education Sciences.
Prior to joining NYU, Fish was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Notre Dame's Center for Research on Educational Opportunity. Before her doctoral work, she taught students with special needs in an elementary school in northwestern New Mexico for five years, where she was placed by Teach For America. At NYU, she teaches courses to students preparing to become special education teachers, including introductory coursework, methods and content for students with low-incidence disabilities, and using classroom data for reflective practice.