AEFP 43rd Annual Conference

Hilton Portland & Executive Towers, Portland
March 15-17, 2018

AEFP 43rd Annual Conference

AEFP 43rd Annual Conference

Hilton Portland & Executive Towers, Portland
March 15-17, 2018

This year’s conference is coming up in just over a month! The agenda features over 400 papers and 13 policy talks over three jam-packed days. In addition, we have several exciting events and opportunities planned for the membership.

Sydney Chaffee
2017 National Teacher of the Year
  • Keynote address by Sydney Chaffee, National Teacher of the Year, Friday 4:45 pm.
    Ms. Chaffee is a high school humanities teacher at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, Massachusetts and is serving as the 2017 National Teacher of the Year. She will be speaking on “The Human Face of Education Data,” telling stories from her classroom about some of the real people within the statistics. Audience interaction will feature questions and comments from the floor using tossable/throwable soft microphones (‘Chatbox’).
  • Candidates for Board of Directors: Thomas A. Downes, Mark Long, Madeline Mavrogordato, Christiana Stoddard, Lesley J. Turner, Martin West, Michael Gottfried, Cara Jackson, Nathaniel Schwartz, Abigail Payne
  • Featured policy talks, Thursday 4:45 pm.
    This special session is devoted to three policy talks of particular relevance to our AEFP membership and to the current policy environment. They are the only conference activities during this timeslot and act as mini-general sessions. Topics include private school choice (chaired by David Figlio), racial inequality in education (chaired by Amy Ellen Schwartz), and a workshop on communicating with policymakers (chaired by Peg Goertz).
  • AEFP Ambassadors program
    The AEFP Ambassadors program aims to help new members and policymakers/practitioners make connections to our existing members at the conference. Ambassadors will wear special name badges to designate them as a friendly person to approach during networking sessions. They will also participate in a free pre-conference breakfast and networking session for new members on Thursday at 7:30 am to help get new relationships started early in the conference. If you’d like to serve as an ambassador, please contact Angie Hull at by Friday February 23.
  • Brown-bag lunch and poster sessions
    This year’s poster sessions will be conducted during the lunch hours on Thursday and Friday. Grab your lunch at a nearby restaurant or food truck, then bring it back to the poster session and check out some new research while you eat. AEFP will provide free soft drinks, desserts, and café table seating during both sessions.

Other Conference Logistics:

  • Papers due to chairs by March 1. Chairs read papers in advance and ask a few questions of the panel to start conversation. Chairs are not expected (in fact, are expected not!) to have slides to accompany their questions.
  • Consider providing one-on-one feedback to and you may consider swapping papers you’re your session’s panelists for one-on-one feedback outside of the session time.
  • Use the "Program Contacts" link on the program page for session arrangements. Please note: the online program is always the most recent version, reflecting ongoing changes, withdrawals, etc.
  • AEFP’s media policy: In all sessions, each presenter is responsible for indicating whether or not the work may be cited, tweeted, photographed, recorded, or otherwise disseminated. Audience members are expected to respect each author's policy and act accordingly, as work may be embargoed. Similarly, questions from the floor or other session dialog may not be disseminated without explicit permission. All presentations are assumed to be off the record unless the presenter otherwise specifies.
  • Mother’s room: AEFP has arranged for a Mother’s room at the conference hotel on the ballroom (lowest) level. Visit the AEFP registration desk for the key to this private room, available throughout the duration of the conference.
  • Online/regular registration ends Thursday March 1. If you must register after that time, please plan to pay the late registration rate on-site on Wednesday from 3-6, Thursday and Friday 7-5, and Saturday 7-1. Please note: You must be registered to present and attend the conference, regardless of length of presentation or stay.
  • Preconference workshops:
    • The finance workshop with Bruce Baker, Mark Weber and Matt Chingos is now close to registrations.
    • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will provide a comprehensive overview of state-of-the-art data tools from NCES that allow users to easily access and analyze NCES data. Bring your laptops for this hands-on workshop! Cost is $100, click here for more information.

Travel, Food & Fun in Portland

Portland provides many opportunities for food, drink, culture and entertainment. Visit for many details on activities, sights, tours, parks and gardens, and much more. Some highlights for AEFP attendees:

Portland has a train system that travels downtown to near the hotel from the PDX airport, and public transit also includes bus and streetcar service. For more information, visit TriMet’s site at For trips to various Pacific coast towns, the Northwest Route of the Oregon Point bus system offers inexpensive routes running twice daily. For more information visit

Portland is well known for its food carts, the nearest location being about a 5 minute walk from the Portland Hilton at S.W. 10th Ave. & Alder St., Portland, OR 97205. A map of the 500 area food trucks is available at

As AEFP’s hotel block dwindles at the Hilton Portland and its sister hotel across the street, The Duniway, consider staying at another area hotel of your choosing:

Congratulations to AEFP’s 2017 award winners; their work is featured throughout the conference. 2018 winners will be announced at the Welcome Reception.

New Scholar Ayesha Hashim studies the implementation and impacts of district-level school reforms focused on school accountability, choice, autonomy, and capacity building. She is a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Southern California for a Spencer-funded study on the implementation and outcomes of portfolio districts in three cities: Los Angeles, Denver, and New Orleans. Her work is featured in session 10.12.
New Scholar Luis A. Rodriguez s a doctoral candidate in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. He has a sustained interest in education policy issues and program evaluation, and his research primarily utilizes quasi-experimental methods to investigate the impact of various personnel policies on the K-12 teacher workforce. Luis is currently completing his dissertation as a NAEd/Spencer Doctoral Fellow to study the extent to which tenure policy reforms affect teacher mobility patterns and effectiveness. His work is featured in session 4.08 and 10.10.
New Scholar Rachel White is a postdoctoral scholar/research associate at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. Her research integrates sophisticated quantitative and qualitative methods to explore how institutions, politics, and organizational structures influence state and local education policymaking and implementation processes. Her work is featured in session 7.04.
Jean Flanigan Dissertation Award - David Blazar is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and Economics at the University of Maryland. His research examines teacher labor markets, with a focus on professional learning, organizational contexts of schools and districts, and accountability policy. His work is featured in session 7.04.
Early Career Lindsay C. Page is an assistant professor of research methodology at the School of Education and a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work focuses on quantitative methods and their application to questions regarding the effectiveness of educational policies and programs across the pre-school to postsecondary spectrum. Her work is featured in sessions 6.09 and 7.02.
Thomas A. Downes Award - Seth Gershenson is winner of this inaugural paper award in conjunction with the Editorial Board of Education Finance and Policy. He is an associate professor at American University. His approach to teaching and scholarship is to apply economic approaches to practical, policy-driven questions in public education, specifically teacher behavior. His work is featured in session 2.03.

Nanci Babigian, wife of George, long-time AEFA executive director, passed away in late January

Nanci Babigian, wife of George, the long-time executive director of the association and emeritus executive director, passed away in late January ( She devoted many hours to keeping the organization going, especially during annual conferences when she ran the registration desk and ensured that sessions ran smoothly. She also served as the unofficial hostess at countless meetings, both formal and informal, of the association's board. Our thoughts and prayers are with George and Nanci's family.