Who We Are
Who We Are
SIG Officers

Co-Chairs (Term 2 years)

  • Dr. Vidya Shah is an educator, scholar and activist committed to equity and racial justice in the service of liberatory education. She is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, and her research explores anti-racist and decolonizing approaches to district reform and leadership in schooling and communities. She also explores educational barriers to the success and well-being of Black, Indigenous, and racialized students. Dr. Shah teaches in the Master of Leadership and Community Engagement, as well as undergraduate and graduate level courses in education. She has worked in the Model Schools for Inner Cities Program in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and was an elementary classroom teacher in the TDSB. Dr. Shah is committed to bridging the gaps between communities, classrooms, school districts and the academy, to re/imagine emancipatory possibilities for schooling. 
  • Caitlin Farrell is director of the National Center of Research in Policy and Practice (NCRPP) and associate research professor at the University of Colorado Boulder.. She specializes in research on policy implementation and K–12 educational reform, with a particular focus on organizational theory. She uses mixed methods to explore the links between educational policy and the conditions that foster successful reform, including examining evidence use at the classroom, school, and system levels and the implementation and effects of different governance structures. Prior to joining NCRPP, she served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied research-practice partnerships between school districts and research organizations. She holds a bachelor of arts from Dartmouth College, a master of science in teaching from Pace University, and a doctor of philosophy in urban education policy from the University of Southern California. Farrell’s work has been published in American Educational Research Journal, AERA Open, and Educational Policy, and her work has been supported by the William T. Grant Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and The Wallace Foundation.

Co-Program Chairs (Term 2 years) 

  • René Espinoza Kissell is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her scholarship centers on the political economy of urban education and the racial politics of privatization with a focus on school district reforms. Her dissertation is a comparative case study on the evolution of district governance, including community and elite advocacy around private sector management under the portfolio model. Her current work seeks to understand how urban regimes, or governing coalitions, define the directions and strategies of local reform efforts as audit agencies deepen the fiscal accountability and racialized surveillance of urban districts. She is also affiliated with the National Education Policy Center, researching equitable education funding that attends to poverty and structural racism. René received her Ph.D in Education Policy, Politics, and Leadership from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has been supported by fellowships from AERA, the University of California, and UC Berkeley’s Institute for the Study of Society Issues. Her writings appear in venues such as Urban Education and American Journal of Education
  • Ayesha K. Hashim (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is an Assistant Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on district-level school reforms aimed at improving student achievement in underserved communities, including popular initiatives to (1) modernize instruction with technology, (2) expand school choice for students, and (3) improve teacher quality through performance evaluation and coaching. A mixed-methods researcher, Hashim draws on theories from economics, sociology, and organizational change to study the impacts of reforms on teacher and student outcomes along with leadership, organizational, and implementation conditions that shape these results. Hashim’s work has been published in Education Finance and PolicyEconomics of Education ReviewEducational Evaluation and Policy AnalysisComputers and Education, and Peabody Journal of Education. She received the New Scholar Award in 2017 from the Association for Education Finance and Policy.

Secretary (Term 2 years) 

  • Carrie Sampson is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.  She earned her Ph.D. in Public Affairs from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Education from Syracuse University, a UNLV graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, and a B.S. in Economics from University of Nevada, Reno. Drawing from a range of critical theories, Carrie’s research focuses on educational leadership, community advocacy, and policymaking. Her most recent research projects on school board policymaking, district structures, community organizing, and school desegregation have been published in journals such as Education Administration Quarterly, American Journal of Education, Urban Education, Educational Policy, and Teachers College Record. She is also a mother-scholar of two beautiful children who keep her both grounded and inspired to continue our collective work toward educational equity. Contact



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