Despite being so close to dissertation submission (yes, I wrote at night, in between sessions, and on my flights), I flew off to D.C. for a fun three day institute given by the American Educational Research Association on causal inference analyses for education policy research. The institute focused on design of randomized experiments and challenges to implementation in educational settings. We considered methodological approaches such as propensity scores, regression discontinuity, instrumental variables, path analysis, and structural equation modeling as methods of establishing causal relationships. I met graduate students and faculty from around the U.S., and hope that we will have connections that we can develop into future collaborations.
I encourage anyone in education policy that wants to spend a few days with great faculty teachers dialoguing about causal inference with research, apply to attend. Watch for the opportunity here: http://www.aera.net/ProfessionalOpportunitiesFunding/FundingOpportunities/StatisticalAnalysisCausalInference/tabid/14751/Default.aspx.