Alejandro (Trae) Madrigal III is a native of the Rio Grande Valley. He is a doctoral student in the Educational Policy and Planning program at The University of Texas at Austin, where he previously earned B.A.s in Philosophy and Psychology, as well as an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy. Trae's experiences teaching secondary social studies courses with high-stakes or End-of-Course exams informed his perspective on the systems-level accountability pressures impacting students and schools. His background in philosophy influences his views on the importance of uplifting conversation on ways of knowing in the research process.
Trae's primary research interests include students experiences of schooling and the nature of family decision-making within the school choice process. He is particularly interested in understanding the ways students and families experience and make meaning of marketized and market-influenced educational spaces. Trae is also interested in the history of and alternatives to high-stakes testing, such as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam. His approach to research centers disproportionate negative impacts of historical and contemporary education policy on students of color and students from households identified as having low incomes, especially within majority-Latine geographic contexts.