Patrick is the Director of Legislative Policy with the American Federation for Children and a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. He has worked in the education field as a teacher, administrator, policy advisor, and researcher for over a decade.
His current research broadly focuses on the effects of new teachers, teacher working conditions, and teacher turnover. With funding from the American Education Research Association and National Science Foundation, his dissertation utilizes longitudinal administrative data from the Indiana Department of Education as well as survey data to examine how various forms of teacher experience and relational trust matter for student behavior, achievement, and teacher retention.
Graff received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2011 with a BA in Philosophy and Chinese. He then taught third grade in Tampa, Florida, where many of his students were able to attend due to the tax credit scholarships provided by Step Up for Students. He earned a Master of Education degree from the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Teaching Fellows program. Immediately following, he was offered the opportunity to return to Notre Dame to help recruit, mentor, and accompany ACE teachers as they entered the classroom in under-resourced Catholic schools across the country. He spent three years as an Associate Director of the ACE program before beginning doctoral work in Notre Dame’s Sociology Department.
At AFC, Patrick advises the Government Affairs team on school choice policy. He is the author of a novel policy proposal titled “Teacher Spending Accounts” that seeks to support teachers across all school types.