Current Projects

1.  Computer Science for English Learners (CSforEL): Increasing Participation and Achievement in Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) for ELs (CSTA and UCSD, 2019-2023)

CSforEL will attract, retain, and engage English learners in AP CSP by integrating language and CS instructional practices and leveraging a strong CS network organized into regional Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) for teachers. On this project, I lead a collaborative equity audit process with principals, counselors, and teachers to identify challenges and opportunities to promoting access to CS for ELs, and to develop more inclusive school policies and practices.

2.  Fostering Access and Equity for English Learner Students and Families During COVID-19

Embedded in a research-policy partnership including state education agency leaders from 10 states, this project is a collaborative effort to co-design resources to center EL students and families in restart and recovery efforts, and to examine how state context mediates state leaders’ efforts to uphold English learner’s civil rights. Supported by the Council of Chief State School Officers, our resources were compiled in a state leadership guide. We are currently extending this work to promote the use of research evidence in state leadership practice and policy implementation and to identify state leadership practices that elevate ELs in systemic change efforts.

3.  Science 20/20: Bringing Language Learners into Focus through Community-University-School Partnership, U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition (co-PI with Carla Zembal-Saul, 2016-2021)

The purpose of Science 20/20 is to develop a substantive, coherent, and sustainable community-based professional development model that fosters ambitious and equitable science and language teaching practices for preservice and inservice elementary teachers, school leaders, community educators, and families in the Hazleton Area School District (HASD) and supports the academic success of English learners in grades K-6. Involved in the initial partnership development with Hazleton while a faculty member at Penn State, I serve as the project evaluator.

Recent Projects

1. Formadores de Docentes: A Cross-Border Partnership to Serve the Students We Share, University of California Office of the President and California Department of Education (PI, 2017-2019)

This project was a collaboration between the University of California, San Diego, San Diego State University, the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, and las Escuelas Normales in Baja California. Together, we developed and implemented a binational teacher education curriculum focused on the assets and needs of transnationally mobile students in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

2. Closing the Achievement Gap for Long-Term and Late-Arriving English Learners, William T. Grant Foundation (co-Investigator with PIs Laura Hill and Julian Betts, 2016-2018)

This mixed methods project examined the implementation of course assignment and reclassification policies for long-term and late-arriving English learners in San Diego and Los Angeles, as well as the how aspects of the academic environment (e.g., school settings and instructional programs) influenced English learner outcomes.

3. Exploring Teacher Learning in New Immigrant Destinations: Practice and Policy ImplicationsNational Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship (PI, 2016-2018)

This study explored elementary school teachers’ opportunities to learn from one another about English learner (EL) instruction in two new immigrant destinations, one urban and one suburban. Further, it examined how district and school organizational contexts support teachers’ EL-related learning opportunities, and the implications for EL student achievement.

4. Recently-Arrived English Learner Case Studies: A CCSSO Collaborative Project (co-PI with PI Ilana Umansky and co-PI Dafney Dabach, 2016-2017)

The purpose of this study was to understand how school districts and schools are developing supports for recently-arrived English learners (RAELs, or newcomers). We documented the policies, practices, services, and resources that six districts across the country have put into place and explore the continued challenges educators experience as they work to address RAELs’ diverse needs.

5. Fostering Research Use in School Districts through External Partnerships: The Role of District Capacity, William T. Grant Foundation (co-PI with PI Cynthia Coburn and co-PIs James P. Spillane & Anne-Ruth Allen, William T. Grant Foundation, 2015-2017)

This project focused on exploring the organizational conditions that facilitate the absorption of new research knowledge by school districts engaged in instructional decision-making with external partners.

6. The Distributed Leadership Study, Northwestern University (PI James P. Spillane)

Stemming from NebraskaMATH, a project funded by the National Science Foundation, this project examined the development of instructional guidance infrastructures for elementary mathematics education, and how these infrastructures facilitated teachers’ interactions and sensemaking around new mathematics curricula.