Supporting Multilingual Learners Though Regional Comprehensive Centers
Multilingual learners (MLs) are one of the fastest growing student populations in the U.S., and federally funded Regional Comprehensive Centers (RCC) are here to help SEAs and LEAs improve relevant policies and practices to best support these students. Join panelists as they describe collaboration between RCCs and Hawai’i, Nebraska, and Alabama around three innovative initiatives that benefit MLs. These initiatives include the implementation of policies to strengthen educators’ knowledge, skills, and use of culturally sustaining instructional materials; a new model that uses data and evidence-based practices to improve teacher practice; and a new framework that provides more equitable opportunities for MLs. Gain real-world examples, helpful insights, and unique perspectives that can help shed light on the diverse opportunities available to SEAs and LEAs.
Heidi Goertzen is a senior research associate at RMC Research Corporation. She currently leads the Region 7 Comprehensive Center (R7CC) Alabama Improving English Learner Student Achievement project and serves as Deputy Director for R7CC. She is also the Partnership Manager on the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southeast Alabama Improving English Learner (EL) Outcomes project. Prior to her current role, she served at state and district levels, including director of ESL services, federal programs, and student assessment. Early in her career she taught English as a second language in Texas, Indiana, and Alabama.
Jeanette King, a senior researcher at McREL International, has spent her career working for quality instruction for all learners. She has been a classroom teacher, helped prepare preservice and inservice teachers for inclusive practices in general, bilingual, and special education, and currently provides research and technical support to state and local education agencies through the Region 11 Comprehensive Center. Dr. King holds a Ph.D in Educational Psychology from Rutgers university as well as Masters degrees from Bank Street College of Education and the University of Vermont. She has published and presented nationally and internationally as Jeanette Joyce.
Caroline E. Parker, Ed.D., is a senior principal education researcher at SRI Education. She has worked for more than 20 years with states and districts to improve programs for culturally and linguistically diverse learners, leading both quantitative and qualitative research studies on topics including identifying disabilities among English learners, understanding patterns in reclassification of English proficiency status, and identifying strategies for high quality instructional practices. Parker leads the National Comprehensive Center multilingual learner work, and directs SRI’s Multilingual Learner Program Area, which works to ensure equitable educational opportunities and outcomes for multilingual learners from birth to post-college.
Dr. Wilson serves as Director for the Region 19 Comprehensive Center (American Samoa, Hawaiʻi, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands), delivering capacity building services in the areas of newcomer education, migrant education, multilingual/multicultural education, educational equity, and educator effectiveness. Her experience as policy analyst at the Hawaiʻi State Legislature and faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa give Dr. Wilson a unique understanding of the Pacific region’s policy and human context and an ability to efficiently access people and data as necessary to respond to stakeholder needs. She earned her PhD at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and holds a certificate in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.