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Local Academic Goes From Studying Policy To Shaping It

Aired 1/16/12 on KPBS News.

SDSU Professor Karen Cadiero-Kaplan takes helm of the English Learner Support Division at the California Department of Education.

— Karen Cadiero-Kaplan has spent years preparing bilingual teachers for San Diego area schools at San Diego State University. Starting this week, she’ll be the first head of the California Department of Education’s English Learner Support Division.

One of Cadiero-Kaplan’s first projects will be revamping standards for English Language Development. She’ll also oversee migrant student education and dual-language programs where students learn in English and a second language, an approach she hopes to see become more widespread in the state.

“The data consistently shows that after fourth or fifth grade you start to see a spike in the test scores where students from a bilingual program – and English learners as well – will outperform even monolingual English speakers,” she said.

Cadiero-Kaplan began her career teaching elementary and secondary special education, as well as English as a second language at the community college level. She went on to become a professor and a provider of professional development for teachers and administrators working with bilingual students. She won’t leave the SDSU faculty, but will be an educator on loan to the state.

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