Bilingual Common Core Initiative: National Advisory Group Member Bios

Class in lecture hall

Diane August is a managing director at AIR and is responsible for directing the English language learner (ELL) work for the Education Program. Her area of expertise is the development of science and literacy in second-language learners in grades PK–12. Currently, she is assisting several states and districts in implementing the Common Core State Standards for ELLs.

Prior to her position at AIR, Dr. August was a senior research scientist at the Center for Applied Linguistics, where she served as principal investigator for a ten-year National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Program project that investigated the development of literacy in ELLs; she also was co-principal investigator at the National Research and Development Center for English Language Learners funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). In addition, she was co-principal investigator on two IES–funded studies; the first focused on developing a comprehension assessment for ELLs, and the second focused on implementing and evaluating bilingual and English as a Second Language programs for ELLs. She also served as staff director for the National Literacy Panel on Language Minority Children and Youth.

Previously, Dr. August was a senior program officer at the National Academy of Sciences, where she was study director for the Committee on Developing a Research Agenda on the Education of Limited-English-Proficient and Bilingual Students. Dr. August has worked as a teacher, school administrator, legislative assistant, grants officer for the Carnegie Corporation, and director of education for the Children’s Defense Fund. She has published widely in journals and books.

Ph.D., Education, postdoctoral fellowship in psychology, and M.A., Second Language Education, Stanford University; B.A., Spanish, Humanities/English, Wheaton College

Sharen Bertrando is a Special Education Development Program Specialist with WestEd's Center for Prevention and Early Intervention, and an Associate for the agency's English Learners and the Language Arts (ELLA) teacher professional development project. Bertrando develops materials and provides trainings, resources, and technical assistance for projects such as the Least Restrictive Environment Resources Project that focuses on improving outcomes for students with special needs. In addition, she provides technical assistance and training to support diverse learners using Universal Design for Learning and technology as effective tools to access and master the Common Core State Standards. Bertrando contributed to the state of Hawaii special education evaluation. She also contributed to the alignment and linkage studies, development and implementation of frameworks for standards, and assessment and accountability of students with disabilities that impact policy and practice for the Colorado Department of Education, Kansas State Department of Education, and the Louisiana Department of Education. 

She also works with the California Comprehensive Center and the California Department of Education, providing technical assistance and developing education resources to support students with disabilities. For example, she developed training modules addressing how to provide access to the Common Core State Standards through standards-aligned individualized education programs.
Bertrando cowrote Teaching English Learners and Students with Learning Difficulties in the Inclusive Classroom: A Guidebook for Teachers (2012). She has more than 20 years of teaching experience. She received an MA in educational leadership, holds an assistive technology certificate, and is pursuing a doctorate in learning technologies at Pepperdine University.

H. Gary Cook directs research for the WIDA Consortium and is a research scientist attached to the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Dr. Cook received his Ph.D. in Educational Measurement, Evaluation and Research Design from Michigan State University and has a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language and a Bachelor’s in linguistics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He served as the Director of the Office of Educational Accountability for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, where he directed the state's public school assessment programs. He worked at Harcourt Assessment, Inc. as the Vice President of State Accounts and was responsible for consulting with state and national clients on assessments and assessment-related issues, especially as it relates to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Dr. Cook also served as a research scientist for the Milwaukee Public School system. He is an experienced Federal Peer Reviewer for NCLB and serves on several states’ technical advisory committees. His recent research interests have focused on the relationship between English language proficiency and content proficiency assessments, alignment of standards and assessments, policy issues associated with Title III accountability, and applying growth modeling techniques to address key educational questions for English language learners.

Jim Cummins received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Alberta in the area of educational psychology. He is currently a professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, Learning in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. His research has focused on the nature of language proficiency and second language acquisition with particular emphasis on the social and educational barriers that limit academic success for culturally diverse students. He has served as a consultant on language planning in education to numerous international agencies. His publications include: Bilingualism and Special Education: Issues in Assessment and Pedagogy (Multilingual Matters, 1984); Bilingualism in Education: Aspects of Theory, Research and Practice (with Merrill Swain; Longman, 1986); Minority Education: From Shame to Struggle (with Tove Skutnabb-Kangas; Multilingual Matters, 1988); Empowering Minority Students (California Association for Bilingual Education, 1989); Heritage Languages: The Development and Denial of Canada’s Linguistic Resources (with Marcel Danesi; Our Schools, Our Selves, 1990). A volume that analyzes the educational implications of the Internet was published in September 1995: Brave New Schools: Challenging Cultural Illiteracy through Global Learning Networks (with Dennis Sayers; St. Martin’s Press). In May 1996, The California Association for Bilingual Education published Negotiating Identities: Education for Empowerment in a Diverse Society which focuses on strategies for promoting academic development among culturally diverse students. A second edition of this book will appear in early 2001. In 1997, he co-edited (with David Corson) a volume on Bilingual Education as part of the Kluwer Encyclopedia on Language and Education. In October 2000, Multilingual Matters published his book Language, Power and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossfire. Cummins is also an author of ScottForesman ESL: Accelerating English Language Learning a Grade 1-8 ESL program published in 1996 (other authors are Anna Uhl Chamot, Carolyn Kessler, J. Michael O’Malley, and Lily Wong Fillmore). He is also an author of the Scott Foresman Spanish reading program, Lectura, and has contributed to Scott Foresman Science and Reading programs. In the area of test development he is an author of the Bilingual Verbal Abilities Test (with Ana Muñoz-Sandoval, Criselda Alvarado, and Mary Ruef; Riverside Publishers). In May 1997, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. In October, 2000, his 1986 paper “Empowering minority students: A framework for intervention” was chosen by the Harvard Educational Review (HER) to appear in the HER Classics Series.

Robert Davis is the Executive Director of the Chinese Language & Culture Initiatives at the College Board. Before joining the College Board, he led the Chicago Public Schools’ Chinese language programs, which he began in 1999, and also was director of the Confucius Institute in Chicago.

Dr. Yvonne Freeman is a professor of bilingual education at The University of Texas at Brownsville. She is interested in effective education for bilingual learners. Dr. Freeman and her husband, David Freeman present regularly at state, national, and international conferences. They have done work abroad in several countries including Indonesia, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, Lithuania, Spain, and Argentina.

Dr. Freeman has published jointly with her husband on topics of second language teaching, biliteracy, bilingual education, linguistics, and second language acquisition. Their newest book is Between Worlds: Access to Second Language Acquisition (3rd) Edition (2011) published by Heinemann. Other books include Academic Language for English Language Learners and Struggling Readers (2009), the revised translation of, La enseñanza de la lectura y la escritura en el salón bilingüe y de doble inmersión  (2009) bothpublished by Heinemann, English Language Learners: The Essential Guide (2007), published by Scholastic and a book they edited, Diverse Learners in the Mainstream Classroom (2008)published by Heinemann. Other books written by the Freemans and published by Heinemann include the second edition of Teaching Reading and Writing in Spanish and English in Bilingual and Dual Language Classrooms, Dual Language Essentials for Teachers and Administrators, Essential Linguistics: What You Need to Know to Teach Reading, ESL, Spelling, Phonics, and Grammar; Closing the Achievement Gap: How to Reach Limited Formal Schooling and Long-Term English Learners, Teaching Reading in Multilingual Classrooms, and  ESL/EFL Teaching: Principles for Success. The Freemans are authors of Houghton Mifflin’s programs, On Our Way to English and Literacy by Design. They have also authored a professional development program for teachers of ELLs, STEEL (Strategic Teaching Essentials for English Learners). They are presently working with Rubicon on a content-based series for middle school students.

Rebecca Freeman Field, Ph.D., is a sociolinguist and language educator dedicated to the professional development of educators who work with language learners. She is adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Director of the Language Education Division of Caslon Publishing and Consulting. Freeman Field advises teachers and administrators in the United States and internationally on English as a second language, bilingual education, and world language policies, program development, implementation, and evaluation. She is author of Bilingual Education and Social Change, Building on Community Bilingualism, and co-editor (with Else Hamayan) of English Language Learners at School: A Guide for Administrators.

Danling Fu, Ph.D, is a Professor of Language and Culture, in the School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education in the University of Florida. She receives her BA in linguistics and MA in English literature and her doctoral in Reading and Writing Instruction. She teaches courses for both undergraduate and graduate students addressing the topics on teaching methods, composition theory/research, writing development and assessment, and literacy/language /culture. She researches and provides inservice and consultancy to public schools nationally, with a special focus on writing instruction and literacy instruction for English language learners. For a decade, she worked in New York City schools with a high percentage of new immigrant student population and low graduation rate. She serves on ELL Advisory Board of Pearson Publishers, and works with policy makers in Washington, DC on issues related to new immigrant students. Her publication includes four books My Trouble is My English, An Island of English, Writing between Languages, and Teaching English in EFL contexts, and over 70 journal articles, book chapters and book reviews addressing teaching English language learners and children’s writing development. Her recent research focuses on cultural tradition and writing instruction and its impact on bilingual writers.

Dr. Eugene García is Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University and the University of California, Berkeley. He served as Professor and Vice President for Education Partnerships at ASU from 2006-2011 and as Dean of the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education from 2002-2006. He joined ASU from the University of California, Berkeley where he was Professor and Dean of The Graduate School of Education (1995-2001). He has served as an elected member of a local school board and a Senior Officer in the US Department of Education. He has published extensively in areas of early learning, bilingual development and equal educational opportunity. His most recent books include Teaching and Learning in Two Languages (2005); Early Education of Dual Language Learners (2010), edited with E. Frede, and, Cognition, Bilingualism and Education (2011) with José Náñez.

Kenji Hakuta is the Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University and co-chair of Stanford’s Understanding Language, an initiative that focuses attention on the role of language in subject-area learning, with a special focus on helping English Language Learners meet the new Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. He has been at Stanford since 1989, except for three years when he left to serve the new University of California at Merced as its Founding Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. He received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University, and began his career as a developmental psycholinguist at Yale University. He is the author of many research papers and books on language, bilingualism and education, including Mirror of Language: The Debate on Bilingualism. Hakuta is active in education policy. He has testified to Congress and courts on language policy, the education of language minority students, affirmative action in higher education, and improvement of quality in educational research. Hakuta is an elected Member of the National Academy of Education, a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recognized for his accomplishments in Linguistics and Language Sciences. He has served on the board of various organizations, including the Educational Testing Service, the Spencer Foundation, and the New Teacher Center.

Angélica M. Infante is the Chief Executive Officer of the NYCDOE’s Office of English Language Learners in the Division of Students with Disabilities and ELLs. She sets policies and implements programs that have an impact on more than 150,000 ELLs each year. Prior to this position, she served the Department in a variety of instructional leadership positions, including executive director in the Office of ELLs and ELL regional instructional specialist of Region Ten, specializing in professional development, instruction, and compliance. Ms. Infante began her career as a bilingual classroom teacher in the South Bronx before moving to Community School District Six in the heart of Washington Heights in 1995. As a dual language teacher, she worked to maintain and expand her students’ native language and culture. As a dual language project director, she worked to create a curriculum in two languages that met the specialized learning needs of the Dominican community. She has served as director of the Early Childhood Center located at the George Washington High School campus, assistant principal, and bilingual coordinator. She has also served as an adjunct professor.  Ms. Infante holds 2 masters degrees from Mercy College: in Education and in School Administration & Supervision.  She is currently serving on Stanford University’s Understanding Language—a committee which guides the work on ELLs and the Common Core. 

Sue Pimentel.  After earning an advanced degree from Cornell University, Susan served as senior policy advisor to Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer, and subsequently as special counsel to then Superintendent of Schools John Murphy in Prince George's County, MD (the nation's sixteenth largest school district).  For over three decades, her work has focused on helping communities, districts, and states work together to advance meaningful and enduring education reform and to champion proven tools for increasing academic rigor. Her efforts have resulted in the phase-out of student tracking, enriched core curricula, and advances in results-based school accountability programs. Susan now works closely with fellow authors of the Common Core Standards David Coleman and Jason Zimba of Student Achievement Partners in supporting the faithful implementation of the Common Core.

Before her work as a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy, Susan was a chief architect of the American Diploma Project Benchmarks designed to close the gap between high school demands and postsecondary expectations. Since 2007, Susan has served on the National Assessment Governing Board, an independent, bipartisan board that sets policy for the national assessment. In addition to several articles, Susan is co-author with Denis P. Doyle of the best-selling book and CD-ROM, Raising the Standard: An Eight-Step Action Guide For Schools and Communities.

Catherine Snow is the Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to that appointment, she was the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education. She is an expert on language and literacy development in children, bilingual education, language policy issues in the U.S. and in developing nations, and testing policy. Her research interests include children's language development as influenced by interaction with adults in home and preschool settings, literacy development as related to language skills and as influenced by home and school factors, and issues related to the acquisition of English oral and literacy skills by language minority children.

Snow has co-authored books on language development – Pragmatic Development (with Anat Ninio) – and on literacy development – Unfulfilled Expectations: Home and School Influences on Literacy (with W. Barnes, J. Chandler, I. Goodman & L. Hemphill), and published many articles in refereed journals and chapters in edited volumes on these topics. She was the Editor, with John Locke, of Applied Psycholinguistics for 18 years. She serves or has served on numerous editorial boards, including Developmental Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Child Language, and the International Journal of Bilingualism. She co-directed the Child Language Data Exchange System for 10 years and served as a board member at the Center for Applied Linguistics and a member of several National Research Council committees and as the Chair of the NRC Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children. She chaired the Rand/OERI Study Group to establish a National Research Agenda for Reading and was the president of the American Educational Research Association in 1999-2000.

A member of the National Academy of Education, Snow has held visiting appointments at the University of Cambridge, England, Universidad Autonoma in Madrid, and The Institute of Advanced Studies of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and has guest taught at Universidad Central de Caracas, El Colegio de Mexico, Odense University in Denmark, and several institutions in The Netherlands.

Guadalupe Valdés is the Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education at Stanford University. Working in the area of applied linguistics, much of her work has focused on the English-Spanish bilingualism of Latinos in the United States and on discovering and describing how two languages are developed, used, and maintained by individuals who become bilingual in immigrant communities. Dr. Valdés has investigated Latino students in elementary, middle school, high school and college leading to six books and more than 70 articles. Her book Con respeto: Bridging the distance between culturally diverse families and schools (Teachers College Press, 1996) examines the lives of K-3 English-language learners and their families. The book Learning and not Learning English (Teachers College Press, 2001) follows four middle-school students over a two-year period. Expanding Definitions of Giftedness: Young Interpreters of Immigrant Background (Lawrence Erlbaum,2003) focuses on high school students who serve as young interpreters for their parents, and her last book Developing minority language resources: The case of Spanish in California (Valdés, Fishman, Chavez & Perez, Multilingual Matters, 2006) examines Spanish language maintenance and instruction in both secondary and postsecondary institutions. Her book Bilingualism and Testing: A Special Case of Bias (Ablex Publishing Co.,1994) is seen as a timely classic that explores the growing challenge of increased use of standardized tests. Her most recent book, Latino Children Learning English: Steps in the Journey (Teachers College Press) appeared in November, 2010. She is currently completing a manuscript of a new book, titled: Curricularizing Language.Valdés has carried out extensive work on maintaining and preserving heritage languages among minority populations since the 1970’s. Her early publications in this area include an edited volume of articles entitled: Teaching Spanish to the Hispanic Bilingual: Issues, Aims and Methods. (Valdés, Lozano, and García-Moya, eds. Teachers College Press, 1981). In the last several years, her work includes the book on Spanish in California referred to aboveas well as a number of articles including: “Toward an ecological vision of languages for all: The case of heritage languages” in A. Heining-Boynton, Realizing our vision of languages for all (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006); and “Bilingualism, heritage learners and SLA research: Opportunities lost or seized” (Modern Language Journal,2005). Valdés is also the co-author of a best-selling Spanish language textbook that focuses on the teaching of Spanish to Hispanic bilinguals. Español Escrito (first published by Scribners in 1978 and now published by Prentice Hall) is now in its sixth edition. She was awarded the Joshua Fishman Award for Outstanding Contributions and Leadership in the Heritage Language Field from the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA in 2010.

Valdés is a member of the American Academy of Education, a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and a member of the Board of Trustees of Educational Testing Service (ETS). She serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals including Review of Educational Research, Bilingual Review, Written Communication, Modern Language Journal, and Hispanic Journal of the Behavioral Sciences. In May 2000, Valdés received an honorary doctorate from the University of Arizona for her work on the use of Spanish in the United States.