Karen Cadiero-Kaplan will head English learner efforts at the California Department of Education.
San Diego State University professor Karen Cadiero-Kaplan, a leading scholar and longtime advocate for students, will lead the California Department of Education’s efforts to help school districts across the state teach English learners effectively.
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced her appointment last month and she will begin leading the department’s English Learner Support Division beginning in mid-January.
Cadiero-Kaplan chairs the Department of Policy Studies in Language and Cross Cultural Education at SDSU, focusing on biliteracy and English language acquisition.
Karen Cadiero-Kaplan's appointment is just one example of how the university engages the San Diego region, a key initiative of The Campaign for SDSU. Whether it’s supporting programs that contribute directly to San Diego's growth or building academic programs to prepare for the region’s future, SDSU is an important community partner. Learn more about SDSU’s community engagement and how you can contribute.
Addressing a growing need
Torlakson created the department’s English Learner Support Division so schools could effectively address a growing need in communities across California.
“In a state where a quarter of students come to school needing to learn English, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of being equipped to teach them,” said Torlakson. “We have made great strides at the Department of Education, and, with Dr. Cadiero-Kaplan at the helm of those efforts, I have no doubt we’ll make many more.”
History of educating
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 has a range of publications focused on the role of education and language policies in curriculum development and teachers’ professional development, including “The Literacy Curriculum & Bilingual Education: A Critical Examination.”
She also served as past president of the California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL), past vice president of the CATESOL Education Foundation and is the current president of Californians Together.
More about Cadiero-Kaplan
Cadiero-Kaplan holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of San Diego in psychology and elementary education and a master’s degree in cross-cultural education, special education and ESL from SDSU. She also holds a doctorate in curriculum development and instruction from Claremont Graduate University and SDSU.