After Proposition 58: What's Next For Bilingual Education in California?

In partnership with Education Trust-West

The overwhelming approval by voters of Prop. 58 in the November elections has the potential to usher in a new era for bilingual education in California.

But is California, the most linguistically diverse state in the union, prepared to take advantage of the initiative and expand bilingual education programs?

This live broadcast, recorded on January 9th, 2017, features a panel of distinguished experts discussing what California needs to do to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the initiative.

Some of the issues discussed include:

  • What opportunities does Proposition 58 provide districts to help them better serve English learners? What potential long-term benefits does the law make possible?
  • How quickly can bilingual instruction be expanded in light of the shortage of credentialed bilingual teachers? What other resources are needed?
  • Do experts foresee a major expansion in dual-immersion programs? In addition to Spanish, what languages are most in demand?
  • What resources about best practices are available to educators interested in expanding bilingual classes?
  • You will have an opportunity to pose questions to panel members.



Louis Freedberg

Panel Moderator; Executive Director, EdSource

Louis joined EdSource as executive director in July 2011. For more than two decades, Freedberg has analyzed and reported on local, state, and national education policy issues. Before coming to EdSource, Freedberg was the founding director and senior education reporter at California Watch, a pioneering nonprofit journalism venture.

He was also a founder of the California Media Collaborative, based at the Commonwealth Club of California. Prior to that, he spent more than a decade at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was an award-winning education reporter, Washington correspondent, columnist, and member of the editorial board.

He has served as an executive director of several nonprofit organizations, including Youth News in Oakland. He also directed youth programs at Pacific News Service/New America Media. A South African by birth, he founded and directed the Institute for a New South Africa. Freedberg has been a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, a Visiting Fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington D.C., and a Fellow at the Institute for Justice and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in developmental psychology from Yale University.

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez

President, California Latino School Boards Association; School Board Member at Azusa Unified School District; and President, Californians Together

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez is the President of the California Latino School Boards Association, a statewide nonprofit focused on serving the needs of Latino students. First elected at 26, she is the youngest person to ever hold that position. She is also a member of the Board of Education of the Azusa Unified School District in Southern California and President of Californians Together. Cruz-Gonzalez was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). She also serves as a founding board member and Secretary to the San Gabriel Valley Civic Alliance.

Cruz-Gonzalez holds her B.A. in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Patricia Gándara

Research Professor, UCLA Graduate School of Education; 
Co-Director, The Civil Rights Project at UCLA

Patricia Gándara is Research Professor and Co-Director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. She is also Chair of the Working Group on Education for the University of California-Mexico Initiative in which she is spearheading a number of California-Mexico education projects.

Gándara is a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the National Academy of Education, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy, the French-American Association at Sciences Po Graduate Institute, Paris, and an ETS fellow at Princeton, New Jersey.

In 2011 she was appointed to President Obama’s Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and in 2015 received the Distinguished Career Award from the Scholars of Color Committee of the American Educational Research Association.

Claude Goldenberg

Professor of Education, Stanford University

Claude Goldenberg is the Nomellini & Olivier Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. A native of Argentina, his areas of research and professional interest center on promoting academic achievement among language minority children and youth. Prior to his arrival at Stanford, Goldenberg was Professor of Teacher Education, Associate Dean of the College of Education, and Executive Director of the Center for Language Minority Education and Research (CLMER) at California State University, Long Beach.

Goldenberg received his A.B. in history from Princeton University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Graduate School of Education, UCLA. He has taught junior high school in San Antonio, TX, and first grade in a bilingual elementary school in the Los Angeles area.

Goldenberg was a National Academy of Education Spencer Fellow in 1986-88. He received the 1993 Albert J. Harris Award (along with Ronald Gallimore) from the International Reading Association. In 2004 he received the Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activities Award from California State University, Long Beach.

Goldenberg’s most recent books are Promoting Academic Achievement among English Learners: A Guide to the Research, co-authored with Rhoda Coleman (Corwin, 2010) and Language and Literacy Development in Bilingual Settings, co-editing with Aydin Durgunoglu (Guilford, 2011).  His publications have also appeared in academic and professional journals, and he has been on the editorial boards of various academic journals.  His current projects focus on improving literacy and academic achievement among English learners in K-12 and promoting early literacy development in Rwanda.

Ryan Smith

Co-moderator; Executive Director, Education Trust-West

Ryan J. Smith is currently the Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, a research and advocacy organization focused on educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, particularly those of color and living in poverty. Under Ryan’s leadership, the organization continues to expand its work with a specific focus on producing actionable, accessible research and advocacy tools that reach state policymakers and on-the-ground community advocates and education leaders alike.

Prior to joining The Education Trust–West, Ryan was the Director of Education Programs and Policy for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles where he was responsible for the education program and policy efforts for the organization. He also worked for former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.

A previous Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellow, Ryan holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA. Ryan has authored more than a dozen editorials and opinion pieces published in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, Education Week, US News and World Report, and others. He was named by Education Week as one of the “Ten Education Leaders to Watch” nationally and also received the Families in Schools’ “Parent Engagement Leader of the Year Award”.

Natalie A. Tran

Professor of Educational Leadership California State University, Fullerton and Director, National Resource Center for Asian Languages (NRCAL)

Dr. Tran’s research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of curriculum and services related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and examining factors that affect students’ learning experiences both in the classroom and out-of-school settings.

She directs Cal State Fullerton’s National Resource Center for Asian Languages, which is housed in the College of Education. The center focuses on developing material and resources, teacher training and promoting dual language immersion for less commonly taught languages in the U.S., which include Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese and Japanese.