Magaly began her formal education as a kindergarten English Learner, and soon realized the power of bilingualism as a second grader, after her father taught her
how to read the Spanish newspaper at home (her first language) since she had not yet become a fluent English reader. She has been a lifelong bilingual educator, first as a bilingual paraprofessional, teacher, teacher educator and scholar-advocate for the educational rights of immigrant communities. Her advocacy has led her to serve as past president of key organizations such as the California Association for Bilingual Education, California Council on Teacher Education and the California Association for Bilingual Teacher Education, and currently as president of Californians Together. She serves as Distinguished Professor of English Learner Policy, Research and Practice . in the Department of Educational Leadership and Founding Executive Director of Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Equity for English Learners.
Laurie was one of the original group of EL advocates who in 1998 - heartbroken yet determined in the wake of the passage of Proposition 227 – set out to establish an enduring organization to be a voice for English Learners in California. She served on the original Board, and has continued to be integrally involved in our leadership since that time. Believing in the power of words and voice to speak truth to power, she has served as a writer, researcher and spokesperson for Californians Together while also throwing herself into creating models and examples of powerful joyful classrooms and schools for English Learners as Director of the Sobrato Early Academic Language model currently being replicated in 100 schools across 20 school districts in California. After five decades researching, writing, advocating, and providing leadership development and technical assistance on educational equity with an emphasis on immigrant and English Learner education, language access and rights, Laurie is trying to find her way towards retirement with more time for grandchildren, quilting, singing, hiking in the wilderness and, oh yes, taking on the political challenge of climate change.
A third-generation Californian, Lynne found that she would not and could not tolerate injustice from an early age. Whether it was confronting a bully or making a public stand against prejudice, she felt compelled to act.
Since that early age, Lynne has continued to take action, to intervene, to inform, to persuade, to advocate for students who are English Learners and immigrants. Lynne’s immersion into immigrant and English learner advocacy came early just as California was opening up to bilingual education for students who were English learners and continues to this day. She worked with dozens of districts and the California Department of Education to secure funding for English learner programs and to provide professional development, planning, and evaluation services to personnel in those districts and the State.
Lynne’s background in change facilitation and multicultural education enhance her ability serve educators. She has assisted CSUN, LAUSD, the Ventura Unified School District, UTLA, and UCLA Teacher Preparation Program professors among others in their journeys in teaching toward equity and social justice.
Marlene has been associated with Californians Together for the last five years as a representative of the Campaign for Quality Early Education, a statewide coalition of educators who advocate for the needs of young Dual Language Learners. Studying and researching the development of young children growing up in homes where English is not the primary language, has led her to believe firmly in how important first and second language development are to later learning. By collaborating with Californians Together she's had the opportunity to make meaningful connections between the policy worlds of early childhood and elementary and secondary education. She is always inspired by the dedication and commitment of her fellow Cal Tog colleagues who, on a daily basis demonstrate their unwavering support for pursuing equity for children whose first language is not English.
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