The Education Trust–West Releases Three-Part English Learner Advocacy Toolkit




Jason Mandell

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(213) 500-9142


OAKLAND, CA (December 11, 2019) – The Education Trust–West released today a collection of resources for advocates to support local implementation of California’s English Learner Roadmap and ensure the rights of English learners are upheld. The three-part English learner advocacy toolkit is designed to help families and other community members learn about California’s new vision for educating English learners, start conversations with their schools about how to make that vision a reality, and understand the legal rights to which English learners and their families are entitled. All three resources are available in English and Spanish.

“These materials are a valuable resource to help parents understand their legal rights and learn about the exciting vision the English Learner Roadmap presents,” says Araceli Simeón of Parent Organization Network. “This knowledge is foundational so parents can effectively advocate for the appropriate resources and supports so their English learners can succeed.”

A total of 1.2 million students – one in five public school students in California – are learning English in addition to the language(s) they already speak at home. The Roadmap articulates a vision for English learners to have access to meaningful educational experiences across the grades that help them become proficient in English, meet academic standards, and become proficient in multiple languages. While the Roadmap was passed in 2017, there is much work to be done to ensure every school and district in California embraces policies and practices aligned with its principles. 

“Our latest CAASPP and NAEP scores are further evidence that we need to do more to support our English learners. Everyone in California’s schools has a critical role to play, but we also see advocates and allies as critical partners in helping to bring the vision of the Roadmap alive. We hope the tools we release today will be a valuable resource in supporting those efforts,” says Education Trust–West Executive Director Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga. 



The Education Trust–West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-K through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps.


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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.