Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Adriana Villavicencio

Prior to joining the UCI School of Education, Dr. Adriana Villavicencio served as deputy director for the Research Alliance for NYC Schools at NYU. She helped to shape the Research Alliance’s research agenda and led many of the organization’s large-scale research projects focused on the NYC school system.

Dr. Villavicencio focuses on the ways educational policy and practice either reinforce or disrupt inequities based on race, ethnicity, and immigration status. In 2020, Dr. Villavicencio received two grants. The first grant titled “A Lever for More Equitable Access to Schools? is funded by the William T. Grant Foundation. Villavicencio and colleagues ask: Do school choice plans that prioritize families in underserved neighborhoods reduce educational inequality for low-income students and students of color? They partner with San Francisco Unified School Distrct to examine whether the district’s choice-based student assignment approach reduces inequality in educational attainment for low-income students and students of color. The second grant “Reimagining Educational Equity and Opportunity (REEO) during the COVID-19 Pandemic” is funded by Office of Inclusive Excellence at the University of California, Irvine.

Dr. Villavicencio has a forthcoming book with Harvard Education Press that examines a citywide initiative for Black and Latino young men and its implications for other policies focused on racial equity. This year she has also published two paper

The first, “’You can’t close your door here:’ Leveraging teacher collaboration to improve outcomes for immigrant English Learners” appears in Teaching and Teacher Education. In the paper, Dr. Villavicencio and colleagues Jaffe-Walter and Klevan examine the role of teacher collaboration in a school that produces positive academic outcomes for immigrant, English Learners (ELs). Look out also for her other forthcoming paper, “School Leadership for Latinx, Immigrant Students and their Families: A Model of Advocacy and Critical Care” in the Journal of Leadership, Equity, and Research.

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