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Governor taps into ASU education expertise


December 04, 2006
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has named Eugene Garcia, ASU vice president for University-School Partnerships and John Baracy, superintendent of the Scottsdale Unified School District , as her appointees to the English Language Learner (ELL) Task Force. Both bring decades of experience and research on language instruction and school administration to the task force.

House Bill 2064 created the task force to explore policy and funding options that ensure the Arizona Legislature complies with the court order to properly fund and implement English language programs. The results of this task force will affect schools and communities in every Arizona district.

As a professor of curriculum and instruction and immediate past dean of the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, Garcia has published extensively in the area of language teaching and bilingual development. He is conducting research in the areas of effective schooling for linguistically and culturally diverse student populations funded by the National Science Foundation.

“It is an honor to be selected by the governor,” Garcia says. “My responsibility is to bring my expertise to bear on the work of the task force, particularly to assist in identifying solid research which can be the policy foundation for programmatic and instructional programs that serve Arizona 's ELL students well.”

Baracy, who earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership from the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education in 1992, began his award-winning career in education more than 35 years ago. During his more than two decades in Arizona , Baracy has served high school and elementary school students, giving him a comprehensive perspective on how students learn and excel. He has won a variety of awards from Valley education and community groups, including the 1998 Mary Lou Fulton College of Education Hall of Fame award, the 1995-1996 All-Arizona Superintendent of Large Districts and the Phoenix Gazette Hall of Fame in 1992.

“Dr. Baracy, myself, and the other members of the task force are charged with providing specific policy guidance that ensures academic success for ELL students in the state,” Garcia says. “All of us are committed to doing this at a time when the number of these students has grown and continues to grow dramatically.”

In July, Garcia transitioned from the deanship of the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education to his full-time appointment as vice president for University-School Partnerships at ASU. Under his leadership, the Office of University-School Partnerships leads ASU's efforts to examine how research can be extended to the pre-K-12 education system to improve student achievement. He also chairs the National Task Force on Early Education for Hispanics.

Mary Vinzant , mary.vinzant@asu.edu

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