E.g., 08/02/2021
E.g., 08/02/2021
Melissa Lazarín
Experts & Staff
Melissa_2019WEB

Melissa Lazarín

Senior Advisor

202 266 1920

@Melissa_Lazarin

Melissa Lazarín is Senior Advisor for K-12 Policy at the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, where she works on education issues related to immigrant children and English Learners. Her areas of expertise include education advocacy and policy development; testing, standards, and accountability; school improvement, including high school reform and learning time; and education issues facing English Learners, Latinos, and immigrants.

Previously, Ms. Lazarín was Program Director at the National Governors Association, where she oversaw issues related to educational equity. She also served in a variety of roles at the Center for American Progress. As Senior Advisor there, she authored reports on testing and standards, and helped oversee the education team’s federal policy agenda and launch the organization’s early childhood work as Managing Director of K-12 education policy.

Her previous roles include Director of Education Policy at First Focus, a national children’s advocacy organization, and Associate Director of Education Policy at UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza). She began her policy career with Social Policy Research Associates, where she evaluated workforce development programs and race relations in high schools.

Ms. Lazarín holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

Bio Page Tabs

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Video, Audio
September 29, 2020

Authors of a MPI report were joined by practioners from California and Tennessee in a discussion on key challenges to meeting English Learners’ needs during the pandemic and the policies and practices school systems will need to put in place to support them and their families through the public-health and e

Recent Activity

Commentaries
June 2021

The $122 billion investment that K-12 schools across the United States are receiving from the federal government to address the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on the nation's most vulnerable students represents a key opportunity to help reset the trajectory of education for English Learners (ELs). As states submit their plans for using the funds, community based organizations can be key partners, as this commentary explains.

Reports
May 2021

Across the United States, Dual Language Learners (DLLs) are a diverse and growing group of young children. Yet data on DLLs in early childhood programs are scarce. This report examines federal, state, and local approaches to DLL identification, as well as opportunities to advance more comprehensive policies and practices—critical steps toward supporting these children’s school readiness and future success.

Video, Audio, Webinars
September 29, 2020

Authors of a MPI report were joined by practioners from California and Tennessee in a discussion on key challenges to meeting English Learners’ needs during the pandemic and the policies and practices school systems will need to put in place to support them and their families through the public-health and education crisis, as well as when schooling returns to normal. 

Policy Briefs
September 2020

The 2020–21 academic year is underway, but many U.S. schools, students, and families are still reeling from the rocky transition to remote learning that occurred months earlier, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. For English Learners and students in immigrant families, many of the challenges are magnified. This policy brief examines how schools’ pandemic response is affecting these students and offers recommendations to help schools and districts support them in this period of uncertainty.

Commentaries
June 2020

The transition to remote learning for school districts across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for most families, but especially those with English Learner (EL) and immigrant students. This commentary outlines how the pandemic has brought new focus to well-known equity gaps and spotlights ways in which nonprofit organizations can be important partners in mitigating the effects of school closures and anticipated spending cuts.