Maria-Paz Avery, PhD, is a technical assistance provider whose work focuses on historically disenfranchised families and students, especially from immigrant communities. She has been instrumental in helping school districts around the country better understand the needs of underserved students and make research-informed changes to serve them more successfully.
As the research alliance manager for the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands at EDC, Avery supports the activities of eight research alliances on topics such as college and career readiness, drop-out prevention, educator effectiveness, rural education, early childhood, English language learners (ELLs), and school improvement. She was previously a manager and technical assistance provider for the New England Comprehensive Assistance Center and the New England Comprehensive Center (NECC), where her work focused on the development of state guidance for districts on the implementation of formative assessment, policy issues in the education of ELLs, and strategies in support of systemic schoolwide improvement.
In 2015, Avery, who is fluent in Spanish and English, was named a Language Access Champion by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care for her work in setting professional standards in the field of health care interpreting. She holds a BA in child study from Maryknoll College in the Philippines, an MA in psychology from Smith College, and a PhD in sociology from Boston University.
“Providing quality education for English language learners is a matter of justice and equity.”
Ryan, S., Parker, C., Rinaldi, C., Avery, M. P., & Fournier, R. (2015). Supporting districts to engage families of English language learners with or suspected of having disabilities: A report to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Parker, C. E., Avery, M. P., Baker, D., Fuxman, S., Lingan, A., Rinaldi, C., & Schamberg, M. (2012). English language learners with disabilities in Massachusetts: Identification, instruction, and challenges: A report to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mata-Aguilar, C., Avery, M. P., Parker, C., & Sanchez, M. (2010). A review of programs and services to English language learners in Yonkers Public Schools: A review commissioned by the Yonkers, NY Public Schools. Newton, MA: Education Development Center, Inc.