WestEd is pleased to announce Megan Hopkins is joining the organization’s English Learner and Migrant Education Services (ELMES) as a senior researcher. In this role, Hopkins will be a leader in advancing the field’s understanding of the impact and implementation of English Learner policies.  

The author and co-author of numerous articles and books on state English Learner policies and the politics of school integration, Hopkins is a distinguished expert in bilingual education. Before joining WestEd, she was an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, where she conducted partnership-based research and taught courses at the intersection of English Learner policy, leadership, and teacher development.  

“We are very excited to welcome Megan,” says Leslie Hamburger, senior managing director at WestEd and the co-director of Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL), a leading professional development initiative within the ELMES portfolio.  

“As a nationally recognized researcher and policy expert on English Learner education, Megan will expand our efforts to improve systems and programs for English Learner education.” 

Hopkins began her career as a bilingual 1st and 2nd grade teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. After the state passed an English-only law prohibiting her from using Spanish in the classroom, she became interested in education state policy and how to provide asset-based education opportunities for English Learners.  

In recent years, her work has increasingly involved partnering with state and local educational leaders and conducting collaborative applied research on data use and policy implementation. 

“My new role in ELMES offers an opportunity to expand on these efforts with a team that is deeply invested in advancing equity for English Learners,” says Hopkins. “It’s exciting to be directly involved in these design efforts at WestEd.”  

As a senior researcher, she will provide technical assistance to state-level agencies, conduct quantitative and qualitative research in partnership with state and local education agencies, and provide accountability policy and longitudinal data analysis to improve educational opportunities for English Learners. 

Hopkins holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles; a master’s degree in International Education Policy from Harvard University; and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Indiana University.