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Martha Zaragoza-Diaz, advocate and lobbyist to retire

We extend our congratulations to Martha ZaragozaDíaz on her upcoming retirement and thank her for 25 years of advocacy on behalf of our English learners. Martha has been focused on what is best for students and their families. She is not only our hero, but a hero for future generations of ELs! We wish her the best in the next chapter of her life.

Martha is courageous, dedicated and fearless and we could not have accomplished what we have these past twenty five years without her,” said Martha Hernandez, Executive Director of Californians Together.

She has achieved many important policy and legislative victories for our children and their families while confronting the barriers of hostility and racism from individuals and our education and political systems. Nothing has deterred her from continuing to fight.

Martha continuously teaches all of us how to raise our voices in front of policy bodies and in the halls of the State Capitol,” said Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Californians Together’s Strategic Advisor.

Just a few of Martha’s accomplishments:

  • The passage of over 20 laws establishing the primary language assessment, the State Seal of Biliteracy, definition and services for Long Term English Leaners, El teacher credentialing, content standards alignment to ELD standards, expansion of dual immersion and biliteracy programs and more.
  • Major budget and policy initiative including the adoption of the English Language Development Standards, revision of Reading First restrictions on bilingual programs, $60 million for supplemental ELD materials, $5 million for the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program.

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