Brenda D. Arellano
Research Associate

Photo of Brenda D. ArellanoBrenda Arellano is a Research Associate with SEDL's Research and Evaluation (R&E) program. Dr. Arellano’s work focuses on quantitative statistical research methods and evaluation research. In this context, she provides analytic technical assistance to the Texas Comprehensive Center and the Southeast Comprehensive Center. She also assists state education agency staff with developing evaluation plans and instruments to assess implementation and effectiveness of school improvement efforts. This work is often conducted through large-scale survey and psychometric data analysis, and through the analysis of extant data sets, including state and national longitudinal data systems using quasi-experimental and experimental designs that involve multilevel modeling techniques.

Contact Information
You may contact Brenda D. Arellano at 512-391-6602

or by using SEDL's contact form.

Areas of Expertise
Dr. Arellano’s research interests have focused broadly on understanding the achievement gap and its policy implications, particularly for Latino and English Language Learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities. Much of her research and evaluation work has utilized advanced statistical methodologies, including multilevel modeling and other regression analyses as well as employing mixed methods to understand policy-relevant issues. Her interests led her to use longitudinal, large-scale national panel data to track academic performance and parent involvement practices of language-minority students and to analyze drop-out patterns. Evaluation research experiences include studying a community-based parent involvement training program, gathering a needs-based assessment of principals working in large Latino-dominant school districts, and analyzing Response to Intervention (RTI) implementation in elementary schools.

Experience
Dr. Arellano joined SEDL in October 2011 after working in the research and evaluation divisions of several organizations, including the Los Angeles Unified School District where she provided guidance and tracked special education student outcomes. Other past work involves analyzing charter school performance in California, including the achievement gaps of ELLs and special education students, and raising accountability standards for charter reauthorizations. She also taught research methods as an instructor at the University of California, Riverside, where she was also an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Postdoctoral Fellow focusing on methodological training in cognition, reading, math, and instructional research for children with learning disabilities.

Education
Dr. Arellano holds a BA in economics and Spanish from Swarthmore College and an MA and PhD in education from the University of California, Santa Barbara with an emphasis in educational leadership and organization.

SEDL Publications

Selected External Publications
  • Loan, T., Sanchez, T. Arellano, B., & Swanson, H. L. (2011). A meta-analysis of the RTI literature for children at-risk for learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44(3), 283–295.
  • Rumberger, R. W., & Arellano, B. (2009). Understanding and addressing the California Latino achievement gap in early elementary school. In R. Gutiérrez & P. Zavella (Eds.), Mexicans in California: Transformation and challenges (pp. 61–76). Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  • Rumberger, R. W., & Arellano, B. (2007). Student and school predictors of high school graduation in California. California Dropout Research Project, University of California, Santa Barbara. 
  •  Rumberger, R. W., & Arellano, B. (2007). Understanding and addressing the education achievement gap in the United States during the first four years of school. In R. Teese, S. Lamb, & M. Duru-Belat (Eds.), International studies in educational inequality, theory, and policy (Vol. 3, pp. 129–149). Dordrecht: The Netherlands Springer.
Selected Presentations
  • Arellano, B., LaTurner, R. J., & Shaw, S. (2013, March). Demystifying the Measurement of Teacher Quality. Presented at SXSWedu Conference and Festival, Austin, TX
  • Arellano, B., Tran, L., & Swanson, H. L. (2010, May). Assessing the predictive validity of Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) on literacy, language and vocabulary measures in early elementary skills for English language learners. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • Arellano, B., Tran, L., & Swanson, H. L. (2010, May). Reading disabilities in children: A selective meta-analysis of the cognitive literature. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • Tran, L., Sanchez, T., Arellano, B., & Swanson, H. L. (2010, May). A meta-analysis of the RTI literature for children at-risk for learning disabilities. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • Arellano, B., Tran, L., & Swanson, H. L. (2009, June). Reading disabilities in children: A selective meta-analysis of the cognitive literature. Presented at the Fourth Annual IES Research Conference, Washington, DC.
  • Arellano, B. (2009, May). Parent involvement and academic achievement among language minority students in elementary school using structural equation modeling. Presented at the UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute 22nd Annual Conference, Riverside, CA.
  • Arellano, B. (2007, April). Parent involvement and third grade academic achievement among language minority students in elementary school. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Arellano, B. (2006, January). Group differences among language-minority children on dimensions of parent involvement in early elementary school. Presented at “Early Educational Experiences of Language-Minority Children,” a conference hosted by the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), Sacramento, CA.
  • Arellano, B., & Rumberger, R. (2005, April). Understanding and addressing the California Latino achievement gap in early elementary school. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.