The University of California Educational Evaluation Center (UCEC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Laila DiGuilio as UCEC Research Associate. Dr. DiGuilio was awarded her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Organizations by the Gevirtz School in 2009 and brings with her experience as a teacher, researcher, and evaluator. She has experience engaging with schools, districts, and community organizations through her former work with the Center for Educational Leadership and Effective Schools (CELES). She is trained in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
DiGuilio’s dissertation work, which was accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, was a methodological study comparing the efficacy of latent class models and standard approaches to categorizing students based on their non-cognitive skills. This work was significant in that it marked the first time this methodological approach was taken to examine this issue, and unearthed an interesting finding relative to the prevalence of particular groups of students in the general population. Her findings have broad implications including questioning the efficacy of high-stakes testing in sorting students for high school diplomas and the potential detrimental effect this may have on the quality of the skills present in the American workforce in years to come.
DiGuilio also worked as a teacher in South Central Los Angeles, where she was selected as a Lead Teacher by the local district not only for her skillful and effective instruction but also because of her ability to communicate and work successfully with administrators, fellow teachers, students, and families of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.