Skip to content


Ilana Umansky's work focuses on quantitative and longitudinal analysis of the educational opportunities and outcomes of immigrant students, multilingual students, and students classified in school as English learners (ELs). She studies key education policies including EL identification, service provision, and reclassification, focusing on issues of stratification and opportunity. Her work has explored course-taking and access to core academic content, the effects of the EL classification system, teacher perceptions of EL-classified students, bilingual education, and policies relevant to specific groups of multilingual students such as newcomer students and adolescent EL-classified students. In recent projects, she has focused on EL identification and services for American Indian and Alaska Native students, as well as how education policies in Oaxaca, Mexico shape the experiences and opportunities of transnational students. She currently acts as co-PI for a national Research and Development Center focused on secondary-school aged multilingual students. Umansky often works in partnership with districts and states including projects with San Francisco Unified, the Michigan and Oregon state departments of education, and the Council of Chief State School Officers, as they work to improve educational opportunities for multilingual students. Prior to getting her Ph.D. at Stanford University in Sociology of Education and Race, Inequality and Language in Education, Umansky worked with the World Bank and other organizations on collaborative educational efforts in Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, and other countries in Latin America. Her work has been awarded by the National Academy of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the Jacobs Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the American Educational Research Association's Bilingual Education Special Interest Group. Her work has been published in the American Educational Research JournalJournal of Research on Educational EffectivenessEducational Evaluation and Policy AnalysisEducational Policy, and Exceptional Children, among other outlets. She frequently also publishes national and state reports and policy briefs aimed at serving and informing educational policymakers.