Patricia Gandara
Moore Hall 3329
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521

P: (310) 267-4875

Patricia Gandara

Research Professor


  • Research Professor of Education
  • Co-director The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles


  • Ph.D., Educational Psychology, UCLA, 1979
  • M.S., Counseling/School Psychology, California State University, Los Angeles, l972
  • B.A., Sociology/English Literature, UCLA, l969
  • Certificate in Spanish Language and Literature, Universidad Menéndez-Pelayo, Spain 1974

Teaching & Research Interests

  • Educational equity and access for low income and ethnic minority students, language policy, and the education of Mexican origin youth
  • Examination of the impact of restrictive language policies on students, schools, and communities in the US
  • Pathways through California community colleges for underrepresented students
  • Addressing the educational needs of secondary English learners
  • Policy options to meet the resource needs of California’s English learners
Patricia Gándara received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has been a bilingual school psychologist, a Social Scientist with the RAND Corporation, she has directed education research in the California Legislature, and since 1990 she has been a Professor of Education in the University of California system.  She has also served as Commissioner for Post-secondary Education for the State of California.  For nine years she was Associate Director of the Linguistic Minority Research Institute and is currently Co-Director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.

Select Publications

Gándara, P. (2012) From González to Flores:  A return to the Mexican room? In Santa Ana, O. & Bustamante, C. (eds). Arizona Firestorm.  Lanham, MD: Roman & Littlefield Publishers.

Maxwell-Jolly, J. & Gándara, P. (2012) Teaching all our students well. Teachers and teaching to close the academic achievement gap.  In Timar, T. & Maxwell-Jolly, J. (eds) Connecting the Dots and Closing the Gap: Multiple Perspectives for Closing the Academic Achievement Gap.  Cambridge:  Harvard Education Press.

Gándara, P. & Orfield, G. (2012) Historical, legal, and political contexts of Arizona’s instructional policies for English learners, Language Policy, 11, 1

Martinez-Wenzl, M., Pérez, K., & Gándara, P. (2012) Is Arizona’s approach to educating its English learners superior to other forms of instruction? in Horne v. Flores and the Future of Language Policy: Special Issue. Teachers College Record, 114, 9

Gándara, P., & Orfield, G. (2012) Segregating Arizona’s English learners: A return to the “Mexican Room”? in Horne v. Flores and the Future of Language Policy: Special Issue. Teachers College Record, 114, 9