Dr Keira Ballantyne has almost twenty years of experience as an applied linguist at the intersection of language and culture in the United States. Her work has focused on practical applications of research in instruction, professional development, evaluation, and assessment.
She began her career in vocational ESL for adults, working with immigrants in DC and in Maryland in union apprenticeship and other vocational programs. She held a variety of technical assistance and research positions at The George Washington University, where she served in successively more responsible positions at the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, and then at the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education. In these positions, Dr Ballantyne provided technical assistance information to states and districts and served to support nationwide dissemination activities for the US Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition. She has been at CAL since 2015, where she spent many years in the Language Assessment Division managing CAL’s Psychometric and Quantitative Research team. In this role she supported the psychometric work for WIDA’s ACCESS for ELLs assessment, as well as the BEST suite of assessments.
As VP for programs and development, Dr. Ballantyne oversees CAL’s program areas which include adult language education, PreK-12 language and literacy, dual language and multilingual education, testing and assessment, and world languages. She provides leadership in connecting critical issues in language education policy, research, practice, and assessment to CAL’s mission, initiatives and activities. She currently serves as Co-PI on a Competitive State Assessment Grant led by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Dr Ballantyne’s projects and research have encompassed a broad range of issues that are critical to the educational success of multilingual learners, including early childhood education, teacher education, assessment and accountability, indigenous language education, international education, and school district evaluation.
Dr Ballantyne was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and emigrated to Western Australia as a child before moving to the United States to earn a PhD in linguistics at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa. She is a tridialectal English speaker, and code-switches between US, Scottish, and Australian Englishes.