Research Interests

Educational Policy
Policy & Educational Reform
Teacher Education & Research

Sheila Valencia

Emeritus Professor

Sheila W. Valencia is Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Washington, Seattle where she contributed to the teacher preparation, masters, and doctoral programs in literacy.  She began her career as a teacher in New York City, then spent six years as Director of Reading in Adams Country School District, and finally 32 years as a faculty member at UW.  Her research focuses on literacy assessment, policy, and teacher development, particularly how to create and use assessment to improve teaching and learning.  Working on long-term collaborations with several states and school districts, she has conducted research and professional development projects on aligning both instruction and assessment with deeper, rigorous learning in literacy and social studies.  Her work has appeared  in numerous edited books and top-tier journals including Reading Research Quarterly, Educational Assessment, Journal of Teacher Education, Elementary School Journal, Journal of Literacy Research, and The Reading Teacher.

Valencia has served on national, state, and local assessment committees to improve assessment systems and policies including the Common Core Standards Advisory Panel on Literacy, National Assessment of Educational Progress subcommittees, and IRA/NCTE standards and assessment committees. She currently serves as a member of the Nationall Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Validity Studies Panel and the Technical Advisory Panel for Smarter Balanced Assessment.  Dr. Valencia has been honored as a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Dina Feitelson Research Award from the International Literacy Association (ILA), the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award, and outstanding teacher education article from American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).

Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder
M.Ed., Reading Education- State University of New York, Buffalo
B.S., Elementary and Remedial Reading - State University of New York, Buffalo

Valencia, S. W., Wixson, K. K., Kitmitto, S., & Blankenship, C. (2020). A comparison of NAEP Reading and NAEP Writing assessment with current-generation state assessment in English Language Arts. American Institutes of Research.

Parker, W. C., Valencia, S. W., & Lo, J. C. (2017). Teaching for deeper political learning: a design experiment.  Journal of Curriculum Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2017.1343386

Valencia, S. W., Wixson, K. K., Ackerman, T. A., & Sanders, E. (2017). Identifying text-task-reader interactions related to item and block difficulty in the National Assessment for Educational Progress Reading Assessment. American Institutes of Research Reports.

Greenleaf, C. & Valencia, S. W. (2017). Missing in action: Learning from texts in subject-matter classrooms. In K. Hinchman & D Appleman (Eds.) (pp. 235-256). Adolescent literacies: A handbook of practice-based research. New York: Guilford,

Valencia, S. W., & Parker, W. C. (2016). Learning from text in an advanced government and politics course. Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 11(1), 87-103.

Valencia, S. & Parker, W.C. (2015). Literacy and learning in an advanced government and politics course. International Journal of Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 11(1), 87-104.

Wixson, K. K. & Valencia, S. W. (2014). CCSS-ELA:  Suggestions and cautions for implementing the reading standards. The Reading Teacher. 67(6), 430-434.

McDonald, M., Kazemi, E., Kelly-Petersen, M., Mikolasy, K., Thompson, J., Valencia, S., & Windschitl, M. (2014).  Practice makes practice: Learning to teach in teacher education. Peabody Journal of Education.

Valencia, S.W., Wixson, K.K., & Pearson, P.D. (i2014). Putting text complexity in context: Refocusing on comprehension of complex text. Elementary School Journal.

Valencia, S. W. & Wixson, K. K. (2013). CCSS-ELA:  Suggestions and cautions for implementing the reading standards. The Reading Teacher, 67(3), 181-185.

Parker, W. C., Lo, J., Yeo, A. J., Valencia, S., Nguyen, D., Abbott, R. D., Bransford, J. D., Vye N. J. (2013). “Beyond breadth-speed-test: Toward deeper knowing and engagement in an Advanced Placement course.” American Educational Research Journal, 50(6), 1424-1459.

Valencia, S. W. & Hebard, H. (2012).  Ongoing classroom literacy assessment: Strategies for informing instruction and monitoring student progress. In B. M. Taylor & N. K. Duke (Eds.). Handbook of Effective Literacy Practices. New York: Guilford.

Valencia, S. W., Pearson, P. D., Wixson, K. K. (2011). Assessing and tracking progress in reading comprehension: The search for keystone elements in college and career readiness. Princeton: Center for K-12 Assessment & Performance Management at ETS. 

Wixson, K. K., Lipson, M.Y., Valencia, S. W. (2012). Response to intervention (rti) for teaching and learning in language and literacy. In A.C. Stone , E. R. Silliman, B. J. Ehern, & K. Apel (Eds.). Handbook of Language and Literacy. New York: Guilford.

Valencia, S. W. (2011). Using assessment to improve teaching and learning. In. S. J. Samuels & A. E. Farstrup (Eds.). What research has to say about reading instruction (4th ed., pp.379-405). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Valencia, S. W., Smith, A. T., Reece, A. M., Li, M., Wixson, K. K. & Newman, H. (2010). Reading fluency assessment: Issues of construct, criterion, and consequential validity. Reading Research Quarterly, 45, 270-291.

Au, K. H. & Valencia, S. W. (2010).  Fulfilling the potential of standards-based education: Promising policy principles. Language Arts 87, 373-380.

Valencia, S.W. (2010). Reader profiles and reading disabilities. In. R. Allington & A. McGill-Franzen (Eds.). Handbook of reading disabilities research. Mawah, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum.

Valencia, S. W., Martin, S. D., Place, N. A., & Grossman, P. (2009). Complex interaction in student teaching: Lost opportunities for learning. Journal of Teacher Education, 60, 304-322.Valencia, S.W. (in press). Complex interaction in student teaching: Lost opportunities for learning. Journal of Teacher Education.

Valencia, S.W., Place, N.A., Martin, S.D., & Grossman, P.L. (2006). Curriculum materials for elementary reading: Shackles and scaffolds for beginning teachers. Elementary School Journal, 107, 93-120.

Dutro, E. & Valencia, S.W. (2004). State and District Content Standards: Issues of Alignment, Influence, and Utility. Education Policy Analysis Archives. 12 (45 ).

Valencia, S.W., & Riddle Buly, M.R. (2004). What struggling readers REALLY need. The Reading Teacher, 57, 520-533.

Riddle Buly, M., & Valencia, S.W. (2002). Below the bar: Profiles of students who fail state reading tests. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 24, 219-239. 

Valencia, S.W. & Wixson, K.K. (2001). Literacy policy and policy research that makes a difference. In J. Hoffman, D. Schallert, C. Fairbanks, J. Worthy, B. Malock (Eds.). Fiftieth Yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp.21-43). Chicago: National Reading Conference.

Valencia, S.W. & Wixson, K.K. (2001). Inside English/Language Arts standards: What’s in a grade? Reading Research Quarterly, 36(2), 202-211.

Grossman, P.L., Valencia, S.W., Evans, K., Thompson, C., Martin, S., Place, N. (2000). Transitions into teaching: Learning to teach writing in teacher education and beyond. Journal of Literacy Research, 32(4), 631-662.