Ximena Franco-Jenkins, PhD, is an advanced research scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Early Childhood Portfolio Lead at the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN). She has more than 15 years of experience in life-span developmental psychology and applied research, primarily with ethnically diverse children and families within clinic, school, and community settings. Her work integrates children's socio-emotional development and educational and family environments and is aimed at developing culturally robust assessment and intervention strategies for early care and education teachers working with Dual Language Learners (DLLs).
Franco-Jenkins currently serves as Co-PI on an IES-funded study examining associations between language of instruction and academic outcomes in Spanish-English dual language academic settings. Within NIRN, Franco-Jenkins primarily serves as Co-PI in a study focus on evaluating the effective implementation of seven high-quality middle-years math curriculum across 19 school districts in the US targeting Latino/a and Black, students living in poverty, students designated as English Learners and students with disabilities.
Franco-Jenkins served as Co-PI on the study of Nuestros Niños Program: Promoting School Readiness for English Language Learners funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). It was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the efficacy of a professional development intervention for teachers of DLLs in preschool programs in three states.
Franco-Jenkins’s work also involves policies and practices related to state quality rating and improvement systems for early childhood. She served as PI on the North Carolina Statewide Birth-5 Needs Assessment project and Co-PI on the evaluation of the North Carolina's Quality Rating Improvement System.
Franco-Jenkins currently serves as a member of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).