Dr. Erica Silva

Dr. Erica Silva leads culturally responsive professional development opportunities for educators committed to equity in their classrooms and communities. 

Her expertise includes culturally relevant/responsive/sustaining pedagogy, Latinx school board leadership and representation, and implementing equity-minded teaching practices in K12 schools.

In her full-time role, Dr. Erica Silva serves as a School Improvement Specialist on the Quality Schools and Districts Team at WestEd. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the USC Rossier School of Education where teaches courses for pre-service teachers on instructional technology and educational equity in the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Prior to joining WestEd, Dr. Silva was the Associate Director of K-12 Programs at the USC Race & Equity Center where she coordinated and led professional development with schools and districts across the country to advance racial equity within their organizations. Her research interests include culturally responsive leadership development and school board election systems. 

Erica’s prior experience includes her work as an elementary and middle school teacher, and as an instructional specialist where she trained and worked with teachers on district-wide curriculum implementation, literacy, assessment development, technology integration, and culturally-responsive/sustaining pedagogy. She also is an alumna of the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching fellowship, where she led a team of teachers to enhance their teaching practice through professional development and mentorship, with a focus on utilizing cognitive coaching methods and integrating culturally-responsive teaching strategies in the classroom.

Dr. Silva holds a doctorate in K-12 Educational Leadership from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, an M.A. in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University and a B.A. in Political Science from USC. 

Erica is passionate about bridging the gap between policy, research and practice and addressing the equity challenges that exist within K-12 education. She currently serves as a member of the Education Trust West's Educator Advisory Council and the K12 DEI Advisory Board for Penguin Random House Education.

Teaching and Leadership Experience

Prior to joining the USC Race and Equity Center, Erica led a team of teachers in partnership with the Cotsen Foundation. For two years, Erica worked alongside her team learning and implementing effective teacher practices through professional development and mentorship in Readers Workshop, Writers Workshop, and Cognitively Guided Math Instruction. Prior to her work with the Cotsen Foundation, Dr. Erica Silva worked as an Instructional Specialist, where she trained and worked with teachers district-wide on curriculum, assessment development and technology integration. 

Dr. Silva has experience working in both the public and charter school systems in Southern California. Having taught at both elementary and middle school levels, Erica has  firsthand knowledge of the strengths and challenges that our education system faces today. 

Erica is currently an adjunct faculty member at the USC Rossier School of Education in the Master of Arts in Teaching program. She is a member of the Education Trust West's Educator Advisory Council and is a board member of Penguin Random House Education's K-12 DE&I Advisory Board.

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