Soomin Chao, Ed.D. has worked in public education since 2006 as a teacher, curriculum specialist, and an administrator in elementary, high school, and district levels. She holds a master’s degree in teaching and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Southern California.
Chao holds a position as an adjunct professor at USC Rossier School of Education in the Reading and Literacy Added Authorization program. In this role, she works with current K-12 classroom teachers as they develop expertise in literacy research, pedagogy, policy and essential concepts of diversity and equity to create comprehensive literacy instruction/curricula that is accessible to all learners.
She is also currently a coordinator for the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Multilingual Academic Support (MAS) Unit in the Division of Curriculum and Instructional Services. This unit provides professional development, consultation, and direct technical assistance with a focus on improving student outcomes, supporting trauma and resiliency-informed practices, strengthening community partnerships, and achieving and exceeding operational standards. It supports districts and schools throughout Los Angeles County as well as various community agencies.
In 2016, Chao was appointed to the California State Instructional Quality Commission, and she worked alongside the state’s top educational leaders as the California Department of Education developed curriculum frameworks and criteria for evaluating instructional materials. In this capacity, she served on state level curriculum adoptions for English Language Arts, History Social Science, and Science, and also contributed to the creation and adoption of the state’s first ever Computer Science content standards and Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.
She is passionate about creating systems of equitable access and support for all of California’s learners. Throughout her career, she has worked to cultivate inclusive and innovative learning opportunities at school sites, districts, and at county and state levels.