Lesley Bartlett is a professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies and faculty director of the Institute for Regional and International Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An anthropologist by training, Bartlett studies language education policies, programs, and pedagogies for mobile and multilingual populations in domestic and global contexts.

In 2011, with Professor Ofelia García, Bartlett published Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times, which documents the unusually successful efforts of one New York City high school to educate Dominican immigrant youth at a time when Latinx immigrants constitute a growing and vulnerable population in the nation's secondary schools. Based on four and a half years of qualitative research, the book examines how educators at Gregorio Luperón High School developed strategies, including translanguaging pedagogies, to support newcomer, emergent bilingual students socially, linguistically, and academically.

Most recently, Bartlett has published articles critiquing the increasingly widespread use by USAID of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), a tool developed in the U.S. based on research with English monolingual populations. In an award-winning article published in 2019 in Comparative Education Review, she and co-author Dr. Amy Jo Dowd dispute claims of a standard correlation between fluency and comprehension by showing that, in their comparative study, the speed at which students achieved comprehension varied across languages.

Bartlett is active in global educational efforts across the School of Education. She co-developed study abroad courses in Colombia and the Dominican Republic, and she is currently co-chairing a committee charged with developing a plan to develop a new internship program in the School.