Lutrill and Pearl Payne School of Education Faculty, Sulentic Dowell, Presents at the 2023 Southern Education Foundation Issues Forum

February 2, 2024

BATON ROUGE, LA - Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, PhD, ended the final weeks of the fall 2023 semester focusing on disseminating writing research. Sulentic Dowell’s research proposal was selected as part of the 2023 Southern Education Foundation’s Issues Forum whose theme was Miles to go: Fulfilling the Promise of Racial Equity in Education. At the Southern Education Foundation Issues Forum, Sulentic Dowell’s session was titled “Investigating Writing Leadership in an All-Charter District: Examining the Promise of Innovation, Reform, and Choice.”

The presentation focused on the ways that principals and school chiefs in New Orleans, the only decentralized school system in the nation, promote and support writing instruction and teachers’ writing pedagogical capacity within an all-charter environment. The presentation resulted from an investigation Sulentic Dowell co-conducted in the spring of 2023 in collaboration with School of Education Educational Leadership Program colleagues, Henderson Lewis, Jr., PhD and Carlos Lee, EdD. The trio of educational leaders collaborated to publish their research, “An Examination of Literacy Writing Leadership in an All Charter District: The Impact of Privileged Reading Instruction, Mandated Prescriptive Curriculum, and Legislative Mandates,” in a 2023 volume titled, Instructional Leadership Efforts and Evidence-based Practices to Improve Writing Instruction.

Just three research panels were included in the program, an indication of the selectiveness of the proposal process as well as the caliber of presentations. For example, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education, Louisiana Board of Regents, Kim Hunter Reed, PhD., was a plenary session panelist. Individuals from the Brookings Institute, the University of Missouri, the US Department of Education, Harvard, Learning Policy Institute, University of Alabama, the University of Arkansas, s well as individuals from across southern states rounded out the program.

Sulentic Dowell is the Cecil “Pete” Taylor Endowed Professor of Literacy Leadership and Urban Education and coordinates the PhD program in Educational Leadership, the Certificate in Instructional Coaching, and is Director of the LSU Writing Project; Lewis oversees the Educational Leadership PhD core coursework, and Lee organizes and directs the Masters and Educational Specialist Program in Educational Leadership.

The Southern Education Foundation was founded in 1867 as the Peabody Education Fund when philanthropist, George Peabody, donated $1 million the first public education system in the South. Peabody motivated other philanthropists to also contribute to efforts to support and train educators in the South to work with Black students and students living in poverty.

About Lutrill & Pearl Payne LSU School of Education (SOE)

A school of the College of Human Sciences & Education, the SOE offers undergraduate programs for students who want to pursue a career as a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teacher or acquire dual certification in both traditional elementary and special education classrooms. Besides providing graduate certification in Instructional Coaching, educational technology, and urban & community education, the SOE offers a writing pedagogy minor, and a master’s degree in arts, arts in teaching, education (MEd), education in counseling (MEd), certificate of education specialist (EdS) and PhD. The School’s mission is to prepare educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners, and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues. Visit the LSU Lutrill and Pearl Payne School of Education.

About LSU College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE)

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan. Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education.