School of Education Faculty selected as US Department of Education Reviewers


Two School of Education faculty – Dr. Sassy Wheeler and Dr. Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell – both faculty members in the Grades 1-5 Teachers Education Program, were recently selected as reviewers for the United States Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant competition, a highly sought after grant with an overall goal of increasing educator effectiveness and student achievement in public schools.

“The United States Department of Education could not have chosen better reviewers. Drs. Wheeler and Sulentic Dowell demonstrate a high regard for their students’ teaching skills and well-being.  The School of Education is pleased to have these well-recognized educators as members of the faculty who contribute to future teachers' abilities to deliver outstanding education to their students.” stated Dr. Neil Mathews, Director of the School of Education.

The purpose of the TIF program is to support, develop, and implement sustainable performance-based compensation systems for teachers, principals, and other personnel in high-need schools, within the context of a local educational agency’s overall human capital management system. For Wheeler and Sulentic Dowell, their professional careers in public schools were spent in high needs, high-poverty schools, and now as teacher educators in the School of Education, preparing future teachers, making them ideal reviewers.

As the United States Department of Education budgeted between $50,000,000 and $70,000,000 with 5-10 new awards anticipated prior to the competition, the TIF competition was rigorous, with estimated awards ranging from $500,000 to $12,000,000. With a Notice of Intent due June 30, 2016 and a submission date of July 15, 2016, not only were the grants competitive, but the pressure to complete a grant was intense. Reviewing such high-stakes grants was also a rigorous process for School of Education faculty, Sulentic Dowell and Wheeler.

Drs. Wheeler and Sulentic Dowell received the grants they were assign to review on Monday, July 25, and were required to read, evaluate, and score the grants, by Friday, August 5, a meticulous, precise process that demanded their educational expertise and writing abilities. They spent from Monday, August 8 – Wednesday, August 10 in Washington DC, participating in panels where they engaged in robust discussions about the grants with additional reviewers. Both Wheeler and Sulentic Dowell were among a cadre of educators from across the United States who were selected to review the 2016 Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant competition.

About SOE

The LSU School of Education (SOE) offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction and in Educational Leadership, Research, and Counseling. The School’s mission is to prepare P-12 educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues.

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About 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 Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs.

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