Leanna Martin ’26PHD Selected to Join Education Policy Academy, 15th Cohort of Alliance for Catholic Education’s Reform Leaders’ Summit
Leanna Martin ’26PHD, a doctoral student in the NC State College of Education’s Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development educational evaluation and policy analysis concentration, has been invited to join the Education Policy Academy as well as the 15th cohort of the Alliance for Catholic Education’s Reform Leaders’ Summit.
The Education Policy Academy is an exclusive summer institute that brings graduate students to Washington, D.C. for a week-long exploration of how the worlds of education research, policy and advocacy interact. Past institutes have included seminars with prominent education policy thinkers as well as interactive sessions and simulations that illuminate the dynamics that underlie education policy making.
“To be selected for the Education Policy Academy is an honor. Knowing the caliber of talent who also applied and knowing that scholars that I admire were a part of this program is humbling, and I am so excited to learn from this experience.” Martin said. “As a first-year student, I know that my experience is narrow in comparison to those I will be learning from, and I am anticipating that my views will be challenged and, with that, I will grow as a professional and as a person.”
Martin said that during her time with the Education Policy Academy, she is most excited to collaborate with scholars from different universities and learn from the various perspectives and experiences of others.
“I am looking forward to seeing the discourse between policymakers and applying it to my own research in the future,” she said.
Martin’s research focuses on student achievement and resource allocation for English learners, and she is currently involved in a study that examines achievement scores between students from English-speaking homes versus non-English speaking homes in grades two through five.
As she prepares to join the 15th cohort of the Reform Leaders’ Summit, Martin hopes she will be able to broaden her vision of how to make tailored opportunities accessible to all students.
“As I continue to research English Learner student achievement and resource allocation, it is becoming clear to me that a one-size-fits-all approach to education for specialized populations is not an efficient or effective solution for success,” she said.
The Reform Leaders’ Summit aims to equip leaders with skills and abilities needed to support family rights and equity in education. Martin will be part of a cohort of about 50 educators who will engage in three immersion weekends, facilitated by policymakers, school leaders, researchers, education entrepreneurs and funders.
She will join fellow educational evaluation and policy analysis doctoral students Christy Batts and Kendall Hageman-Mays in the 15th cohort. Zainab Qaabidh ’24PHD and Mario Jackson ’24PHD, who are both also earning a Ph.D. in the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development educational evaluation and policy analysis concentration, participated in the 14th cohort in 2022.
During her time in the Reform Leaders’ Summit, Martin will be part of a team that will work to complete a year-long project, which she believes will help her to grow within her research focus, learn more about other areas of education policy research and develop professional relationships.
“This is a unique and exciting opportunity, and I could not be more humbled to be a member of the 15th cohort,” she said. “I am so excited to learn from leading scholars in this field and further broaden my understanding of school choice programs and reform within the United States.”