By Elena Barbre
Teachers who took the Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) courses to prepare for certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)–the only national teaching certification in the profession–had a 92 percent pass rate this year, as compared to a 52 percent average pass rate nationwide.
National board certification, a voluntary process established by the NBPTS, is a rigorous, yearlong, performance-based assessment for K-12 teachers, says education professor Joan Isenberg, director of GSE’s Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning program.
Last year, Isenberg, along with Marlene Henriques and Faye Wagoner, adjunct professors who are board-certified teachers in Fairfax County Public Schools, developed courses that take candidates for board certification through the process step by step. The courses have resulted in a pass rate of 92 percent in each of the two years they have been taught–an accomplishment almost unheard of in the profession.
“People around the country are starting to look to George Mason’s program as a model for teacher preparation for board certification,” says Isenberg. “This year, we’ve tripled the number of people we’re supporting with our preparation courses.”
“George Mason’s record is the envy of the field,” says Gary Galluzzo, former dean of GSE and now executive vice president for NBPTS. “I know of no group that has achieved the same level of success. It appears that George Mason has figured out the proper way to help teachers think like national board-certified teachers.”