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Dr. Randy Penfield, dean of UNC Greensboro’s School of Education

Dr. Randy Penfield, dean of the UNC Greensboro School of Education, has been appointed to the North Carolina Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC).

The Commission was created in 2017, and acts as an advising body to the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE). Its purpose is to involve stakeholders in establishing high standards for North Carolina educators; make rule recommendations for the SBE regarding all aspects of preparation, licensure, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; and exercise its powers and duties independently of — while located administratively under — the SBE.

PEPSC consists of 18 members total, eight appointed by the NC Senate and eight appointed by the NC House of Representatives. Members are appointed for a two-year term, and they include principals, superintendents, HR directors, teachers, and university education faculty.

Read an interview below with Dr. Penfield about his new role as a PEPSC member.

Could you describe the Commission’s role and how you will make an impact across the state of North Carolina?

The Commission plays a critical role in supporting and shaping a high-quality public education system that meets the evolving educational landscape of the state. As an educational statistician, I have spent my career examining how test scores and other data are used to inform educational decisions about student learning, the effectiveness of educational programs and curriculums, and broader educational policies. Similar data is used in making decisions about educator preparation pathways and our educator preparation programs across the state. I am excited to learn how my passion for the fair and appropriate use of data, coupled with a first-hand understanding of educator preparation programs, can help support the work of the Commission.

What are you looking forward to about working with your fellow Commission members ?

More than anything, I am excited to learn from their perspectives and insight and collaborate with them to meet the critical purpose of the Commission. Public education is an enormous system that is situated in an even large state and federal context. I look forward to collaborating with my fellow Commission members to integrate information across these broad contexts to help advance the quality of public education in North Carolina.

How can the UNCG School of Education play a role in supporting the work of the Commission?

The UNCG School of Education has a long history of excellence, being among the oldest educator preparation programs in the state and remaining among the largest in the state. We have grown into a hub of research and knowledge informing best practices in the preparation of educators, and this expertise provides a broad foundation that can help inform my input to the Commission.

How does UNCG’s broader legacy relate to this appointment?

UNCG has been a central contributor to educator preparation in North Carolina for over 120 years. After all, in 1892 we opened our doors as the State Normal and Industrial School, where the term “Normal” refers to the norms of pedagogy and curriculum – a teachers college. Since our very beginning, UNCG has played a critical role in preparing teachers and school personnel to meet the growing needs of the North Carolina public education system. I am honored to represent UNCG as a member of this Commission and continue UNCG’s long history of support of public education across the state.

Learn more about the North Carolina PEPSC here.

Interview by Susan Kirby-Smith, University Communications

 
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