College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.


School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Center Director, Center for Education Policy and Evaluation
Education Policy
Teaching and Teacher Education

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Earley

Phone: (703) 993-3361
Fax: (703) 993-2013
Email: pearley (

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
West Building 2101
4400 University Dr.
MS 6D2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Dr. Penelope M. Earley is a Professor and Director of the Center for Education Policy She also teaches graduate courses in education policy and analysis. Dr. Earley serves on advisory boards for the IRIS Project on Faculty Development and ASCD's Research Briefs.

Dr. Earley's undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan, her Masters in Foundations of Education is from the University of Virginia, and her Ph.D. in Research and Evaluation is from Virginia Tech.

Research Interests

  • Teacher education policy
  • Federal and state education policy
  • Gender equity

Recent Publications

  • Earley, P. "Searching for the General Welfare in Federal Education Process" in Teaching for Democracy and Social Justice (in press).
  • Earley, P. and Laitsch, D. Teacher Education in the News: What the Media Reports, What Teacher Education Leaders Say, and How to Bring the Two Together (2004), AACTE Annual Meeting.
  • Earley, P. Analysis of the Secretary of Education's 2003 Report on Teacher Quality: It's Déjà vu All Over Again (2003).
  • Earley, P. "Finding the Culprit: Federal Policy and Teacher Education." Educational Policy (January and March 2002).
Teacher Education Policy in the United States: Issues and Tensions in an Era of Evolving Expectations

Other Information

Mason Courses Taught

  • EDUC 870 Education Policy: Process, Context and Politics
  • EDUC 871 Advanced Policy Issues in Education
  • EDUC 872 Social Science Research and Education Policy