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HomenewsMurphy Has Signed a Bill that Will Remove the Need for Prospective...

Murphy Has Signed a Bill that Will Remove the Need for Prospective Teachers to Take a Certification Exam

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Friday that eliminates a state-mandated test for persons who want to teach in New Jersey, in part to alleviate the teacher shortage hurting schools across the state.
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A permanent standard teaching certificate can now be obtained without first passing the Education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), as mandated by the new law.

A previous version of the measure had been conditionally vetoed by Governor Murphy, sending it back to the Legislature with recommendations to allow teacher preparation programmes, rather than the state, to offer performance-based assessment.

Governor Murphy signs bill eliminating test requirement for would-be teachers

In order to smooth the path from student to teacher leader, edTPA will be done away with. “Teaching is more than a job in New Jersey; it’s a calling,” Murphy added.

The edTPA has been criticised by education experts and advocates who argue it unfairly targets children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and places an undue financial burden on prospective teachers.

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New Jersey Education Association President Sean Spiller, who speaks for the state’s largest teachers union, said in a statement that Murphy’s decision was “a triumph for children and educators in New Jersey” since it eliminated the need for standardised testing.

If the test is no longer required, educators argue, more qualified applicants will apply for the job. According to the New Jersey Education Association, this means hundreds of individuals who had previously been ineligible for certification can now apply.

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The pandemic has likely made the already serious issue of teacher shortages even worse. Murphy recently approved a measure mandating annual reports using data on the teaching workforce from state education officials.
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Governor Murphy signs bill eliminating test requirement for would-be teachers

In the spring of 2024, the new law will take effect for those who have completed the prerequisites for becoming a teacher.

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In September, Murphy signed a law mandating the establishment of a five-year pilot programme by the state Department of Education to grant special certifications to prospective teachers in order to fill teaching vacancies.

Educators who have been granted this certification will be able to upgrade to the more commonplace standard certificate upon successfully completing two assessments.

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