Murphy Signs 3 Bills into Law, Vetoes 4


Governor Murphy took action on the following legislation, including vetoing bill S896, which eliminated NJ’s past requirement that all educators pass the “edTPA” test; educator prep programs may now choose the most appropriate assessment.

Last week, Governor Murphy signed the following bills into law:

S-772/A-1929 (Pou, Pennacchio/Swain, Dancer, McKnight) - Directs the Department of Agriculture to establish New Jersey Minority, Women, and Underserved Farmer Registry.

S-1027/A-2208 (Singleton, Cruz-Perez/Greenwald, Verrelli, Sampson) - Includes duct cleaning as public work subject to the prevailing wage law.

S-2253/A-3656 (Scutari, Pou/Stanley, McKnight, Benson) - Limits fees charged for copies of medical and billing records.

The Governor vetoed the following bills:

S-757/S-2772 (Sarlo, Oroho/Freiman, Mukherji, Dancer) - CONDITIONAL - Authorizes special occasion events at certain commercial farms on preserved farmland, under certain conditions. (Copy of Statement)

SCS for S-2357/ACS for A-3830 (Madden, Lagana/Moriarty, Haider, Danielsen) - CONDITIONAL - Concerns the timely payment of UI benefits. (Copy of Statement)

A-1474/S-511 (Lopez, Danielsen, Carter/Cryan) - CONDITIONAL - Provides certain protections and rights for temporary laborers. (Copy of Statement)

Governor Phil Murphy also conditionally vetoed S896, which prohibits the State Board of Education from requiring the completion of a Commissioner of Education-approved performance-based assessment.

As described in more detail below, the Governor’s veto will eliminate the State’s current requirement that educator candidates pass the “edTPA” test, and move the responsibility for administering a performance-based assessment to the educator preparation programs, who can choose the most appropriate assessment for their candidates.

I wholeheartedly agree that the current edTPA requirement for teaching candidates is counterproductive and should be eliminated, but also believe that other types of performance-based assessments can ensure that teaching candidates are ready to enter the classroom,” said Governor Murphy.

“…edTPA is no longer necessary and […] the real-world experiences of student-teaching serve student-teachers far better,” said Karen Bingert, Executive Director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association. This shift both financially and professionally benefits teaching candidates, empowering teaching interns to further hone their skills in the classroom, working with students, and learning from their mentors.”

This action will make the performance-based assessment more meaningful to the teacher candidate and enhance the timeline for new teachers to enter the workforce,” said Dr. Richard G. Bozza, Executive Director of NJ Association of School Administrators.

At a time when districts across New Jersey are facing an unprecedented teacher shortage, the Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools applauds the Legislature and the Governor’s action to eliminate the edTPA assessment as a requirement for teacher certification,” said Jackie Burke, Executive Director of New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools. The removal of this costly and unnecessary burden will allow our schools to attract more candidates into the teaching profession.”

Ultimately, the bill with the Governor’s recommendations will remove a significant barrier to entering the teaching profession and help diversify the teacher workforce,” said Gene Lepore, executive director of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities.

As passed, S896 would prohibit the State Board of Education from requiring completion of a Commissioner of Education approved performance-based assessment, including, but not limited to, the educative Teacher Performance Assessment (“edTPA”), as a condition of eligibility for a certificate of eligibility with advanced standing, certificate of eligibility, or standard certificate.

The bill further makes it permissive for educator preparation programs (“EPPs”) to require candidates to complete a performance-based assessment, but also states that these EPPs may not consider whether a candidate has completed a Commissioner of Education approved performance-based assessment when deciding as to whether to recommend a candidate to the Commissioner of Education for certification.

The Governor’s veto removes the State Board of Education’s ability to require candidates to complete a Commissioner of Education approved performance-based assessment, including the edTPA, as a condition of certification. The Governor’s recommendations establish that EPPs must require candidates to complete a performance-based assessment as part of the program, beginning with teaching candidates who complete their EPP in the spring of 2024.

The Governor’s changes propose an approach similar to that taken by the New York State Board of Regents this past spring, which eliminated the edTPA requirement for certification and instead required that EPPs integrate a teacher performance assessment into their programs. In his revisions, the Governor also included a definition of performance-based assessment that is closely modeled on the definition used in New York.

For a copy of the Governor’s conditional veto, click here.

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