Murphy Tackles Teacher Shortage, Eliminates edTPA Requirement
Governor Phil Murphy today signed S896 w/GR into law, which prohibits the State Board of Education from requiring the completion of the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (“edTPA”) as a condition of eligibility for a certificate of eligibility with advanced standing (“CEAS”) or certificate of eligibility (“CE”). Essentially, teachers can now be hired in NJ without the edTPA requirements.
“As we face a national teacher shortage, we must work to establish effective and efficient solutions to grow this critical workforce on behalf of New Jersey’s students,” said Governor Murphy. “By eliminating edTPA, we will streamline a process that has previously acted as a barrier in the transition between sitting in a classroom and leading a classroom. In New Jersey we recognize that teaching is not only a career, but a calling. I am proud to sign legislation that empowers educator prep programs to appropriately assess their candidates, which will ensure that New Jersey continues to produce the nation’s best educators.”
The Legislature unanimously concurred with the Governor’s conditional veto of an earlier version of the legislation that prohibited consideration of any Commissioner of Education-approved performance-based assessment as a factor in determining whether to recommend a candidate for a CEAS or CE.
“In the midst of a teacher shortage, we should assist teaching candidates rather than further obstruct their opportunity to teach in a classroom,” said Senator Shirley K Turner. “The edTPA assessment has been a hindrance to the progression of current and prospective educators. It is a costly, unnecessary, and unreliable exam that has complicated the accreditation process for teaching candidates. Eradicating this burdensome assessment is a step in the right direction to make New Jersey a more equitable state.”
The Governor recommended changes necessary to maintain the elimination of the State’s current requirement that educator candidates pass the edTPA test, and instead moved the responsibility for administering a performance-based assessment to the educator preparation programs (“EPP”), which are best positioned to select or create the most appropriate assessment for their candidates.
“Recent years have presented our schools with many significant challenges, including a national teacher shortage. Our students deserve the best education possible, and to deliver that we must have a fully staffed teacher workforce,” said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey. “At our meeting of the Joint Committee on the Public Schools addressing the teacher shortage, the EdTPA was repeatedly identified as a contributor to the shortage. I am gratified we are eliminating this expensive test which does nothing to predict classroom success.”
The legislation signed today eliminates 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.
“This is a win for students and educators in New Jersey,” said NJEA President Sean M. Spiller. “EdTPA was an unnecessary Christie-era holdover that was keeping highly qualified educators out of New Jersey classrooms at a time when they are more needed than ever. We are glad that our future educators will now be able to focus their time and energy on developing and practicing the real-world skills that will bring them success in their future classrooms so that our public schools can remain the very best in America.”
Rather, under the legislation signed today, CEAS and CE candidates will be required to complete performance-based assessments as part of their EPP, beginning with teaching candidates who complete their EPP in the spring of 2024.
“School leaders are grateful for the support of the Governor to place assessment of prospective teachers within their preparation program,” said Dr. Richard G. Bozza, Executive Director of NJ Association of School Administrators. “This action eliminates one hurdle to recruiting and retaining new teachers in New Jersey school districts and integrates candidates’ performance assessment within their preparation programs.”
“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 NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools Executive Director Jackie Burke. “The removal of this costly and unnecessary burden will allow our schools to attract more candidates into the teaching profession.”
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