NJ Teachers Union Calls For Ending Basic Skills Test Requirement

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A New Jersey teachers union is pushing to eliminate a basic skills test for teachers, according to a statement issued Wednesday.

The New Jersey Education Association released a statement touting their goal to lower the bar for aspiring teachers and encouraged allies to write letters to the governor expressing support for the cause.

“Last year, New Jersey eliminated the edTPA, a barrier to becoming a certified teacher. Now it’s time to eliminate another barrier: the basic skills test for teachers,” the statement read.

“New Jersey requires that candidates for teacher certification pass a basic skills test, the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading, Writing and Math, or show SAT, ACT, or GRE scores in the top third percentile the year they were taken,” the statement continues.

The statement suggested that the state’s education department could have eliminated more requirements for those seeking to be teachers. (RELATED: New York To Scrap Literacy Test For Teachers In The Name Of Diversity)

“When the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) adopted changes to the administrative code around teacher certification, it missed an opportunity to eliminate this requirement, which created an unnecessary barrier to entering the profession,” the statement added.

Teachers in New York City successfully sued the city over their failure to pass a basic literacy exam, arguing the disparity in pass rates between Black, Latino and White test-takers proves a bias. A judge found that the test violated the Civil Rights Act, because it did not show a meaningful correlation between a teacher’s performance on the test and their performance in the classroom.