Major win for students and educators!

NJ eliminates edTPA requirement

Earlier today, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill to eliminate edTPA as a requirement for teacher certification in New Jersey, a top priority for NJEA for several years. Over the last two years, thousands of NJEA members, along with many education stakeholder partners, lobbied for this critical change. It was due large in part to those efforts that the bill garnered unanimous support in the Legislature prior to being signed today.

First imposed in New Jersey under Gov. Chris Christie, edTPA proved to be a cumbersome, costly and discriminatory obstacle that frustrated future educators and kept qualified candidates out of New Jersey classrooms. In the current staffing crisis, its elimination is a welcome step forward that will provide immediate benefits to our schools and students as hundreds of potential educators will become immediately eligible for certification.

NJEA’s officers, President Sean M. Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty, and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson, issued this statement commending the change:

“This change is a win for students and educators. Years of experience showed us that edTPA was a costly, frustrating, discriminatory obstacle that did nothing to improve educator quality but frequently kept qualified educators out of our classrooms. With the staffing crisis that is affecting every New Jersey school, getting rid of this Christie-era relic was especially important.

“We are grateful to the thousands of NJEA members who took the time to call, email and visit legislators and share their stories of why edTPA was a flawed assessment and unnecessary barrier. We also commend the legislative leaders who shepherded this bill through their chambers during this long process. By acting again before the holidays, they ensured that students could have this relief coming into the new year.

 “We are also grateful to our many partners in the education advocacy community who joined our call to eliminate edTPA because they too realized it was doing far more harm than good. When educators lead on education policy, better decisions emerge. This is a great example of how we can move our state forward by trusting the professionals who have helped make our public schools the very best in the nation.

“This is an important step forward, but it won’t solve the educator shortage by itself. We need to continue to listen to the voices of educators. That leadership by professional practitioners is how we will make additional smart reforms and implement progressive policies. Our members understand how to make the profession stronger and our schools more successful by eliminating bureaucratic obstacles and time wasters in order to be laser-focused on teaching and learning.”