Powerful Blue-State Teachers Union Fights to End Basic Skills Test Requirement for Educators

Powerful Blue-State Teachers Union Fights to End Basic Skills Test Requirement for Educators

A teachers union said proficiency in basic skills should no longer be required for teachers.

The New Jersey Education Association is pushing for Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to sign legislation that wipes away those standards.

The union said in a Nov. 7 post on its website that requiring proficiency in basic skills just gets in the way of adding bodies to the state’s teacher corps.

“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 NJEA said.

“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 union said, referring to the elimination of the educative Teacher Performance Assessment last year.

Nicki Neily, the president of Parents Defending Education, said dumbing down standards is not the best way to recruit teachers, according to a post on X.

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“You can eliminate some of the unnecessary red tape around becoming a teacher without eliminating a basic skills test. Teachers should be able to pass a basic skills test before they’re tasked with educating children in those core subjects,” she wrote.

Union president Sean Spiller said in September that teachers struggle as it is with too much paperwork and not enough income, according to WKXW-FM in Trenton.

“When you combine the frustration that the educators are feeling with the paperwork and the inundation with these other things that are not helpful for teaching, plus your loss in compensation both in direct salary and also the benefits, it’s just a bad combination,” Spiller said.

During a recent segment on the Fox News show “Outnumbered,” former Republican National Committee official Cassie Smedile pushed back, according to Fox News.

“We all know the national report card is in the tank. Failing grades across the board and now you’re going to say, ‘Oh let’s just lower the barrier of entry for the people educating our kids’ – our most prized possessions?” she said.

Jeremy Hunt, chairman of Veterans on Duty, offered his opinion that education officials are “disconnected with reality” on the situation.

“It’s scary when you think about where our education is going,” he added, while co-host Emily Compagno said she thought the NJEA’s statement was a “joke” at first.

Compagno said basic skills “are not a barrier. That’s the fundamental qualifications for a position description.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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