Support of S3884/A5419 to Remove the Praxis Core Requirement for Teacher Certification

The following letter was sent to by our Executive Committee, on behalf of the membership.

Dear members of the Senate Education Committee:

On behalf of the membership of New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NJACTE), which represent 26 institutions of higher education, we write to request that you please support S3884/A5419, which removes obstacles to teacher certification for certain teachers.

This legislation removes the greatest barrier to teacher certification and would do more than any other foreseeable action to welcome individuals from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds into the teaching profession and eliminate teacher shortages, especially in the state’s most challenged schools.

The rationale for removal of the standardized test requirement is sound. Since 2014, there has been a vast decline statewide in the number of individuals who are becoming teachers, which coincides with the implementation of the basic skills test requirement for entry into teacher preparation programs. According to the 2022 New Jersey Performance Reports for Educator Preparation, in 2019-2020, the number of candidates with a certificate of eligibility who completed teacher preparation was 880, and the number of completers with a certificate of eligibility with advanced standing was 2,195. Five years prior, in 2014-2015, the completer numbers were 3,294 and 3,687, respectively.

Moreover, while well-intentioned in its efforts to produce a qualified and capable teacher workforce in the state of New Jersey, the basic skills tests requirement has not resulted in evidence of better teachers whose instruction yields better-performing students. Rather, data from the Condition of Education 2020 report from National Center for Education Statistics (pages 69-90) reveal that reading and math performance has decreased or remained the same during the period of increased teacher preparation requirements (

Once again, we ask that you please support S3884/A5419, which will dramatically increase the number and diversity of qualified teachers in the great state of New Jersey.

NJACTE Executive Committee