Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states, with appropriate safeguards.
New Jersey does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.
Regrettably, New Jersey's recent policy change now allows a waiver for its subject-matter test if the out-of-state teacher possesses an equivalent certificate and endorsement and was required to pass a subject-matter test in that previous state.
Teachers with valid out-of-state certificates are eligible for New Jersey's standard license. Those who have not taught successfully for three years under their out-of-state certificate must meet New Jersey's minimum GPA requirement of 2.75. Successful teaching experience is documented by a letter from the applicant's supervisor or district representative.
In addition, transcripts are required for all out-of-state teachers; however, it is not clear whether the state analyzes transcripts to determine whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route or whether additional coursework will be required.
New Jersey is also a participant in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement; however, the latest iteration of this agreement no longer purports to be a reciprocity agreement among states and thus is no longer included in this analysis.
New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:9-8.9
To uphold standards, require that teachers coming from other states meet testing requirements.
New Jersey takes considerable risk by granting a waiver for its licensing tests to any out-of-state teacher who has an equivalent license and has already passed a content test. The state should not provide any waivers of its teacher tests unless an applicant can provide evidence of a passing score under its own standards. The negative impact on student learning stemming from a teacher's inadequate subject-matter knowledge is not mitigated by the teacher's having a license from another state.
Accord the same license to out-of-state alternate route teachers as would be accorded to traditionally prepared teachers.
New Jersey should consider discontinuing its requirements for the submission of transcripts. Transcript analysis is likely to result in additional coursework requirements, even for traditionally prepared teachers; alternate route teachers, on the other hand, may have to virtually begin anew, repeating some, most or all of a teacher preparation program in New Jersey. Regardless of whether a teacher was prepared through a traditional or alternate route, all certified out-of-state teachers should receive equal treatment.
Reconsider policy that allows a minimum GPA to mitigate unsuccessful teaching experience.
New Jersey's requirement that teachers from other states must have successful teaching experience is sound policy. However, the reasoning behind allowing out-of-state candidates who fail this criterion to earn a standard license if they meet a minimum grade point average is unclear. While academic background is important, a GPA is not indicative of a teacher's ability in the classroom and should therefore not be substituted as such.
New Jersey contended that it accepts standard certificates—indeed all certificates—from other states and does not require transcripts. The state added that it only requires a copy of the out-of-state certificate and proof of three years experience.
The state's website specifically articulates that the out-of-state teacher application process requires the submission of transcripts.