Middle School Teacher Preparation : New
Jersey

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should ensure that middle school teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach appropriate grade-level content.

Meets
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Middle School Teacher Preparation : New Jersey results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/NJ-Middle-School-Teacher-Preparation--6

Analysis of New Jersey's policies

New Jersey requires middle school teachers (grades 5-8) to teach on an "elementary school with subject matter specialization" endorsement. All candidates must earn an academic major. Those teaching more than one content area must be certified in each additional area, which requires 15 credit hours of study in that subject.

All new middle school teachers in New Jersey are also required to pass a single-subject Praxis II content test in the appropriate area to attain licensure; a general content knowledge test is not an option.

Citation

Recommendations for New Jersey

State response to our analysis

New Jersey recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

A report published by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP) concludes that a teacher's knowledge of math makes a difference in student achievement. U.S. Department of Education. Foundation for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education (2008).

For additional research on the importance of subject matter knowledge, see Dee and Chodes, "Out-of-Field Teaching and Student Achievement; Evidence from Matched-Pairs Comparisons." Public Finance Review (2008); as B. Chaney, "Student outcomes and the professional preparation of 8th grade teachers," in NSF/NELS 88: Teacher transcript analysis (Rockville, MD: Westat, 1995); H. Wenglinsky, How Teaching Matters: Bringing the Classroom Back Into Discussions of Teacher Quality (Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service, 2000). For information on the "ceiling effect," see D. Goldhaber and D. Brewer, "When should we reward degrees for teachers?" in Phi Delta Kappan 80, No. 2 (1998): 134-138.