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November 09, 2015

New requirements approved for training teachers in New Jersey

Prospective educators will now have to undergo full year of student teaching

Prospective teachers in New Jersey will have to fulfill a new set of requirements approved by the state education board earlier this week before entering the profession.

According to the board, canidates will now have to undergo a full year of student teaching instead of the previously required one semester.

Candidates will also have to be exposed to multiple types of classrooms, including at least one with students with disabilities, and undergo a state performance assesment before entering the field.

The new standards come after relatively low scores overall from New Jersey students on the PARCC and NAEP tests.

Commisioner of Education David Hespe says those scores were a "call to action" to better prepare students.

“One way we can do this is to provide better support for our teachers, given how critical they are in helping all students succeed," Hespe said in a news release.

According to KYW Newsradio, the biggest change - the extra student teaching hours - won't go into effect until 2018. That's so colleges can adapt, Education Department Chief Talent Officer Peter Shulman told the station:

That’ll give colleges and universities time to develop programs to implement the new changes and they’ll have some flexibility.
“Some are going to be able to do this program in a typical 4 years an undergraduate would take to complete a program,” Shulman said. “Some might add an extra semester. Some might find other innovate ways to do this.”

Shulman added in the release announcing the changes that a comprehensive effort was needed to properly prepare the state's educators, not just a focus on one specific aspect of the profession.