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N.J. DOE Proposes Setting Academic Bar Higher For Would-Be Teachers

Prospective Teachers Would Have To Maintain A B Average Under Proposal
A teacher asks her students a question. (credit: Chris Hondros/Newsmakers)

A teacher asks her students a question. (credit: Chris Hondros/Newsmakers)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey’s Education Department is considering requiring prospective teachers to achieve at least a B average in college before they can get state certification.

The new 3.0 grade-point requirement would represent a slight increase from the current 2.75.

Education deans at some colleges in the state said the change would not make much of a practical difference, The Press of Atlantic City reported.

Neighboring Pennsylvania and Delaware already require a 3.0, and experts say it’s hard for an education graduate to get a job in New Jersey with marks lower than that.

Also, some teaching colleges require 3.0 averages of their students already.

Critics say the change could weed out some would-be teachers who come from other professions.

Under the proposed new regulations, prospective teachers would also have to take a standardized test of basic skills or have an SAT math/reading score of at least 1,120 for entrance into the teacher education program.

Starting in January 2016, they would be required to take another performance assessment to obtain a license starting.

Traditional teacher education candidates with scores at least 10 percent higher than the minimum passing score could have a GPA of between 2.75 and 3.0.

Raising the minimum GPA was last proposed by the state in 2000, when it was 2.5.

Education experts noted GPA alone cannot determine if a teacher will be successful, but said it’s a strong indicator that they can be effective.

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