It’s not every day that you get the teachers’ union and the charter schools to agree on something. 

But they did recently on a very important topic: how to get more teachers into classrooms. Both groups successfully urged Governor Murphy to sign legislation to kill New Jersey’s “basic skills test” for teachers.

The problem was that the “basic skills test” was a completely misbranded assessment–there was nothing basic about it. Educators that typically can’t agree on most things agreed on this: the “basic skills test” is actually a test that is tedious and does little to gauge the readiness of a teacher. Instead, it included reading passages that one test expert described as “torturous in length with language that seems deliberately obtuse, confusing and absolutely boring.”

So three cheers for Senators Teresa Ruiz and James Beach, and Assembly Members Pamela Lampitt, Sadaf Jaffer, and Mila Jasey for introducing the bill and making sure it got signed. Public schools are grappling with so many challenges after Covid. This is one less thing for them to worry about.

And we’re also glad to see strange bedfellows find common ground, because it means that they can find common ground on other issues in public education.