Licensure Reciprocity: New Mexico

Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should help to make licenses fully portable among states, with appropriate safeguards.

Does not meet
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Licensure Reciprocity: New Mexico results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/NM-Licensure-Reciprocity-7

Analysis of New Mexico's policies

New Mexico does not support licensure reciprocity for certified teachers from other states.

Regrettably, New Mexico grants a waiver for its licensing tests to any out-of-state teacher who has passed a test in a previous state, regardless of whether or not he or she has met standards comparable to New Mexico's passing scores on its own tests.

Teachers with valid out-of-state certificates are eligible for a New Mexico teaching license. The state determines the type of reciprocated license on the basis of the out-of-state teacher's years of experience. Those with less than three years of experience receive a level 1 license (base salary $30,000); those with three to five years receive a level 2 license (base salary $40,000); and those with six or more years and a master's degree get a level 3 license (base salary $50,000).

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 Mexico 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.

Citation

Recommendations for New Mexico

To uphold standards, require that teachers coming from other states meet testing requirements.
New Mexico takes considerable risk by granting a waiver for its licensing tests to any out-of-state teacher who has passed a test in another state. It 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 met another state's testing requirements.

Offer a standard license to certified out-of-state teachers, absent unnecessary requirements.
New Mexico should consider adopting a more flexible policy regarding portability and offer out-of-state teachers comparable licensure, not one based on years of experience, as this may deter talented teachers from applying for certification in New Mexico. 

Accord the same license to out-of-state alternate route teachers as would be accorded to traditionally prepared teachers.
New Mexico should consider discontinuing its requirement 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 Mexico.

State response to our analysis

New Mexico recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

Many professions have gone further than teaching in encouraging interstate mobility. The requirements for attorneys, for example, are complicated, but often offer certain kinds of flexibility, such as allowing them to answer a small set of additional questions. See the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admissions Requirements 2007, published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the American Bar Association, available at:
http://www.ncbex.org/ .

On the similarity in effectiveness between graduates of traditional and alternative programs, see  J. Constantine, D. Player, T. Silva, K. Hallgren, M. Grider, and J. Deke, An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification, Final Report. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Services, U.S. Department of Education (2009), D. Boyd, et al. "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement." Education Finance and Policy, (2006).  T. Kane, J. Rockoff, and D. Staiger. "What Does Certification Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness? Evidence from New York City." National Bureau of Economic Research. (2006), G. Henry and C. Thompson, "Impacts of Teacher Preparation on Student Test Scores in North Carolina." Teacher Portals. University of North Carolina (2010). Z.Xu, J. Hannaway and C. Taylor, "Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School." The Urban Institute/Calder. (2009), D. Boyd et al "Recruiting Effective Math Teachers, How Do Math Immersion Teachers Compare? Evidence from New York City." Calder Institute (2009); as well as "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement," by Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff, National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2005; and "The Effects of Teach For America on Students: Findings from a National Evaluation," (Mathematica Policy Research Inc., 2004).