The state should allow a diversity of alternate route providers. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Alternate Route Providers: New Mexico allows a diversity of alternate route program providers, including district-led programs such as the Santa Fe Public Schools Fellows Program. The state's alternate route programs, however, are run in collaboration with institutions of higher education.
Further expand the diversity of alternate route providers.
New Mexico should continue to consider policies that encourage additional providers beyond what the state currently offers, including alternate route programs offered by school districts and other nonprofit organizations that are not run in collaboration with institutions of higher education. A robust diversity of providers has the potential to help all programs, both university- and non-university-based, to improve.
New Mexico provided that it also offers opportunities for districts to use the NMTEACH effectiveness system to establish criteria for alternative licensure of teachers. The state noted that this means that teachers using the NMTEACH route must have at least two years of "effective" ratings to obtain full licensure, and that when teachers obtain licensure via this route, they can advance licenses and count their years of service in the licensure system.
Alternate routes should be structured to do more than just address shortages; they should provide an alternative pipeline for talented individuals to enter the profession. Many states have structured their alternate routes as a streamlined means to certify teachers in shortage subjects, grades, or geographic areas. A true alternate route creates a new pipeline of potential teachers by certifying those with valuable knowledge and skills who did not prepare to teach as undergraduates and are disinclined to fulfill the requirements of a new degree.
Some states claim that the limitations they place on the use of their alternate routes impose quality control. However, states control the criteria for who is admitted and who is licensed. With appropriate standards for admission and program accountability, quality can be safeguarded without casting alternate routes as routes of last resort or branding alternate route teachers "second-class citizens."