May 17, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

844 Teachers Move from Level I to Level II License and Gain a Substantial Pay Raise In Public Schools

( Santa Fe, NM)— The Public Education Department is pleased to announce that 844 teachers have progressed within the Three Tier Licensure system, moving from a Level I license to a level II license. Of the 960 teachers that applied approximately 88% passed to the next level of licensure. This means that the 844 teachers who submitted a dossier which was reviewed by 2 independent reviewers and also had reviews by their principal were deemed to be meeting or exceeding the requirements of a Level II license. On average the teachers who work in public schools will receive a pay increase that ranges from $5,000-$8,000. An average level one teacher in New Mexico is making $33,000 and they will now make a minimum of $40,000.

Secretary Veronica C. García remarked, “I applaud these teachers and am proud of their achievements. The three tier licensure system greatly increases teacher accountability. The teachers that have successfully gone through the dossier process have demonstrated that they are achieving results in the classroom.”

As a result of the passage HB212 during the 2003 legislative session, the Public Education Department implemented a system that relates teacher performance to minimum salary guarantees statewide. This system is commonly referred to as Three Tier Licensure. The system raises the level of accountability for teachers in the classroom. It requires teachers after a minimum of three years of teaching and a maximum of five years of teaching, to submit a professional development dossier which demonstrates competency in the teacher’s teaching methods, a record of their professional development and demonstrable student outcomes with their students.

150 readers, who are themselves teachers from across New Mexico, received training in February and March at the University of New Mexico. Each dossier was reviewed by two reviewers in one content area. The reviewers had 92% agreement between them when reviewing the most recently submitted dossiers. In the rare instances where both reviewers did not agree a third reviewer read and analyzed the dossier. If a teacher had problems in their dossier, that teacher was referred to the Institute for Professional Development and the College of Education at University of New Mexico where they were given the proper support to help teachers work on areas where they needed improvement.

Additionally, with the passage of HB84 and SB662 during the 2005 legislative session, effective immediately, level one teaching licenses are issued for a five year period rather than a three year period. Teachers who currently hold level one licenses that expire on June 30, 2005, who are not moving to level two, either because they were not successful in the dossier or because they did not submit a dossier, will automatically have their level one licenses extended for two more years. The extended level one license will not be mailed out automatically by the Public Education Department; however teachers can request a hard copy of their extended level one license by sending an e-mail to Bernadette Bach confirming their address at after June 30, 2005.