Governor Susana Martinez announced today that a new education reform initiative will pay 400 New Mexico teachers an additional $5000 to work with students in struggling schools or to help students earn Advanced Placement (AP) credits.
The first step in the initiative will reward 100 teachers who agree to move from a school with a grade of an A or B to a school with a D or F grade. Teachers must commit to a minimum of two years at the struggling school in order to receive the stipend.
Additionally, 300 teachers--currently instructing AP classes--will be eligible for an incentive. Awards will be based on teachers who increase the number of students successfully passing AP courses.
For the class of 2012, more than 4,800 students participated in AP courses, but just under 2,500 successfully passed. Students who successfully complete AP courses and exams receive credit toward graduation and credit toward a college degree at almost any university in the United States.
"Our teachers who take on the biggest challenges and deliver results for our students deserve to be rewarded," said Governor Susana Martinez. "We need those teachers who are successful to share their practices in our struggling schools so that we can spread success across our state. We also want to help those AP teachers who are preparing our students for success at the next level and saving families money on tuition."
In the 2012-2013 school year, funds were provided for every 10th grade student to participate in the Pre-S.A.T. exam, which helps determine potential student success in AP courses. Those results showed only 40% of students who would be successful in AP classes were actually enrolled in those courses.
In May, Governor Martinez announced funding to expand access to AP classes across the state. The expansion of access to AP courses, combined with the latest effort to improve student success, could help New Mexico families save more than $5 million in college costs per year.
"We know there are teachers all over New Mexico who can replicate their success at a struggling school if given the opportunity," said PED Secretary Hanna Skandera. "In a short amount of time, we want to dramatically increase both access and success in AP courses. These critical reforms are a big step in the right direction for our students to be successful after high school."
As part of the initiative, the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) will provide every school district with the names of students who did well on the Pre-S.A.T. in order to help them gain access and succeed in AP courses. Districts will have a clearer understanding of how many students would benefit from AP courses and the subjects where they would likely be successful. Educators can then use the information as they plan course offerings for the 2014-2015 school year.
On Monday, Governor Susana Martinez also announced that more than 100 science and math teachers statewide will receive a $5,000 stipend this year for teaching at "hard-to-staff" schools. The initiative is designed to attract and keep highly qualified math and science teachers in schools that have experienced serious challenges in hiring teachers in these fields. So far, 75 teachers have been retained at their school with 35 additional teachers moving to a new school in 14 districts across New Mexico.