KPBS reports that an alternative licensing program in California brings in 50%-100% more ethnic minority teaching candidates than do traditional programs. This is just one more reason (and a significant one) to opening the doors to alternative licensing for teaching.
Of course the question is always whether or not alternative programs can ensure that teachers are quality teachers, but given the success rate of traditional programs, this is worth a try.
The evidence suggests that having minority teachers teaching minority students can provide an increase in student attitudes toward learning. This is an important avenue for improving both the percentages of minority teachers as well as the overall pool of qualified teacher candidates.