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Nevada lawmakers seek to end tenure and promote performance-based pay for teachers

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011 15:44 PM

Many Nevada teachers gathered at the State's hearing room to oppose a bill that would eliminate tenure and promote performance-based pay raises, The Associated Press reported.

Teachers told the news source that this structure would put them at the mercy of a principal or a difficult group of students. The State's Assembly Ways and Means Committee seeks to improve Nevada's last in the nation K-12 education system by terminating ineffective teachers.

Officials added that the bill would require the State Board of Education to create a new four-tier system to grade teacher performance, which places 50 percent of the grade on student achievement and puts teachers on a year-to-year contract.

"Tenure is about the adult, not the child," Dale Erquiaga, Governor Brian Sandoval's senior adviser, told the news source. "There is no correlation between tenure and student achievement."

Erquiaga added that the bill preserves all due process rights for teachers who say that they are unfairly targeted for termination. Many experts believe that by removing tenure the state is harboring a temporary workforce that is paranoid about losing their jobs, which could harm the state's ability to recruit the top employees.