Performance Pay: Nevada

Retaining Effective Teachers Policy


The state should support performance pay but in a manner that recognizes its appropriate uses and limitations.

Meets goal in part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Performance Pay: Nevada results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Nevada's policies

Starting in 2014, Nevada will implement a performance pay program with "its primary focus the improvement in the academic achievement of pupils." The program may also include the following components: career leadership advancement, professional development and multiple assessments. 


Recommendations for Nevada

Ensure that the performance pay plan recognizes teachers for their effectiveness.
As Nevada moves forward with performance-based compensation, the state must ensure its performance pay structures thoughtfully measure classroom performance and connect student achievement to teacher effectiveness. The plan must be developed with careful consideration of available data and subsequent issues of fairness.

State response to our analysis

Nevada recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

Research on merit pay in 28 industrialized countries from Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance found that students in countries with merit pay policies in place were performing at a level approximately one year's worth of schooling higher on international math and science tests than students in countries without such policies (2011). 

Erik Hanushek found that a teacher one standard deviation above the mean effectiveness annually generates $400,000 in student future earnings for a class size of 20. See Hanushek, Erik A. "The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality," National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 16606 (December 2010).

In addition, numerous conference papers published by the National Center on Performance Incentives reinforce the need to recognize the limitations and appropriate uses of performance pay. See: