Merit pay for NM teachers up for debate

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It is three days into the 2014 legislative session and Governor Susana Martinez is proposing several ideas on how New Mexico should improve its education system.

One of Martinez’s main priorities  this legislative session is education reform. Some teachers and students support her ideas, but they also have some suggestions.

The governor wants more money pumped into education.

She also wants to see merit pay for teachers whose students perform well on standardized tests.

Among the things she’s calling for, which is obviously beyond the legislature’s scope of authority, is to see increased parental involvement.

Martinez also wants to hold back third graders who can’t read at grade level.

One Albuquerque teacher says grades Kindergarten through third grade are about learning to read, and the fourth grade is about content.

So whether or not students are held back,  they have to know how to read by the fourth grade.

As for merit pay for teachers, some agree with it and others think teachers should be evaluated in several different categories.

“I understand if they’re doing well, they should be rewarded for that.  And I think more teachers would be motivated by that,” said James Christopher, a student at Southwest Learning Centers

“I think they need to look at teachers individually and see what they do in the classroom.  There’s a lot more to it than they have right now,” said Coreen Carrillo, a teacher at Southwest Learning Centers.

These concepts will be debated and could go before the legislature for a vote.  If they pass it, and the governor signs it, it would go into effect July 1.

The legislative session is 30 days long.

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