New Mexico House scrutinizes school promotion

Barry Massey

School administrators and teachers raised questions Wednesday about the potential costs of a proposal backed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to stop promoting public school students who lack basic skills in reading.
Legislation under consideration by the House Education Committee will stop third-graders from moving to the fourth grade if they aren’t proficient in reading starting in the 2012-13 school year. A student could be held back one year and schools will be required to provide students with programs to improve their performance.
In testimony to the committee, educational groups suggested that school districts will need additional money for remedial and intensive instruction to help struggling students.
“We know that if we are going to do effective remediation, there are going to be costs associated with that,” said Tom Sullivan of the New Mexico Coalition of School Administrators.