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Third Grade Retention Hits Snag In State Senate

GoodNCrazy via flickr

The Senate Public Affairs Committee rejected legislation this week to hold back third-graders who do not perform well on a standardized reading test. The bill to end so-called social promotion failed on a party line vote.

Sen. Mimi Stewart, a Democrat from Albuquerque who opposed the bill, said thousands of third-graders would have been held back every year, regardless of their progress in subjects other than reading.

“We’re just saying from the state you will flunk these eight-year-olds if they don’t get to a certain level on this high stakes test,” Stewart said. “That just doesn’t work for us.”

Governor Susana Martinez has been a strong supporter of mandatory third grade retention ever since she took office and has promised to reform education in New Mexico.

A similar bill passed in the state House last week, but will likely fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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