New Mexico House approves social promotion bill

SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico House of Representatives has voted to approve legislation that would end the social promotion of third-graders who are not proficient readers.

The bill passed 38 to 30 after three hours of debate. The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote.

The measure by Rep. Monica Youngblood of Albuquerque calls for retaining third-graders who are not reading proficiently and giving them intensive remediation. Democrats repeatedly referred to the bill as flunking of third graders.

The legislation is backed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. Her plan to end social promotion faces opposition from Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, who says student retention should be based on teachers’ assessments, not test scores.

Opponents also say retaining students damages them psychologically and intervention can be done without retention.