New Mexico House In Bipartisan Vote Passes Bill To End Failed Policy Of Social Promotion

Rep. Monica Youngblood

STATE News:

  • Republicans Highlight President Bill Clinton’s Call To End Social Promotion

SANTA FE—Legislation that would end the failed policy of social promotion cleared the House floor today by a bipartisan vote of 38-30.

Social promotion passes kids onto the next grade even when they cannot read. On the House floor, Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Bernalillo, pointed out that Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both favor ending social promotion.

“Improving our schools and helping struggling students learn continues to be one of our top priorities,” said Youngblood, a sponsor of the bill. “Today, we took a huge step in the right direction to improve our schools.”

Among other things, the bill would help teachers identify struggling readers and provide them with the targeted instruction they need to catch up to their peers.

The bill also emphasizes parental involvement. For example, once a struggling reader is identified, parents are given strategies to help their child improve his or her reading skills.

Studies show that students are four times more likely to drop out if they are unable to read proficiently by the third grade. One study found that 88 percent of high school dropouts were not proficient readers in the third grade.

New Mexicans overwhelmingly support ending the failed policy of social promotion. A recent Albuquerque Journal poll found that 74 percent of New Mexicans want to see it gone. Previous social promotion bills have passed both chambers by large bipartisan margins at various times.

“I hope the State Senate listens to the people of New Mexico and brings this bill to a vote,” said Rep. Espinoza, a sponsor of the bill. “The people have spoken, and they want to put our students first.”

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