NMPED: Data Shows More Than 96 Percent Of 3rd Graders Who Cannot Read Are Passed To Next Grade


  • Parents Aren’t Informed Even Though State Law Requires It

SANTA FE – According to data submitted by New Mexico school districts last year, at least 96 percent of third graders who cannot read and are performing at the lowest level are being passed onto the next grade.

Furthermore, less than 5 percent of parents were informed that their child wasn’t proficient in reading, even though state law requires schools to do so.

“This confirms what we’ve long suspected: New Mexico’s parents aren’t getting the information they need to support their kids. Instead of telling parents that their child isn’t on grade-level, they’re kept in the dark and schools are passing their kids onto the next grade. That is unacceptable,” Gov. Susana Martinez said. “It’s time to give our parents the information they deserve and our kids the support they need to read and succeed.”

Currently, state law requires schools to notify parents if their child in first through seventh grade is not academically proficient in reading. Last year, Education Secretary Hanna Skandera requested that all New Mexico school districts submit data to the state education department to see if they were following state law. According to the law, parents are required to be notified and sign a waiver to move their child onto the next grade if they haven’t reached proficiency. Clearly, the data shows this rarely happens.

“Too many of our kids aren’t getting the help they need to master basic skills like reading,” Education Secretary Hanna Skandera said. “Every student deserves a shot at success, and it’s up to all of us to make sure we step up and help before it’s too late. We’ll continue to work with school districts to share resources and best practices to communicate with parents and support their students, especially those struggling with reading.”

Among other information, PED primarily asked school districts to submit the number of students not proficient in reading, the number of letters sent to parents notifying them of their student’s non-proficiency, the number of parents receiving notice who selected to promote their student instead, the total number of non-proficient students passed onto the next grade, and the number of Student Assistance Teams convened to help support students who cannot read. PED will require districts to collect and submit this information to the department for every future school year.