Skandera: 3rd-grade retention will boost graduate rates more


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says policies advocated by Gov Susana Martinez must be enacted or the state’s high school graduation rates could fall after hitting record levels.

Skandera told The Associated Press lawmakers should pass the governor’s third-grade retention proposal to halt future high school students from dropping out. The bill would allow schools to require third-graders to repeat the third grade if they aren’t proficient in reading.

The proposal faces fierce opposition from Senate and House Democrats.

Last week, Martinez announced the class of 2016 set an all-time high graduation rate at 71 percent. That’s an eight-point spike since 2011.

But it is still below the 2015 national rate of 83 percent.

National Education Association-New Mexico executive director Charles Bowyer says the state needs more early intervention programs, not third-grade retention.

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