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What’s the secret to teaching kids to read? Many New Mexicans have been seriously pondering that question for well over a year. And even though nothing has passed the legislature, the focus on the problem is beginning to produce some good ideas. But some mysteries remain.
The reason for this focus is the effort by Gov. Susana Martinez and Public Education Department Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera to not allow students to advance beyond the third grade level unless they read proficiently.
The idea seemed rather extreme. The thought of 15-year-old third graders is scary. Guess who is going to be the class bully and the most disruptive student.
Over the past year, that idea has been refined by limiting retentions to two years, beginning remedial work in kindergarten or earlier and allowing parents to override retentions if they have actively participated in remedial work with their child.
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