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New Mexico education officials pursue school retention plan

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SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico public schools officials are moving forward with a proposal that would require schools to administer improvement and intervention plans and in some cases hold back students who have literacy skills below grade level.

Education Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski is proposing the new rule that focuses on reading proficiency based on a state assessment and would apply to schools teaching students in kindergarten through third grade.

Schools would be required to retain students if they fail to reach reading proficiently following a variety of steps that aim to help struggling students. The proposal would allow some exemptions to retention.

Members of the Legislative Education Study Committee voiced concern about the proposal at their meeting Monday, saying it's similar to legislation that lawmakers have previously rejected.