SANTA FE—The New Mexico Public Education Department will hear public comment in Santa Fe this Thursday on its proposed one-sized-fits-all testing and retention policy. The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty opposes the proposed rule because mandatory retention based on standardized tests hurts our children and violates state law.
The New Mexico Legislature has given families and school districts the authority to decide what is best for each child based on a child’s individual needs. The PED’s rule, however, would require our state’s youngest students – kindergartners through third graders – to pass a PED-designated test in reading to continue to the next grade. Parents would have the right to refuse the first effort to retain a child, but retention would be mandatory if the child did not pass the test the following year.
It is critical that all New Mexican children know how to read. However, years of research shows that holding kids back does nothing to improve their reading skills; instead, it increases their likelihood of dropping out of school. Rather than retaining five to eight-year-olds, the Center proposes the PED invest in evidenced-based programs that actually help children learn to read, like PreK, extended learning time, and professional development for teachers who teach reading.
The Center’s comments on the proposed regulations can be found here: http://nmpovertylaw.org/letter-final-comments-to-ped-proposed-regs-2018-05-15/
PED’s proposed regulations can be found here: https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/bureaus/policy-innovation-measurement/rule-notification/
PED public hearing on proposed new rule 6.19.9 NMAC, Early Literacy Remediation, Interventions, and Parental Engagement
Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar Ave., Santa Fe, NM 87501
New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty attorneys
New Mexico Public Education Department staff