Martinez Targets Social Promotion

New Mexico – Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and a bipartisan group of lawmakers are backing legislation to stop promoting students to the next grade if they lack required basic skills.

Martinez joined lawmakers at a news conference on Thursday in support of legislation to halt the practice of "social promotion." Bills have been introduced to stop third-graders from moving to the fourth grade if they aren't proficient in reading.

Currently, a parent can overrule a school that wants to retain a student rather than promoting them to the next grade.

Martinez and legislative supporters say it's critical for students to be able to read by the third grade or they are likely to struggle in later grades and will be at a high risk of dropping out of school.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.