Panel Approves School Grades

New Mexico – A Senate committee has approved a key piece of Gov. Susana Martinez's proposed educational reforms.

The measure will assign the grades of A to F for public schools based on student achievement.

The Senate Education Committee endorsed the bill on Wednesday on a 7-1 vote, sending it to another committee for consideration.

Supporters say the grading system will provide more meaningful information to parents about the performance of their local schools. The legislation provides for financial rewards for high-performing schools and the state could target assistance to struggling schools.

Democratic Sen. Tim Keller of Albuquerque voted against the bill, saying he was concerned that failing schools could be shortchanged if high-performing schools get extra money that otherwise might be distributed to districts in need of help.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.