Oregon Dems Scrap Math, Reading Requirements for HS Graduation
In anticipation of low test scores caused by the pandemic, Democrats in Oregon are making it easier to graduate high school.
In July, Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D), signed into law a bill that allows students to graduate without demsonstraintg proficiency in reading, writing, or math. Supporters claim it will benefit minority students who tend to test poorly.
The new law is an extension of a suspension put into place during the pandemic and will remain in effect for up for five years, during which time the state’s education department will work with representatives for ‘historically underserved students’ to develop new graduation requirements.
‘Leaders from [disadvantaged] communities have advocated time and again for equitable graduation standards, along with expanded learning opportunities and supports,’ said Charles Boyle, a spokesperson for Governor Brown.
Republican opponents say math, reading, and writing are essential skills students need to pursue a productive life as an adult. Removing proficiency requirements lowers the expectations for our kids and hurts them by awarding diplomas that imply a level of education they don’t actually have.
“Oregon schools were among the last in the country to reopen to in-person instruction during the pandemic,” argues the KATU’s Editorial Board. “Our legislators should be focused on how to help students regain the ground they’ve lost after a year and a half of distance learning and hybrid instruction – not on lowering standards.”
Before the pandemic, students in Oregon were required to demonstrate basic proficiency in “essential skills” math, reading, and writing to earn a diploma. In most casts, they were not required to take a test to do so.