Oregon removes reading requirement to graduate high school

An Oregon-based parent rights group said it was “not surprising” that the Oregon State Board of Education made this decision. decided to remove the requirement to provide evidence of proficiency Students acquire proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics through standardized tests for graduating high school.

“It’s not surprising that we continued to postpone implementing new graduation requirements,” Mackenzie Pulliam, president of the Oregon Mothers Union, told FOX News Digital on Tuesday.

“They always say this topic has to do with underserved communities and marginalized students and how testing disadvantages them.”

Pulliam argued that the tests are designed to serve as checkpoints to see if students are ready or to ensure they receive additional help if needed.

“I think the proficiency level here in Oregon is dire and it’s not getting better,” Pulliam said. She continued, “So part of my question is, are we removing these criteria to make it seem like students are actually doing better?”

The Oregon State Board of Education last week extended a suspension of requirements for 11th-grade students to demonstrate proficiency in essential skills in reading, writing and math through standardized tests and a portfolio of work in addition to regular coursework. was passed unanimously.

Parents are frustrated after Oregon stepped up its efforts to eliminate basic learning requirements for high school students.

Students who failed to demonstrate proficiency in the required skills were required to make it up in their senior year in order to graduate.

Standardized tests will continue to be published. But the board voted to remove standardized tests as a factor in determining whether a student receives a diploma. Also, students who fail to demonstrate proficiency in the required skills do not have to make it up in their senior year.

“To be clear, we are not eliminating assessments for Oregon State students. What has changed is that specific test scores are now required for graduation. Our students must meet essential skill requirements, including coursework and CTE pathway options,” Oregon Department of Education spokesperson Mark Siegel told FOX News Digital on Monday.

Oregon State said students who fail to demonstrate proficiency will not be required to take remedial classes the following year.
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During a board of directors meeting, State Commissioner Vicky Lopez Sanchez claimed not to evaluate It was removed in response to concerns from parents and residents.

“We have not stopped any kind of evaluation,” she said. “The only thing we’re stopping is the inappropriate use of how those assessments are used. I think that’s really in the best interest of Oregon students.”

The Oregon State Board of Education has voted to continue suspending graduation requirements until 2027.

This policy was introduced in 2012. Former Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill in 2021 that froze the requirements during the pandemic.

“I think they were supposed to eliminate graduation requirements in 2021 and introduce new graduation requirements next year. But instead they keep pushing it out,” Pulliam said. .

Board members said the way test results were used had a huge impact on marginalized students.

She went on to say: “They’re trying to postpone it for another five years. So they’re essentially making Oregon’s high school diplomas into something like participation trophies,” he said. We don’t require you to prove that you can read, write, and do math at your level.”

Additionally, members of the Oregon commission cited how assessment results are being used to benefit marginalized students of color and students with disabilities.

Their decision was based on an investigative report from ODE to the Senate Education Committee.of report commissioned That happened in 2021, when the Oregon Legislature passed a bill requiring a review and study of the “potentially unfair impacts of current foreign policy.”

ODE’s associate director of research told KTVL that the study shows that race and other attributes can predict academic performance.

“How a student completes requirements and the type of diploma a student earns can all be predicted by race, ethnicity, IEP status, and multilingual learner status,” said Dan, ODE’s assistant director of research. Farley said.

“We must do everything we can to prevent fundamentally racist outcomes.”

New graduation requirements are being drafted.
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The state commission reportedly passed the bill The state Legislature had not yet acted on the Oregon Department of Education’s (ODE) new graduation recommendations. was proposed last year.

The recommendations were part of a report sent to the Senate Education Committee.

For now, the department has asked the state board to extend the freeze on current requirements until at least the 2027-28 school year, as lawmakers have not yet taken up ODE’s new graduation recommendations.

Siegel said ODE is consulting with lawmakers to develop new graduation requirements that meet the needs of students.

“While the policy was originally intended to help students pursue post-secondary opportunities, research shows that first-year college readiness has not improved. It is therefore imperative that the dialogue and decision-making process continue, while looking to policy leadership to approve and establish new requirements.”

“This suspension provides an opportunity for the state board and the Oregon Legislature to collaborate and engage more deeply with our communities to develop and implement policies that better serve our students.”

Ms Pulliam said her parents were “unhappy” with the decision.

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