MEDFORD, Ore. – The Oregon Board of Education voted late last week to extend the pause of a controversial high school graduation requirement, until at least 2029.
Oregon high school students have to prove mastery in reading, writing and math; either through standardized tests or assignments recognized as the equivalent, in order to graduate.
But this rule has been on pause since 2020, since no standardized tests were being done because of the pandemic.
The Oregon Department of Education says the requirements are unfair to historically marginalized students.
These include students of color, English second language students, or ones with disabilities.
They argue that these students would have to take on intensive course work in their senior years, just to prove they deserve to graduate.
On the opposite side, some argue that the requirements should be reinstated, because it de-legitimizes Oregon diplomas and families have the choice to opt out of state tests.
The Oregon Department of Education said in a statement in part quote:
“Let’s be clear: We haven’t eliminated assessments for Oregon students. What’s changed is the insistence on a specific test score for graduation. Our students still need to meet essential skill requirements, as indicated in their coursework, CTE pathway options and more.”
The state also says that these requirements haven’t impacted first year college readiness.
Because of that, the department says it’s best to continue the conversation of what the new requirements should be.
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