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Jan-19-2007 10:14printcomments

State Board Increases Oregon's High School Graduation Requirements

Some provisions of the new diploma will require new Administrative Rules or action by the Oregon legislature.

Salem High School

(SALEM) - The State Board of Education voted to increase Oregon’s graduation requirements in order to better prepare students for college and the workforce.

Students will be required to take more rigorous coursework and higher levels of math and science in order to receive a diploma.

The change was approved in a unanimous vote of the State Board in Salem on Thursday morning.

The State Board took the action in order to better prepare Oregon students for postsecondary education and the workplace.

The global economy has changed the nature of work and the kinds of jobs young people will enter. Students need higher levels of knowledge and skills than ever before to succeed.

Two-thirds of all jobs require at least some postsecondary education or training, and the current high school graduation requirements are not challenging enough to provide adequate preparation.

Nearly 80% of graduates, knowing what they know now, wish they had worked harder while they were in high school in order to be better prepared for college and the workforce.

“In order to be successful, all students need education and training beyond Oregon’s current high school requirements. Our economy and quality of life depend on the changes we make in bringing forward this new vision for high school,” Governor Kulongoski said.

“I strongly support the State Board’s work, and I look forward to working with all of our schools to implement this work and provide them with the resources they need. The new requirements are the result of a historic effort to involve educators, business leaders and advocates from across the state.”

“This action puts us on a clear path to ensure that every high school graduate will succeed in a changing world, Castillo said. “Oregon’s diploma will be a passport to college and workforce readiness, and I am proud of the involvement of educators across the state in helping to shape this work.”

The State Board approved:

  • Requiring three credits of math, with algebra I the minimum level for which credits may be earned. This would take effect for the class of 2014.
  • Requiring three credits of science, up from two, with two of them laboratory-based courses, to take effect with the class of 2012.
  • Requiring three credits from among arts, second language and professional technical education, starting with the class of 2012.
  • Ensuring that all students have the opportunity to earn credit by demonstrating proficiency, based on content standards, in lieu of traditional "seat time" in a class. The board wants to give districts flexibility to meet students' needs in different ways.
  • Requiring students to demonstrate a set of "essential skills." They'll include reading and interpreting a variety of texts, writing for a variety of purposes, speaking and presenting publicly, applying mathematics in a variety of settings, demonstrating civic and community engagement, and thinking critically and analytically.

The State Board will continue to work in the coming months on a plan to implement the new requirements, including teacher preparation and support to elementary and middle school students so they’ll be ready to enter high school prepared to meet the new requirements.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Home school Mom April 8, 2008 11:01 pm (Pacific time)

I think parents need to realize that they need to stop looking to the state to fix their children and take it upon themselves to realize that you only get one chance to raise your children. They're more important than a second job to pay for that too big house and those credit cards and the keep up with the Jones' mentality. THAT is the problem with our education system now days.

Robertson C. Kaz January 8, 2008 9:43 am (Pacific time)

"Improving" The School requirements will only lead to more students failing and dropping out. If education is to be improved what has to be done is find out how to capture students attention

Anonymous February 1, 2007 4:54 pm (Pacific time)

I think that if Oregon wants to up the requirments for students to graduate then they need to give the schools more money. After all some schools had to cut some of their art classes

Leonardo January 21, 2007 8:11 am (Pacific time)

I don't see how this will help. Those students who will pursue careers which require the additional math and so on are already taking the "extra" classes. The new requirements will, however, cause more students to drop out because they can't pass the additional classes. This is an example of education trying to give the impression of improving the system without actually spending money. If we really want to improve the education of our young, it's going cost money, and Oregonians have shown repeatedly that they'd rather cut taxes than improve schools.

Henry Ruark January 20, 2007 6:46 pm (Pacific time)

R.L.: Just be sure of 'plane you pick, kid !! And your own pilot-skills...

Real Life January 20, 2007 4:52 am (Pacific time)

What don't they require a course before graduation teaching you the reality of marriage. DON'T DO IT! BETTER TO DIE IN A PLANE CRASH!

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