Oregon has suspended the graduation requirement for math, reading, and writing proficiency until the 2027-2028 school year. According to The Oregonian, the Board of Education claims it’s discriminatory against minority students.
On Thursday, the Oregon State Board of Education voted unanimously to extend the benchmark pause, which was first instituted in 2020 during COVID.
Board members said the standards were unnecessary and harmed marginalized students since higher rates of students of color, students with disabilities, and students learning English as a second language ended up having to take extra steps to prove they deserved a diploma.
Diplomas are given for the knowledge that one has acquired, and if the individual hasn’t acquired it, then the alternatives are to stay in school longer or get extra help.
The Board members might mean well or not, but it’s very misguided.
School district’s mistakes should be rectified by giving these children the help they need. According to Fox News, Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan opposed the suspension. She said the board refused to face accountability for its role in the state’s poor academic performance and wanted to enshrine academic mediocrity.
“The Board failed to discuss their responsibility for lagging academic achievement in our state,” Drazan said in a statement. “Instead, they cast the blame on a tool used to measure a student’s ability to read, write, and do math. It’s disappointing that these unelected bureaucrats decided to ignore public comment and continue down a path that neglects their responsibility to help students meet high standards.
I might add that it’s insulting to these students and does them a grave disservice. If anything, the lockdowns were discriminatory. They hurt minorities, foreign children, and handicapped children the most. The schools did little to compensate, and now they don’t like the test results.