ODE passes changes in graduation requirements

Oregon’s State Board of Education voted unanimously to change the state’s longstanding high school graduation requirements at their meeting in Salem.
The new Oregon high school diploma includes increased credit requirements, multiple options for students to demonstrate a set of Essential Skills, and the requirement for students to complete personalized learning activities. The new requirements affect graduates in the class of 2012 (next fall’s ninth grade students).

"We have set a new vision for all students in Oregon’s public schools,
and the high school diploma approved today will ensure that students
graduate ready for work, for college and for life," State Schools
Superintendent Susan Castillo said.
"Two-thirds of all new
jobs require education and training beyond high school, and too many of
today’s high school graduates have not been fully prepared for the
increased demands of employers or colleges and universities. I am proud
that we have raised expectations for all students and taken this
strong, positive step. I will work with the Governor, Legislative
leadership and all our education partners to get classroom teachers the
resources they need to be successful," Castillo said.
will be required to take more rigorous coursework and higher levels of
math and science in order to receive a diploma. The number of required
credits increases from 22 to 24. (note: the 2007 Oregon Legislature
already increased English and mathematics credits for the class of

In addition, all students will be required to demonstrate
that they are proficient in a set of "Essential Skills," – initially
reading, writing, math, and speaking (see list of all Essential Skills
below). Students will demonstrate their mastery of the Essential Skills

  • Completing an approved locally scored assessment, such as a work sample or student project– or –


  • Achieving a state-determined score on the state assessment tests in reading, writing and mathematics– or –


  • Achieving a state-determined score on another standardized test yet to be determined

Oregon diploma approved by the State Board is different than what many
other states across the country have done. Oregon will not require
students to pass a single "exit exam" of academic proficiency in order
to graduate. The State Board approved a system of multiple options and
opportunities for students to pass state-determined exams to show they
meet the Essential Skills requirement.
Finally, the State Board voted to continue a set of personalized learning requirements (required since 2007):

  • Education Plan and Profile: Students will develop an Education Plan and
    Profile to guide their learning and document academic achievement and
    progress toward their personal, career, and post-high school goals.


  • Career-Related Learning Experiences: Students will participate in
    experiences that connect classroom learning with real life experiences
    in the workplace, community, and/or school relevant to their education


  • Extended
    Application: Students will apply and extend their knowledge in new and
    complex situations related to the student’s personal and career
    interests and post-high school goals through critical thinking, problem
    solving, or inquiry in real world contexts.


  • The Career-Related Learning Standards: continue through 2012, at which time they become part of the Essential Skills.

    Oregon Essential Skills:

  • Read and comprehend a variety of written materials


  • Write clearly and accurately


  • Listen actively and speak clearly


  • Apply mathematics in a variety of settings


  • Think critically and analytically


  • Use technology to learn, live and work


  • Demonstrate civic and community engagement


  • Demonstrate global literacy


  • Demonstrate personal management and teamwork skills

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