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New Oregon law suspending graduation testing requirement sparks debate


SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A new Oregon law that suspends a requirement for a basic-skills test in math, reading and writing to graduate high school is being praised by advocates as a way to rethink education standards and sharply criticized by others as a misguided effort that will hurt children’s learning in the long run.

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 744 last month without much attention. The measure temporarily eliminates essential-skills testing through the 2022-2023 school year. That requirement had been put on a hold amid the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the closure of many schools and students to learn remotely.

The Oregon Department of Education has said the new law will allow the state to develop more equitable graduation requirements. Officials have been told to compare diploma requirements in different states and find ways to reduce disparities and ensure that graduation requirements are fair.

“Senate Bill 744 does not remove Oregon’s graduation requirements, and it certainly does not remove any requirements that Oregon students learn essential skills,” department spokesman Marc Siegel told Portland TV station KATU.

Rashelle Chase, founder of Mxm Bloc, an advocacy group led by Black women and focused on education and other social justice issues, said certain children struggle with exams and had been hurt by the testing requirements.

“Under the best of circumstances, in totally normal times with no pandemic, there are a number of children who don’t test well,” Chase said, including children of color, those in need of special education, low-income students and early language learners. She added that it’s “not a deficit on the part of those children.”

But others say testing is an important tool to assess students’ learning, and that eliminating the requirement could be hurtful.

“They serve as checkpoints, so that any kids who need extra help in getting those extra requirements, we can get them extra help to make sure they can graduate with the same proficiency as their peers,” said MacKensey Pulliam, founder of the Oregon Moms Union.

The Associated Press



  1. What is more equitable? It’s testing. The answers are in books. The test doesn’t care what color you are or aren’t. The testing doesn’t care where you come from..what’s more equitable than that?

      1. Would we be safer if states quit testing drivers and just gave everybody a driver’s license? What could possibly go wrong with getting rid of all testing or with no longer enforcing laws?

  2. When I was in school we didn’t have standardized tests for any of these things. We took classes, did the work, took quizzes and tests for each individual class… and either passed or failed each of those classes. Having the magic number of 24 credits was how you graduated. Some people suck at taking tests, but are otherwise straight A students. Time for these tests to go away. You can gather your data and do your metrics in other ways.

    1. The real world has tests. Perform or don’t. Our education system needs to be held accountable. A kid from Oregon should be as well educated as one from anywhere else. Higher education should know what they are getting when allowing students in.

      1. They know they are getting great test takers and gamers milking the system. In my illustrious career, none of the mvp’s were the great test taker gamers. It’s obvious throughout society

        1. You want a doctor that couldn’t read or write? You want the guys designing your airplane to not understand math? You want Oregonians to not be competitive when it comes to getting real jobs? You want Oregon kids not to get into real schools? Testing is part of the real world. I administer tests often. Those that fail them get more training. Those that can’t ever get it get fired. That is the real world when you have jobs that require accountability. If kids can’t pass entrance exams, they don’t get good jobs. We are going to need smart well paid kids to pay down our national debt.

  3. This bill is as racist as it can get. Basically, it’s states that students of color aren’t able to learn as well as white students. WTF is wrong with those idiots in Salem?

    1. Sadly it is the Democratic Party who treats minorities as if we are brainless victims. Hmmm and they call Republicans racist. As a person of color, I do not want anyone to treat me as an ignorant person who cant get by without lowering standards. GOD HELP THIS COUNTRY.

  4. “there are a number of children who don’t test well,” Chase said, including children of color, those in need of special education, low-income students and early language learners. She added that it’s “not a deficit on the part of those children.”

    She’s right! It IS NOT a deficit on the part of the children, it is a deficit on the part of the school system.

    “to make sure they can graduate with the same proficiency as their peers,”

    How is it the same proficiency or equality with their peers, when the peers in other states are required to meet those standardized tests? How are the Oregon students that are headed to college run into the results of not taking those standardized tests, that are required to enter the higher education curriculum? Why will Oregon students end up having to take 1-2 years of pre-college classes, after high school and before college? (Many already have to!)

  5. Right it’s “it’s not a deficit on the part of the children”, it’s a deficit on their parents who are also uneducated and producing another generation of kids that will go nowhere. Sad

  6. “The Oregon Department of Education has said the new law will allow the state to develop more equitable graduation requirements.” More equitable graduation requirements?! Are these knuckleheads even listening to themselves? What this sentence says is, We, the State of Oregon, are going to produce more levels of illiteracy so they will be dependent on government,will vote Demoncrat to get all the free stuff that all the hard working taxpayers will pay for. This mentality will perpetuate a lack of motivation, drive & desire to be successful.

    1. But on the bright side, Oregon, now at #45 or lower for HS graduation rates but will now rise to near the top since ‘nobody gets to fail’ and all will get diplomas.

      Your comment below is also spot on in that we want for the next generation of our families to have better options and opportunities than we had.

  7. Let’s lower the standards so those who can’t cut it feel good about being stupid due to the lack of education the school system is providing them. The whole thing about having children is to raise them so they have better opportunities and a brighter future than what you had. That’s called setting the bar to a standard that will enable them to be successful. Not government dependent.

  8. This so much Bs when I went to school the poorest of the kids always got the best grades as they wanted to better themselves, So now if you are of color Kate is saying you are so damn dumb we are going to help you.

    1. And I guess we can’t talk about returning the basketball hoops to 9 feet- it offends the Mod ! Yup- kancel kulture eliminating American history !

      1. After the Demoncrats succeed at erasing our history to suit their narrative there will be another civil war because the illiterates they will produce won’t know anything about the first civil war.., let alone what it was about.

        Do you Demoncrats remember your history regarding the Civil War? For those of you who have already erased it out of your minds, it was about slavery! Yep! The Demoncrats are and always will be about enslaving people for the power of control over human beings so they can feel good about mistreating them. Do you Demoncrats of today even remember what your Demoncrat ancestors used to call Negros? That’s right.., that nasty “N” word. Though the semantics have changed the Demoncrats overall still feel the same way. The only difference in today’s Demoncrat is, they direct that enslavement attitude toward everyone. So, do you wonder who the real racists are? I don’t. I have yet to see a black Demoncrat politician actually do something that motivates the under educated black population to stay in school, work hard at your studies so they will be successful and productive throughout their adult years.

      1. But it does provide an insight into business leaders think of a state whose “graduates” are going to be seen as sub-par and will impact their hiring decisions. This bill will cost Oregon HS “graduates” money as they will be offered lower starting wages.

      2. Barney, why do I never see you respond to, or try to disprove comments from the left? You clearly do not lean left. You are left. No matter what you tell us all here, you know you are part of what is destroying Bend. Destroying the west coast. Do not be ashamed of it and try to act centrist. Just own it.

        1. Oy Vey….Again… Barney has his job. His job is to promote Ganett’s news services propaganda. l first ran in to Barney about 93…or so…. Around then when he was doing stories in the ” mill” before it became the “old mill”. Been so long. I do know he interviewed me when the mill shut down as I was fishing along the log deck after the mill shut down. I think he worked for the Bugle. He can correct me. But as to his roll with ktvz. Barney is NOT a journalist. He is a propagandist. His boss is Gannett, his product is our eyeballs, and his customers are KTVZ’s advertisers. Accept that and deal with it.

          1. Huh? KTVZ is one of 10 TV stations owned by News-Press & Gazette Co., a family-owned business based in St. Joseph, Missouri.
            Not sure I care what someone I interviewed long ago but now calls himself “Joe Biden’s Nose” (every comment is pretty predictable from THAT screen name) thinks of me, but I’ve always encouraged the younger reporters in today’s often brutal hateful climate not to have too thick OR thin a skin – to care what folks say, but not too much (especially if they are, well, jerks and can’t hold a civil, respectful conversation without personal attacks.)
            Then, and now, I write the news the same way, as do my colleagues. The audience, however, has become… well, I also know NOT to judge the majority of our great audience by the few regulars here who enjoy attacking each other, and me.
            We try every single day to write interesting, factual stories. We have shared opinions all over the map on today’s issues. But we’re accused of being biased, usually because we’re not sharing that critic’s bias. I can live with that.

            1. Wow, Nose really got under your skin. Could be he or she called you out! Maybe most are realizing that you’re a puppet for the far left just like Biden?!

            2. I stand corrected. I thought KTVZ was part of the Gannett conglomerate. That being said KTVZ is a propaganda outlet for AP, CNN, the owners of KTVZ which have their loyalty to the progressive democrats. It is NOT a news service. it is a for profit advertising agency. Occasional news is a bug, not a feature. To claim you and KTVZ are unbiased is ludicrous.

              1. Yes we’re an AP member, a CNN affiliate as well as NBC and Fox, and … we provide a lot of news, break stories all the time. With a screen name such as yours, it’s clear you have your own biases. We work hard to show we don’t, every single day. Not sure what reputable national news service you’d have us use, but … anyway, I’ll let others judge who’s ludicrous.

    1. Black bloc. Antifa. AKA murderous terrorists. Because antifa are cowards who don’t dare expose their identities and hide in “black bloc” uniforms.

      1. Three cities run this state. It’s funny how people who have paved over every single inch of land think they know best how to run farms and ranches.

  9. I honestly don’t understand why people are so tweaked about this. Especially considering the number of families that opt out of all the standardized tests. Students still have to take the classes and get passing grades. Just because they don’t take enough standardized tests or provide a ton of work samples to get their diploma doesn’t mean they haven’t done the work.

    1. You apparently haven’t read the new CRT guidelines. It is RACIST to hold kids accountable for the right answers in Math…which by the way only has ONE CORRECT ANSWER. It is also now racist to force kids to show their work on how they got to their answer in Math. So let’s see…we can’t say they were wrong, we can’t force them to show how they got the wrong answer, so let’s pass them forward a grade anyway…because hell, math isn’t that important.

      If you have had a newly graduated teen give you money back in any store… you know that already without the screen telling them how much to give, they are INCAPABLE of giving correct change. pay an $8 bill with a $50 someday and ask the checker to count it back to you. You will be SHOCKED by their dumbfound look as they say “its $42 see?”

    2. Talking to a friend this evening in the valley with an employee in HS. They received letters recently stating that the lowest grade for any classes given will be a D. No class participation, classwork/homework, or tests will be given and attendance will not be taken. (Summarized)
      Kids are now exempt from the work but will still be given the trophy.

  10. This will not help any kids get smarter, and therefore more successful. But Kate Brown isn’t about success, she is actually virulently against it. She’s all about reliance on people like her and government in general. This will further enable Oregon students in the race to the bottom of the pack. She is a loser.

      1. Yes, and it was passed by the majority…the democrats. Like I said in my earlier post, it is the Democrats who treat minorities like brainless souls. It is a sad state of affairs.

    1. Noting as far as the democrat overlords are concerned. Stupid people will have stupid kids and they will be beholden to the government that provides them with free stuff and continue to vote for the democrat overlords.

  11. More special treatment, not equal treatment, for minorities and those
    that are in this country illegally and can’t read or write in English…
    I would think that this would be a real slap in the face to many blacks
    because Brown is basically saying that they are stupid.
    If the illegals can’t read or write, that is their problem. They shouldn’t be
    here in the first place and they certainly shouldn’t be going to our public schools.
    Now they can come here illegally and count on Brown to protect them, and go to public schools and receive a diploma even though they can’t read or write in our language.
    And let’s not forget,they can get a drivers license with no proof of citizenship.
    Only in Oregon can illegals that have broken numerous laws receive preferential treatment, and the loyal liberal flock continue to claim that she is doing a great job…

  12. Countries with no schools or laws have nearly no murders. Or death by car crashes. Or rape. the theft rate is so low that its not worth looking into. And the sickness rates are lower than all the other countries because they have healers. Real healers. Not pill pushing fake doctors trained by the fake council of kings. They only have starvation by overpopulation.

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