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June 19, 2009
Oregon State Board of Education Makes Changes to Diploma Implementation Timeline
SALEM – The Oregon State Board of Education voted today to maintain the current schedule for diploma requirements relating to class credits and maintained the timeline for requiring proficiency of the reading essential skill to 2012. The State Board adjusted the timeline for requiring proficiency of “apply math” for graduation until to 2014; a move that will affect next school year’s 8th graders.
The Board emphasized that this move does not delay implementation of the Essential Skill; it only delays requiring proficiency for graduation until 2014. School districts must still provide instruction, administer assessments, and document student performance for the graduates of 2012 and 2013. Districts will continue to administer OAKS and local performance assessments (e.g., work samples) in grades 3-8 and high school to prepare students for the Essential Skills graduation requirement. The demonstration of proficiency as a requirement for graduation is the only point of delay.
“The State Board of Education recognizes that the current economic conditions in Oregon pose significant challenges to school districts’ budgets,” said Board Chair Duncan Wyse. “In light of these challenges, the Oregon State Board of Education is proposing flexibility in the Oregon Diploma implementation timeline. Moving the Essential Skill “apply math” proficiency requirement to 2014 allows districts flexibility in their use of resources and provides them additional time to adjust their K-12 math curriculum to ensure students are prepared for the high school mathematics requirements,” said Wyse.
The Board reaffirmed the critical importance of implementing the new diploma requirements within a reasonable timeframe and stated it will continue to monitor state budget projections and the impact on districts as it considers possible changes in the implementation timeline of the writing and speaking Essential Skills. The Oregon State Board of Education will address the timeline for the writing and speaking Essential Skills at their 2009 August retreat. These decisions were made based, in part, on recommendations from the Diploma Timeline Work Group, a State Board subcommittee convened to look at district resource issues.
State Superintendent Susan Castillo remained optimistic that much progress has been made, and would continue to be made, on Oregon Diploma implementation. “The current proposed state budget for schools does not provide adequate support for the Oregon Diploma, but throughout our state, we are working to make as much progress as we can,” said Castillo. “In the coming weeks, I will not only continue to make our case for K-12 funding, I will also continue to emphasize the vital work our educators do to prepare our students for the 21st Century. I know the education community has been presented with an extraordinary challenge. However, we are stronger and better equipped to weather this economic storm than we were a few years ago. Together, we will continue to build on our successes and effectively use every dollar we have to ensure our students have the tools they need to be successful in life,” said Castillo.
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