Oregon Department of Education

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Oregon's Essential Skills

Essential Skills Webpages

Assess Reading
Reading Essential Skill Graduation Requirement

Assess Writing
Writing Essential Skill Graduation Requirement

Assess Mathematics
Mathematics Essential Skill Graduation Requirement

Manage District Policy
District policy guidance

Assessment of Essential Skills Review Panel (AESRP)
AESRP meeting schedule, meeting minutes, and member information

Essential Skills Task Force
Task Force meetings, presentations, and participants

Essential Skills Data
Essential Skills Data Report and data resources

Related Webpages

Local Performance Assessment Requirement
Policy guidance and resources for the local performance assessment requirement

Statewide Assessment
Information about Oregon's statewide assessment

Oregon Diploma
Information about the Oregon Diploma

Essential Skills Graduation Requirement

What are the Essential Skills?

The Nine Essential Skills PDF are cross-disciplinary skills that students should be developing across grades K- 12.

For students first enrolled in Grade 9 in 2010-2011 or later, three of the Essential Skills are graduation requirements:
  1. Read and comprehend a variety of text
  2. Write clearly and accurately
  3. Apply mathematics in a variety of settings

2016-17 Essential Skills and Local Performance Assessment Manual PDF updated  10/13/2016 (1.11 MB)
Required reading for District Test Coordinators. It describes the requirements for Essential Skills assessment options, including requirements regarding development, administration, scoring of assessments.

How do students meet the graduation requirements?

Students prove that they have mastered these Essential Skills by earning at or above a cut score on one of the approved assessment options in their district. For information about the assessment options for each Essential Skill, please visit the Reading, Writing, or Mathematics Essential Skill pages. The links to these pages are listed in the right column of this page.
  • Essential Skills Assessment Options
    Includes all approved assessment options and achievement standards for use in meeting the Essential Skills graduation requirements
    • English PDF updated  10/17/2016 (618.10 KB)
    • Spanish PDF  07/12/2016 (134.48 KB)

Where can I find Work Sample prompts?

Work Sample prompts (one of the approved assessment options for the Essential Skills) are available in the ORSkills online system.
  • ORSkills FAQ PDF
    Quick reference about the ORSkills online system, including answers to questions about features, benefits, and costs of the system.

  • ORSkills Quick Introduction Video YouTube Video
    Two minute introduction to the ORSkills assessment platform available to all Oregon school districts.

How were the Essential Skills developed?

The Essential Skills Task Force – comprised of educators from K-12, community college, higher education, students, and business/community representatives – worked together in 2007 to develop the Essential Skills policy. In 2008 the Essential Skills were available for public review and input was collected through online surveys as well focus groups. The Task Force incorporated the feedback and Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for the Essential Skills were adopted by the Board on June 19, 2008.

  • Cristen McLean Email    (503) 947-5842
    Assessment - Operations Policy Analyst