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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 during the transition to Smarter Balanced

Summary: There will still be three assessment options (statewide assessment, Work Samples, and other standardized assessments); evidence collected using the approved assessment option can come from prior to the transition to Smarter Balanced or after Smarter Balanced is operational; and the achievement standard will remain constant across all options.

If the State Board of Education decides to raise the achievement standard, the first students impacted would be those enrolled in 8th grade at the time of the decision and the decision would not be until middle of next academic year at the earliest.

Smarter Balanced Transition: Methodology for Essential Skills PDF

Smarter Balanced Transition: August State Board of Education Presentation PDF

What are the Essential Skills?

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

Which Essential Skills are required for graduation?

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

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

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.

  • Derek Brown Email    (503) 947-5841
    Assessment - Director - Assessment
  • Cristen McLean Email    (503) 947-5842
    Assessment - Operations Policy Analyst

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