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Oregon Policies and Programs Related to Early Learning Standards

  • Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) § 417.710 authorizes the State Commission on Children and Families to set statewide guidelines for the planning, coordination and delivery of services for children and families.
  • "Early Childhood Foundations," the state's voluntary early learning guidelines for what children should know and be able to do from birth to age 5, was developed to address the State Board of Education's goal of establishing high standards for all Oregon students at all grade levels in the state. The Foundations are intended to be used by early childhood educators, families and other caregivers. The Foundations are aligned with the Oregon K-12 Standards (http://findit.emp.state.or.us/childcare/childhood_foundations.pdf PDF Document External Link, retrieved, 2004).
  • The Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century requires that state agencies that administer education programs and other programs that provide services for children and families evaluate the effectiveness of the program as related to the principles stated in ORS § 329.025 and 417.305. They must also articulate ways in which the program is an effective component of agency and state priorities, goals and strategies, such as those developed by the Oregon Progress Board, or to relevant research and professional standards, utilize the information generated by applicable state advisory groups and by the local planning process administered by the State Commission on Children and Families in the program assessment of needs and decisions as to service delivery in a given community, and identify barriers to improving program capability to serve the needs of young children and related recommendations (ORS § 329.155).
  • Oregon's Head Start Pre-Kindergarten was established by the state legislature in 1987. Like the federal Head Start program, Oregon's program offers half-day classes and comprehensive services to 3- and 4-year-olds from families at or below the poverty level. All providers must follow Head Start performance standards (www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=41, retrieved 2004 and National Institute for Early Education Research, 2003).
  • The Early Childhood Improvement Program requires efforts to improve kindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum so that it is consistent with research and sensitive to individual differences (ORS § 329.237).
  • The state board of education must establish state standards for public kindergartens and elementary schools in mathematics, science, history, geography, economics, civics, English and physical education (ORS § 326.051 and § 329.045).
  • Kindergarten attendance is not required in Oregon, although districts must offer it (ORS § 336.095).

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