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
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
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).