Oregon Students No Longer Need to Prove Mastery of Reading, Writing, Or Math in Order to Graduate

In late October, the state Board of Education unanimously approved a policy that would scrap the requirement for students to demonstrate basic mastery of reading, writing or math before graduating high school. 

This policy will stay in place until 2029.

This decision was taken despite considerable protest from scores of Oregon residents who submitted public statements calling for the restoration of these standards. Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan is one of the most prominent opponents of this policy change in high school graduation standards. 

Initially, pushback against the lowered standard had already delayed the vote, which was originally set to take place in September.

Opponents of this policy change contended that halting the requirement diminishes the value of an Oregon diploma.

Hundreds of people submitted comments to board members about the requirement for students to showcase academic mastery with the overwhelming majority being in favor of maintaining these standards. Many of those critical emails used the same stock language.

Drazan, who was a former member of the Oregon House of the Representatives, wrote that she stood against the 2021 bill that initially scrapped the requirement. Oregon doesn’t need to decrease standards, she declared. Instead, she believes education officials should establish and implement a concrete plan to boost students’ academic achievement.

“The board failed to discuss their responsibility for lagging academic achievement in our state. Instead they cast the blame on a tool used to measure a student’s ability to read, write and do math,” Drazan proclaimed in a news release disseminated after the vote. “It’s disappointing that these unelected bureaucrats decided to ignore public comment and continue down a path that neglects their responsibility to help students meet high standards.”

What’s occurring in Oregon is the logical product of a government-schooling. Public education serves to indoctrinate not educate. The ruling class prefers dumb-down, easy to exploit subjects in the worst of cases. In the best of cases, the ruling class wants competent, pliant individuals who will faithfully follow orders.

A proper education system would be one that’s focused on critical thinking and giving students the tools to be society’s most innovative and productive individuals. The way to achieve that is by breaking the government’s monopoly on education.

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