News & Politics

Oregon Law Removes Requirement That Students Can Read or Do Math Before Graduating

(AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Even the far-left Oregonian couldn’t quite believe what their advocacy hath wrought. “For the next five years,” to newspaper wrote, “an Oregon high school diploma will be no guarantee that the student who earned it can read, write or do math at a high school level.”

Governor Kate Brown signed a stealth law on July 14 that removed the requirement for a student to pass a proficiency test in essential skills like reading and math before graduating. The governor refused to say if she supported the measure earlier this summer and even after signing the bill, refused to endorse it.

She held no signing ceremony for the bill, nor did she issue a press release. Her office also failed to update the legislative database until July 29, a departure from the normal practice of updating the public database the same day a bill is signed.

The arrogance of power in this case is beyond belief.

The Oregonian/OregonLive asked the governor’s office when Brown’s staff notified the Legislature that she had signed the bill. Charles Boyle, the governor’s deputy communications director, declined to answer.

Boyle said in an emailed statement that suspending the reading, writing and math proficiency requirements while the state develops new graduation standards will benefit “Oregon’s Black, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”

“Leaders from those communities have advocated time and again for equitable graduation standards, along with expanded learning opportunities and supports,” Boyle wrote.

This is an excellent policy if you wish to graduate a bunch of illiterate, math-challenged nincompoops — the kind of graduate any college or university in America would be proud to accept.

Proponents said the state needed to pause Oregon’s high school graduation requirements, in place since 2009 but already suspended during the pandemic, until at least the class of 2024 graduates in order for leaders to reexamine its graduation requirements. Recommendations for new standards are due to the Legislature and Oregon Board of Education by September 2022.

However, since Oregon education officials have long insisted they would not impose new graduation requirements on students who have already begun high school, new requirements would not take effect until the class of 2027 at the very earliest. That means at least five more classes could be expected to graduate without needing to demonstrate proficiency in math and writing.

I’ll bet that this “pause” in graduation requirements won’t make that 2027 deadline. More realistically, it will be 2127 before the state says that students of color have caught up in proficiency tests.

The question is why Governor Brown and the radicals who pushed this Idiocracy Bill through the legislature aren’t bursting with pride at this singular achievement. It’s unprecedented. It’s revolutionary. It’s the culmination of 50 years of effort by progressives to not just have equality of opportunity but to engineer equality as a tangible result.

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Now, students in Oregon will all be equally stupid.

This is an accomplishment that, if the left were really serious about this stuff, should be shouted from the rooftops. But they aren’t serious. They are catering to the lowest common denominator to get approval not from minorities but from their peers. It’s the approval of their fellow liberal academics that matters most.

Black parents are just as mad as white parents at this idiocy. And they should be, as Jazz Shaw points out.

We’ve seen this in so many liberal school systems by this point that it’s almost becoming routine. They weren’t getting enough minority students who were able to pass the proficiency exams. So rather than putting in the work to bring those students up to speed, they simply dropped the requirement for everyone, essentially turning their diplomas into participation trophies. It’s hard enough to get the more successful students accepted into universities as it is. How well will those students do when the college acceptance offices can’t even verify that they can read or do sophomore-level math?

More idiocy has been performed in the name of racial justice than any other.