OR Governor signs law eliminating reading and math requirements for graduation

According to a new report from Oregon Live, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed a law to allow students to graduate without proving they can read, write or do math.

She apparently does not want to talk about it, the report says.

Per the Free Beacon “The bill, which the Democratic legislature passed in June in a mostly party-line vote, suspends Oregon’s high school graduation requirements for at least five years as the state works to reform its high school standards. A spokesman for the governor’s office told the Oregonian that suspending the proficiency requirements will benefit “Oregon’s Black, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.””

Oregon Senate Republicans tweeted “This was perhaps the worst bill that passed this session and Democrats can’t come up with a good reason for it.”

Per the report:

For the next five years, 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.

Gov. Kate Brown had demurred earlier this summer regarding whether she supported the plan passed by the Legislature to drop the requirement that students demonstrate they have achieved those essential skills. But on July 14, the governor signed Senate Bill 744 into law.

Through a spokesperson, the governor declined again Friday to comment on the law and why she supported suspending the proficiency requirements.

Brown’s decision was not public until recently, because her office did not hold a signing ceremony or issue a press release and the fact that the governor signed the bill was not entered into 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 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, said the governor’s staff notified legislative staff the same day the governor signed the bill.

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.