Proving You Can Read, Write, Do Math Is No Longer A Requirement To Graduate High School In Oregon

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Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown quietly signed a law in July that suspended a proficiency in reading, writing and math requirement for high school students.

The bill also directs the state Department of Education to use the three-year suspension to evaluate how the state assesses academic requirements to receive a diploma and make recommendations with the goal of reducing disparities.

The governor signed Senate Bill 744 on July 14 bu it flew under the radar due to the fact that her office did not hold a signing ceremony or issue a press release, The Oregonian reported.

It was not added into the state’s database until July 29 due to an alleged glitch in the system even as other bills signed last month were updated in the database the same day they were signed, according to The Oregonian.

ROSEBURG, OR – OCTOBER 02: Oregon governor Kate Brown (C) arrives for a press conference where she addressed the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College on October 2, 2015 in Roseburg, Oregon. Yesterday 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer went on a shooting rampage at the campus, killing 9 people and wounding another seven before he was killed. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The bill was passed by the Oregon legislature back in June on a mostly party line vote with supporters of the bill saying that the requirements hurt those with poor test-taking skills who would otherwise graduate, according to the outlet.

“The testing that we’ve been doing in the past doesn’t tell us what we want to know,” Democratic State Sen. Lew Frederick told local news outlet KATU at the time. “We have been relying on tests that have been, frankly, very flawed and relying too much on them so that we aren’t really helping the students or the teachers or the community.”

The governor’s deputy communications director Charles Boyle also told the Oregonian that suspending proficiency requirements in schools will help benefit the state’s “Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”

Republicans pushed back against the bill, saying that it lowers academic expectations for students.

“The approach for Senate Bill 744 is to, in fact, lower our expectations for our kids,” Oregon House Minority Leader Christine Drazan also told KATU at the time of the bill’s passing. “This is the wrong time to do that, when we have had this year of social isolation and lost learning. It’s the wrong thing to do in this moment.”

“If it had just been a testing bill, then I would have been supportive of it, but what we were doing was taking a list of essential skills and saying we’re not going to hold our kids to these standards anymore,” Drazen added. (RELATED: ‘Playing Games They Cannot Win’: Parents, Teachers Fear Virginia School Board Policy Revision Will Allow Schools To Punish Unwoke Staff)

Other school districts across America have also made recent moves to lower academic standards in the name of equity with the Virginia Department of Education announcing in April that they would be eliminating accelerated math courses prior to 11th grade.

The Governor’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.