I think we can all agree that reading and writing are overrated, and it wasn’t really fair to make blacks do these things.
The Oregon State Board of Education unanimously voted on Thursday to remove proof of mastery in reading, writing, and math in order to graduate from high school until 2029.
The board argued that requiring all students to pass one of several standardized tests or to create an in-depth assignment their teacher judged as meeting state standards was a harmful hurdle for students of color, disabled students, or those learning English as a second language. The standardized tests will still be given but will not play a role in determining whether students receive their diplomas.
“We haven’t suspended any sort of assessments,” state board member Vicky Lopez Sanchez said during the board meeting. “The only thing we are suspending is the inappropriate use of how those assessments were being used. I think that really is in the best interest of Oregon students.”
Opponents of the new order argued that removing the requirement devalues an Oregon diploma. The opponents argued that helping students with low academic skills through extra instruction in writing and math has helped them. However, supporters claim that forcing students to spend extra time on schoolwork eliminates their opportunity to take an elective and does not translate to how they perform after graduation.
“We are unable to ethically make a different decision at this point. It is also unethical for us to continue to require this when we know it can continue to cause harm and has had no change in how students are performing,” Board of Education Chairwoman Guadalupe Martinez Zapata told ABC’s KATU-2.
At least no one ever died from the flu again.