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Press Release: May 27, 2011

Oregon’s Education Improvement Agenda Takes a Step Forward

Governor Kitzhaber signs bill requiring proficiency-based education 

(SALEM, Ore.) — Governor John Kitzhaber signed 27 bills into law today, including House Bill 2220, the Proficiency-based Education bill, which is a key element of his zero-to-20 education improvement agenda.
"We’ve taken an important step toward creating a 21st century education system today,” Governor Kitzhaber said.  “House Bill 2220 will help deliver better results for students by focusing what they learn and allowing them to work at their own pace.  It’s good to see education bills moving, and I look forward to signing other important reforms, including Senate Bill 909.  We must integrate early childhood, K-12 and post-secondary education to achieve Oregon’s educational and economic objectives.”

House Bill 2220 shifts the way kids are educated from a time-based approach, in which a teacher covers a certain amount of material within a given amount time, regardless of whether students have mastered it, to one that is student-centered, in which students start a course knowing exactly what content and skills they need to master and demonstrate, and then work at their own pace, moving on if they gain proficiency quickly, or taking more time to master concepts when needed. This approach encourages teachers to work in teams, to discuss individual student progress, think about new ways to assess student knowledge, and adjust instruction based on what they observe. It was identified as the approach that can have the most impact on student learning at the least cost in the 2008 report of the Oregon Education Roundtable. 

Media Contacts:
Christine Miles, 503-559-8795
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324

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