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Essential Skills Graduation Requirement

Assessment of Essential Skills Waiver

The Oregon Legislative Assembly passed SB 744 which directs the Oregon Department of Education to review state requirements for high school diploma options, as well as to review state requirements related to demonstrations of proficiency in Essential Skills. Allowing for this review, students will not be required to show proficiency in Essential Skills as a condition of receiving a high school diploma during the 2021-2022, 2022-2023, and 2023-2024 school years.

ODE is in the process of reviewing the Essential Skills requirements. The legislature is requiring a final report, with recommendations, by September of 2022. Pending this review of the state requirements for high diploma options, ODE will provide additional information of Essential Skills to Oregon districts and educators.

Note: SB 744 applies to the assessment of Essential Skills requirements for receiving a Regular or Modified Diploma and does not suspend the local performance assessment requirements for students in grades 3 through 8 and at least once in high school. Though not related directly to assessment, it is important to note that the education plan, education profile, and extended application graduation requirements remain in place, as well.

For additional information or questions regarding SB 744, please contact ODE.SenateBill744@ode.state.or.us.

Overview of Essential Skills

​The Nine Essential Skills are cross-disciplinary skills that students should be developing across grades K- 12.

For students first enrolled in Grade 9 in 2010-2011 or later, three of the Essential Skills are graduation requirements:

  1. Read and comprehend a variety of text
  2. Write clearly and accurately
  3. Apply mathematics in a variety of settings
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​Students prove that they have mastered these Essential Skills by earning at or above a cut score on one of the approved assessment options in their district. For information about the assessment options for each Essential Skill, please visit the Reading, Writing, or Mathematics Essential Skill pages. The links to these pages are listed below under the heading “Resources” and in the left column of this page.

​The Essential Skills Task Force – comprised of educators from K-12, community college, higher education, students, and business/community representatives – worked together in 2007 to develop the Essential Skills policy. In 2008 the Essential Skills were available for public review and input was collected through online surveys as well focus groups. The Task Force incorporated the feedback and Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for the Essential Skills were adopted by the Board on June 19, 2008.

​Work Sample prompts (one of the approved assessment options for the Essential Skills) are available in the ORSkills online system.

  • ORSkills FAQ

    Quick reference about the ORSkills online system, including answers to questions about features, benefits, and costs of the system.

  • ORSkills Quick Introduction Video

    Two minute introduction to the ORSkills assessment platform available to all Oregon school districts.

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Resources

To support students, teachers, administrators, and parents learn what the expectations are for the Essential Skills requirement across K-12 curricula, ODE has provided additional links to administration resources, instructional planning resources, and data resources.

  • Essential Skills and Local Performance Assessment Manual  (Updated 08/10/21)                                                          Describes the requirements for Essential Skills assessment options, including requirements regarding development, administration, and scoring of assessments.

Resources

To support Essential Skills across K-12 curricula, links to instructional planning resources, including Common Core links, and data,​ resources follow

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​Data Reports

School districts report to ODE which assessment option each graduate used to demonstrate proficiency in the required Essential Skills. ODE compiles this information into a report of district and state-level data. The State Board of Education has approved three categories of assessments that students can use to meet the Essential Skills graduation requirements: the state test, other standardized tests, and work samples.

  • 2015 Essential Skills Report

    Four-year outcomes: Students who entered high school during the 2011-2012 school year and demonstrated the Reading, Writing, and Math Essential Skills to earn a Regular Diploma or Modified Diploma in 2015

    Five-year outcomes: Students who entered high school during the 2010-2011 school year and demonstrated the Reading and Writing Essential Skills to earn a Regular Diploma or Modified Diploma in 2015

  • 2014 Essential Skills Report

    Four-year outcomes: Students who entered high school during the 2010-2011 school year and demonstrated the Reading, Writing, and Math Essential Skills to earn a Regular Diploma or Modified Diploma in 2014

    Five-year outcomes: Students who entered high school during the 2009-2010 school year and demonstrated the Reading and Writing Essential Skills to earn a Regular Diploma or Modified Diploma in 2014

  • 2013 Essential Skills Report

    Four-year outcomes: Students who entered high school during the 2009-2010 school year and demonstrated the Reading and Writing Essential Skills to earn a Regular Diploma or Modified Diploma in 2013

    Five-year outcomes: Students who entered high school during the 2008-2009 school year and demonstrated the Reading Essential Skill to earn a Regular Diploma or Modified Diploma in 2013

  • 2012 Essential Skills Report

    Four-year outcomes: Students who entered high school during the 2008-2009 school year and demonstrated the Reading Essential Skill to earn a Regular Diploma or Modified Diploma in 2012

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​Requirements

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Assessment of Essential Skills Review Panel

The Assessment of Essential Skills Review Panel is charged with making recommendations on:

  • The phasing in of Essential Skills
  • The adoption of assessment options to measure students' proficiency in the approved Essential Skills
  • The achievement standards used to determine student eligibility for the high school diploma or the modified diploma.

The State Board of Education considers recommendations from AESRP, but is not obligated to adopt AESRP's recommendations. The State Board of Education may ask for additional information from AESRP, beyond the recommendation, or may ask AESRP for a general position.

AESRP Meeting Information

All meetings of the Assessment of Essential Skills Review Panel are open to the public and will conform to Oregon public meetings laws. The upcoming meeting schedule and materials from past meetings are posted online. Meeting notifications are emailed through the Assessment and Accountability Update Newsletter.

A request for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or for accommodations for people with disabilities should be made by email to Carla Martinez. Requests for accommodation should be made at least 48 hours in advance.

Meeting Date and Time

In response to the 2021 Legislative Session and SB 744, AESRP Meetings have been suspended while ODE engages in the process of reviewing the assessment of Essential Skills requirements.

AESRP Meetings

2019-20
  • April 10, 2020 - Meeting canceled.
2018-19
2017-18​
2016-17
2015-16
2014-15
2013-14
2012-13
2011-12
2010-11
2009-10
2008-09
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