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Essential Skills Graduation Requirement

Assessment of Essential Skills Waiver

The Assessment of Essential Skills policy remains suspended by Senate Bill 744 for the 2023 – 24 academic calendar.

Additionally, the Senate Bill 744 suspension of the Assessment of Essential Skills graduation policy was extended through 2027 - 2028 by the Oregon State Board of Education during its October meeting on Thursday, October 19, 2023.

This adoption by the Oregon State Board of Education allows further time for the Oregon Legislature to address the SB 744 Report, Community-Informed Recommendations for Equitable Graduation Outcomes, published by ODE on September 1, 2022.

  • All remaining Oregon graduation requirements, including challenging course credit requirements and personalized learning requirements, remain in effect.

The Oregon State Board of Education’s extension of SB 744 applies to the Assessment of Essential Skills requirements for receiving a Regular or Modified Diploma.  

NOTE - The following assessment requirements stay in effect:

  • Local performance assessment requirements for students in grades 3 through 8 and at least once in high school continue as a requirement as described in  OAR 581-022-2100.

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.

ODE will communicate with districts and the public regarding any policy actions related to high school diplomas in Oregon as they are made by the Legislature or State Board, respectively.

Please send questions regarding SB 744 to

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:
       a. Read and comprehend a variety of text
       b. Write clearly and accurately
       c. Apply mathematics in a variety of settings

​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.

Students demonstrate that they have mastered the reading, writing, and mathematics Essential Skills requirements by earning at or above a cut score on the Oregon Statewide Summative Assessment test as described in the Essential Skills and Local Performance Assessment Manual. Additional approved assessment options are available for districts to consider as viable alternatives to the Oregon Statewide Assessment tests. Please contact your child’s district to inquire about what alternatives are provided for the demonstration of the Assessment of Essential Skills graduation requirement.

Assessment of Essential Skills 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
    Describes the requirements for Essential Skills assessment options, including requirements regarding development, administration, and scoring of assessments.

    Please visit the Reading, Writing, or Mathematics Essential Skills pages for additional educator resources (e.g. administration resources, examples of scored student work samples, and scoring guides).

Assessment of Essential Skills Review Panel

The Assessment of Essential Skills Review Panel (AESRP) 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.

All meetings of the Assessment of Essential Skills Review Panel (AESRP) are open to the public and will conform to Oregon public meeting 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 accommodations for people with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours in advance. Please contact Crys Plattner to request accommodation support.

• 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.













For additional information or questions regarding the Assessment of Essential Skills, please contact the ODE Assessment Team.