Assessment of Essential Skills Waiver
The Assessment of Essential Skills policy remains suspended by
Senate Bill 744 through 2023-24.
During the 2021 legislative session, the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed Senate Bill 744 which directed the Oregon Department of Education to engage with community members and review state requirements for high school diploma options, as well as to review state requirements related to demonstrations of proficiency in Essential Skills.
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 in the coming session or meeting, respectively.
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
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
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).