How on earth are students ever going to graduate in Oregon now that they must complete so much coursework and testing? It will not be easy!
First, the coursework. Imagine this: Students graduating in 2012 will actually have to complete four credits in English/Language Arts. That is a class each and every year in their native tongue! Crazy. And don’t get me started on math. Students will actually have to take a math class three of the four years they are in high school (although, to be fair, some of the classes can be pre-algebra in difficulty). Same for science and social studies. What is going on? And to think, one year of the four they will have to take a physical education class. And one year of the four they will have to take a health class. This really is too much. Add in three of the four years taking a class in the arts, career education, or a foreign language and 6 electives over the four years and you are talking TWENTY-FOUR credits just to get a diploma. Plus, you would most likely have to pass all these classes, too.
Now, to top all this off, students will actually have to pass state tests in reading, writing, math, and speaking to get a diploma! Absurd. Imagine not being able to graduate because of one test! Everyone knows that even some of the smartest students in the world simply don’t do well on tests. But Oregon does know this, and will offer any students who don’t test well the chance to substitute a locally graded essay or work sample in lieu of the required state test. This seems like an ideal solution, as there are many schools and students who don’t wish to be held to the rigor of a state test and thus need to be able to substitute local, less rigorous, options. Imagine how a student might feel if they could not graduate simply because they don’t test well.
Students in Oregon only go to school for 172 days each year. Many, many of these days are interrupted with assemblies, field trips, parent conferences, teacher in-service, school picture day, and other valuable learning experiences. The state has simply mandated too much in too little time. Whatever will the students do? Move to Idaho?
Luckily the state stands at the ready with 7 billion dollars or more each year to assist with these onerous, draconian requirements that are certain to bury all but the most dedicated youngsters.