Drazan: Board again eyes plan to lower graduation bar

Board of Education’s Graduation Standard Proposal Again Lowers The Bar For Students

By Christine Drazan,
Founder, A New Direction

CANBY, Ore. – After pulling the item off last month’s meeting agenda following backlash from parents, the Oregon State Board of Education has again proposed suspending graduation standards for the next four years of high school seniors.

“Our students deserve rigorous standards to ensure they are well-prepared for the challenges of the real world — to allow them to achieve their hopes and dreams for a bright future,” Christine Drazan said. “I am calling on the Board of Education to indefinitely table this proposal and work to identify how they plan to improve educational outcomes for Oregon students.”

“I found Board Chair Martinez Zapata’s comments last month extremely offensive to parents who want to ensure a high-quality education for their kids. Her dismissive tone and condescending attitude toward those who disagree with her were beyond the pale. That same approach is again on full display by resurrecting this proposal. It’s not extreme or bigoted to believe that Oregon’s education system should hold students to high standards and give them the support they need to achieve them.”

While Oregon graduation rates slowly climb, there is a corresponding decline in achievement.

The Legislature suspended the Essential Learning assessments in 2021 with no signs of better results for students. The proposal on tomorrow’s agenda would suspend the assessments through the 2027-2028 school year.

### Christine Drazan is the founder of A New Direction – a 501(c)4 non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Oregonians with each other to advance policies and ideas that make Oregon a safer, more affordable place to live and raise a family, strengthen checks and balances, improve transparency, empower Oregonians and support the next generation.