Oregon has a clear vision – but has not paired it with interim, aligned benchmarks.
Oregon’s plan opens with a description of the state’s 40/40/20 vision, which articulates the percentage of students who will hold a bachelor’s, associate, and high school diploma by 2025. This is a clear, ambitious vision, but Oregon has not paired it with interim, aligned benchmarks for which the K-12 system can hold itself accountable.
The state has set ambitious long-term goals for achievement in English-language arts and math.
By 2025, it expects 80 percent of students will score at college or career ready on the Smarter Balanced assessment in ELA and math. This nine-year time frame is ambitious, but it isn’t clear how it aligns with the state’s 40/40/20 vision, or if it’s even feasible. Oregon’s baseline data suggest these goals may be overly ambitious even for the “all students” group where meeting the goals requires a 26-percentage-point increase in ELA and almost doubling of the current proficiency rate in math, let alone for lower-performing groups.
For high school graduation, Oregon’s goal is 90 percent for the four-year cohort graduation rate by 2025. The state believes some students will take longer than four years to graduate, while others will earn an “alternative diploma.” This is still an ambitious goal that requires a steady increase of about 2 percentage points a year for the “all students” group and a greater annual increase for some subgroups. Oregon’s long-term goals and interim measures are appropriately rigorous for extended-year graduation rates — 93 percent of students graduating in five years by 2025.
Oregon is waiting for more current data on English language proficiency, and in the meantime has provided placeholder goals that it plans to update in the near future.