(Politicizd) -- As of Tuesday morning, the state of Oregon has announced that high school students will no longer be required to establish proficiency in math, reading or writing in order to graduate.
Democratic Governor, Kate Brown, addressed the issue by declaring that testing would be suspended for at least three years, until the Department of Education could reform its policies and requirements to meet its racial equality agenda.
[The new declaration will benefit] "Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color."
(Charles Boyle, Deputy Communications Director for Governor Kate Brown)
However, the bill was not well received, garnering heavy criticism from its own local communities.
Oregonlive.com, a paper designated to inform Oregonians, urged the Governor to veto the proposed bill, arguing "Oregon schools were among the last in the country to reopen to in-person instruction during the pandemic... Our legislators should be focused on how to help students regain the ground they’ve lost after a year and a half of distance learning and hybrid instruction – not on lowering our standards."
Yet, this is just a slice of the criticism, with many conservatives issuing their own worry over the direction, and agenda this represents. For many republicans, the idea of refraining from testing students, in a sudden fear that minorities would underperform, is offensive and racist. Further stated, to many, the idea that minority children wouldn't be able to demonstrate their intelligence is an unacceptable rationale.
This morning, Jonathan Turley, a Criminal Defense Attorney at George Washington University, remarked his own concerns, worrying how schools will be able to compare the achievements of their students. Moreover, without testing, schools will be lacking the ability able to determine if students are up to par with the rest of the state.
However, the state's Department of Education, maintains the bill will create equality and more equal opportunities to "historically underserved students, such as those with disabilities, those who are from immigrant or refugee populations or 'racial or ethnic groups that have historically experienced academic disparities."
Notably, the statement reinforced the idea that skin color and racial identity plays a key role in one's success, and that a White American is always advantaged over his minority peers, irregardless of his finical status or parental situation.
Overall, the newly signed bill has furthered tensions in the state, eliciting more national attention than it usually garners. For some, the bill demonstrates equality and opportunity, while for others, it lowers standards, and is counterproductive in its goal. Further put, the bill will allow students to graduate, and thus create a potentially inaccurate depiction of their educational abilities.