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Oregon high school students will now have to pass a writing test in order to graduate. This year's juniors will have their writing skills assessed in one of three ways, depending on what their school district decides to do:
- The OAKS (Oregon Assessment of Knowledge) Writing Performance Assessment: a statewide standardized test graded by a panel of teachers from around Oregon
- The SAT Writing Assessment Test: students must score at least 460 on the national standardized test. Oregon's requirement is below the national average score of 489.
- Writing samples: students can submit two writing samples with prompts created and graded by their teachers using standards similar to the OAKS test.
This is all part of the roll-out of the new "common core" standards. Last year, 13,000 juniors who took a standardized writing test didn't pass. That means English teachers will have to work with them to submit writing samples that will pass muster in order for them to graduate. This could be a serious challenge for teachers managing classrooms of 20-30 kids.
Are you an Oregon high school student? Does your child attend public school in Oregon? Are you a teacher or administrator? How will the new writing requirements affect you?