The Dumbing Down of Expectations

(diane39/Getty Images) Oregon becomes the latest state to abandon quality in pursuit of false equity.

As a new school year unfolds and students face yet another year of learning disruptions, policy leaders across the country should be doing everything in their power to ensure every student is equipped with an education that will help them succeed. Unfortunately, some politicians lack the conviction to enact sound policy that puts students first and, instead, have embraced a race-to-the-bottom mentality.

Rather than implement plans to turn around plummeting student achievement, create new pathways for kids to access a school tailored to their needs, or innovate with strategies to customize a child’s learning experience, Oregon governor Kate Brown quietly signed a brand new bill that hands all Oregon students a high-school diploma, irrespective of whether they can read, write, or demonstrate proficiency in math.

In other words, Oregon is lowering the bar and lowering expectations, granting students the credential of an “effective” K–12 education without making sure they’re equipped with the fundamental skills they need for a successful life.

Perhaps more concerning is the fact that Brown’s intentions are in pursuit of “education equity.” Proponents of Brown’s decision claimed

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