Oregon may require college credit in high school

Oregon may require all high school students to pass college-level classes, reports Diverse.

A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced a bill that would require college coursework as a condition of graduating from high school. The move would increase the number of students going to college, make their degrees more affordable and encourage students not considering college to continue in higher education, said Sen. Mark Hass, a Beaverton Democrat who is the bill’s chief sponsor.

Oregon students must pass 24 high school classes to earn a diploma. In its current form, Senate Bill 222 would require six of those classes earn college credit, starting with the class of 2020. It promises funding — how much is unstated — to train high school teachers to teach college-level courses.

It’s nice to know Oregon students are so accomplished that all can be expected to complete high school work in three years and move on to college work.

North Carolina is more realistic: A bill backed by Gov. Pat McCrory would create a “career ready” diploma in addition to a “college ready” diploma. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and is headed for the House. “Career and technical teacher licensing requirements also would be revised to help develop more teachers in those fields,” reports AP. There are paths to a decent job that don’t require a bachelor’s degree, the governor believes.

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  1. Crimson Wife says:

    One more barrier to special education students receiving a H.S. diploma. It is difficult enough to get disabled students to master H.S. level material. Requiring them to master college level material in order to receive a H.S. diploma is unfair.

    • For that matter, one more barrier to kids who live in poverty, kids in “failing” schools, kids who live in rural areas where there isn’t a nearby college, kids who already see no relevance to high school, minority kids, and pretty much anybody who isn’t a middle-upper class suburban kid.

  2. Oregon students must pass 24 high school classes to earn a diploma. In its current form, Senate Bill 222 would require six of those classes earn college credit, starting with the class of 2020.

    Will the public Oregon universities (U of O and O St.) also require one year of graduate level classes before conferring a bachelor’s degree?

    The *exit* requirements for a given level of schooling should not include “expectation that one can finish” the next. Otherwise, no high school diploma unless one demonstrates ability to get a PhD (since we won’t award a bachelors without an expectation that one can finish the PhD, and we won’t award the high school diploma unless we think the kid can finish a bachelors).

  3. I’m guessing the professors will have some trouble with the idea that college level courses are no sweat for high-schoolers.

  4. Well,

    Given that the knowledge level for a college degree (in general) has been weakened over the last 25 years by easy grading (i.e. – grade inflation), less study time by students, etc. It shouldn’t be too hard to master this stuff, unless they really mean students are taking actual coursework.

    A better option for all school districts would be to allow dual credit for students who take and pass college level coursework.


    You take and pass English 101/102, you get credit for two years of high school English.

    You take and pass precalculus or calculus, your H.S. math requirement is waived (i.e. – you’ve taken it).

    Another situation is where a student earns a associate’s degree rather than go to high school. By definition, associate’s degree > high school diploma.

  5. While we’re waving the magic wand around, let’s not forget to give every child an IQ of at least 115 and an interest in college-prep/college work. We’ll never need anyone to cut our hair, groom our dogs, work in retail or food service or take care of our cars, houses and gardens. What are they smoking in OR?

    I thought SD was bad enough (new HS grad req chem, physics, alg2) and Prince George’s county MD (an AP course req for HS grad) worse, but this is unbelievable. Let’s pray it doesn’t get passed.

  6. Thinly Veiled Anonymity says:

    This may be the only way to ensure that a student gets a proper high school level education.

  7. One can decree the courses taken in the last year of high school to be “college-level.” That doesn’t make it so. It is cruel to threaten to withhold a diploma from students who can complete the normal demands of a high school diploma, but cannot handle college classwork.

    “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'”

  8. Richard Aubrey says:

    In this context, “college level” will mean whatever level doesn’t affect the graduation numbers in any noticeable way.

    • This has been happening in HS courses for years and the “more rigorous” grad requirements will accelerate the trend. Does any reasonable person think that every HS student in SD is capable of, or interested in, passing REAL chem, physics and alg 2 classes? This is the state where four HS grads from four different (supposedly “good”) schools recently demonstrated their inability to calculate sales tax with the aid of a calculator.

      PG county has had kids reading at 5th-grade level taking “AP” English for years; one of the teachers has been commenting against the policy for years (under his own name, the brave soul).

  9. NC’s bill to create both a college-ready and a career-ready HS diploma is good news. I’ve always been a big fan of voc ed. However, I certainly hope that NC’s revisions in teacher licensing requirements “to help develop more teachers in those (career and techical )fields” doesn’t mean that voc ed teachers would have to have ed world credentials (which i think are a waste of time for any teacher); I’d hope for the opposite. There’s no reason for a cabinetmaker, a mechanic, a nurse or a cosmetologist to have certification outside of their field.

  10. This should be considered criminal, and any perpetrators of it should be arrested for violating Special Ed laws. :[

    • The high school diploma has become so watered down, that it’s nothing more than a Certificate of Attendance at this point. This is the only way left to give it any real meaning.

  11. Why not just require that all kids be above average?

    Crimsonwife: Not all special ed kids should be receiving a HS diploma. The result of giving diplomas solely for seat time and effort is that college degrees are now required for many jobs that only require basic literacy and arithmetic. If a kid can’t meet that standard, whether it’s due to lack of interest or disability, they shouldn’t get the diploma. What the Oregon proposal will do is to similarly devalue college courses.

    Bill and North Carolina have two good proposals: to give high school credit to kids who skip ahead and complete real college courses, and to bring back tracking along with a diploma that says the kid has learned something besides how to get into college.

  12. Say it ain’t so!

    Perusing the ACT report for Oregon:


    tells us that 27% of the ACT takers (N=11715) are ready in all four subjects. There are some pretty glaring gaps in what used to be considered “college track” prep. I think they got bigger fish to fry.