Oregon’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, signed a bill into law that eliminates the requirement for students to have math or reading skills to graduate from high school. A regulation with the supposed intention of “helping Latino students and students of color.”
According to the local newspaper The Oregonian, the bill was somehow signed under the table because the governor avoided discussing it, so it was not made public until recently and her office did not hold a signing ceremony or issue a press release.
In fact, the bill was signed last July 14 but added to the state’s database last July 29.
Supporters of the bill insist that considering essential math and reading skills has been an unfair challenge for students who do not perform well.
Oregon: law aims to benefit “minorities”
Charles Boyle, deputy communications director for Brown’s office, told the newspaper in an email that the new graduation standards “will benefit “Oregon’s Black, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color”.
For their part, Republican lawmakers such as Christine Drazan oppose the law because they believe it “lowers expectations for our children.”
VVic DeGrammont, a Republican candidate for Congress in Florida, called the bill “insane.”
In June, the editorial staff of The Oregonian newspaper also urged the governor to veto the bill. “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,” the newspaper noted.
Reactions to the new regulations were swift: “As an engineering professor, I would be very suspicious of any Oregon HS grad. Will have to demonstrate appropriate basic knowledge to advance, let alone graduate. If they can’t keep up with appropriately educated students, they will fail, and should. A problem for the major universities in Oregon that would like to maintain ratings,” was one of the Fox News reader comments.
Mathematician and Princeton University professor Sergiu Klainerman told Nius Daily that “they are turning mathematics into a problem of racism.”
“The ideology of the woke movement is such that it threatens the integrity of science and mathematics, and tends to politicize mathematics. Children are being told things like the right way to do math is to try to answer based on their own experiences or that the math that has been practiced so far was ‘white math,'” he said.
“What they are doing is turning mathematics into a problem of racism by saying that mathematics depends on a particular race,” he added.
“Latinos and African-Americans tend to do worse in math, yes. But this has nothing to do with math per se. This has to do with aspects of life itself in the United States and the way things are taught, because when things are taught poorly, kids are going to suffer the consequences. The initiative we were talking about, which has the Gates Foundation behind it, is the kind of thing that is going to destroy generations of children. And the children who have problems now will have more problems in the future,” said Klainerman.