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Oregon Schools Face New Standards

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MEDFORD, Ore. – It is back to school season in the Rogue Valley. Whether local kindergartners had their first day of school this week, or will in the coming weeks, there are already high expectations for their success.

Signed into law last year by Governor Kitzhaber, Senate Bill 253 has the goal of having a 100% high school graduation rate for Oregon students. The law is commonly referred to as “40-40-20″, meaning 40% of students will go on to complete a 4 year degree, 40% a 2-year degree and 20% will at least have a high school diploma.

The goal is for these guidelines to be met by the year 2025, meaning all kindergartners starting school this year will be expected to graduate. Julie Evans with the Medford School District said that teachers always strive for their students to graduate.

Representative Wally Hicks who voted against the measure last year says that the goal isn’t the problem, it’s the lack support behind making the goal a reality. Representative Peter Buckley on the other hand thinks it’s important to set goals for education if Oregon’s students want to succeed in a global economy.

The 40-40-20 bill passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate last year. The law had only 2 votes against it in the Senate and 14 against it in the House.