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In 1991, the state legislature passed the Oregon Education Act for the 21st Century, which set a clear goal for education improvement: To create a public education system that results in “measurably the best educated and prepared students in the nation by 2000 and equal to any in the world by 2010.”

In a world that is higher-tech, more information-driven, and faster paced, Oregon is working to ensure every student has the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. In pursuit of this goal, Oregon launched an education plan that:

Sets clear standards for what students should learn in core subject areas.

Ensures students have a strong academic foundation plus real-world experience.

Measures student progress with tests and classroom work samples in grades three, five, eight and ten.

Provides teachers with the necessary tools and training to be successful.

At the heart of Oregon’s efforts to improve public education is a change of philosophy. Rather than documenting achievement in terms of seat time, schools are measuring what students know and can do against clearly defined standards. From elementary to high school, educators and community members are striving to provide students with personalized and challenging instruction that connects learning to the real world. The results are encouraging, and include: an increase in test scores, students who are more engaged in their learning, and educators who are committed to improvement.

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