Oregon Public Schools have replaced their own benchmarks with the Common Core State Standards which provide rigorous standards for core subjects. The programs developed using these standards require students to focus more on writing and the articulation of reasoning to answer questions across all subject areas. Students must also develop math skills like fractions multiplication and linear formulas at an earlier age than previously required and are encouraged to learn more advanced vocabulary at a younger age.
Although Common Core has become somewhat controversial the Oregon Department of Education decided to adopt the standards upon finding that its existing framework set standards too low for students compared to other states. The Oregon Board of Education approved Common Core in 2010 and school districts across the state first started implementing their newly created programs in 2014.
Oregon also has a statewide assessment system that requires all public schools to administer tests in the areas of math and language arts in grades 3 through 8 and 11 along with science and social science exams in grades 5 8 and 11. Known as the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) there are also exams for English-language learners and new Smarter Balanced assessments in math and language arts.