Oregon has spent the better part of the past decade infusing equity into every level of education in the state. State law changed in 2012 to remove the position of elected state Superintendent of Education, replacing it with a gubernatorial appointee. 

Higher Education 

State Educational Attainment Goals and Equity Lens​ (https://www.oregon.gov/highered/policy-collaboration/Pages/state-goals.aspx

Significantly improving equitable educational outcomes is critical to achieving the State of Oregon’s two attainment goals: the 40-40-20 Goal and the Adult Attainment goal. To achieve the 40-40-20, Oregon aims to improve and transform educational opportunities so that all young adult Oregonians complete a high school diploma or the equivalent, and significantly more Oregonians complete a postsecondary credential. To achieve the adult educational goal, Oregon aims to train and educate more adults, particularly underserved populations, to earn new credentials to meet workforce demands.  ​

For a quick summary of state goals and current status, see below. 

Oregon’s Equity Lens

The Oregon Equity Lens​​  was adopted by the HECC in 2014 as a cornerstone to the State’s approach to education policy and budgeting to achieve state goals. The purpose of the Equity Lens is to clearly articulate a shared goal for an equitable education system, to put into place the intentional policies, investments, and systemic changes necessary to reach our goals and to create clear accountability structures to ensure that we are actively making progress and correcting past inequities.


Oregon’s 40-40-20 Education Goal

Oregon has one of highest-reaching state goals for education in the country.  Known as the “40-40-20”, this goal established a clear target for educational attainment of Oregonians. The 40-20-20 goal is that, by 2025,

  • 40% of Oregonians​ will complete a 4-year de​gree,
  • ​40% of Oregonians will complete a 2-year degree or certificate, and
  • 20% will earn a high school diploma or the equivalent.

In 2011, the State of Oregon enacted legislation (ORS 350.014) that created this aspirational goal for Oregon’s educational achievement​. With legislation passed in 2017 and effective in January, 2018, Oregon clarified the 40-40-20 educational goal to focus it strategically on young Oregonians rising through the education system.   ​


Oregon’s Adult Education and Training Goal

In 2018, Oregon established a separate goal for the education and training of working adults. This goal is connected to job opportunities and industry needs​, and is stated as follows:

  • Oregon anticipates more than 120,000 additional jobs requiring post-secondary training or education between now and 2030. In order to meet this need, 300,000 additional adult Oregonians should earn a new degree, certificate or credential valued in the workforce during that time. Because Oregon has substantial attainment gaps among minority, low income and rural Oregonians, the state will also commit to reducing those attainment gaps by half during the decade.

​As directed by 2017 legislation, the HECC worked with the Oregon Workforce Talent and Development Board and partners on this new goal, and it was approved in November, 2018.  ​

Primary Education

The racial and cultural diversity in Oregon has increased dramatically over the past ten years, adding great richness to our classrooms and communities and posing new challenges for our schools as they attempt to meet the needs of an increasingly culturally, racially and linguistically varied student population. The Academic Achievement Gap describes the gap in achievement that often exists between low income or minority students and their peers. Oregon’s African American, Hispanic, and Native American students have higher dropout rates and lower graduation rates than their White or Asian peers. We need to keep focused on our goal of preparing ALL students for high school and beyond. For our students today, a high school diploma is not enough. Our students need to leave high school with the knowledge and skills to go on to career training, college, or living wage jobs. And the only way that we will be able to get there is if teachers from kindergarten to high school are committed to helping each and every student to achieve at high levels. It will take all of us working together at every level to ensure true equity in our schools.

Oregon infuses all levels of education with equity–see https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/equity/equityinitiatives/Pages/default.aspx