Meeting the Essential Skill of Writing

  • BoyReading Why a focus on writing skills for graduation?

    In today's knowledge-based world, our students need to be expert readers, writers and thinkers to compete and succeed in a global economy. Writing is a skill that must be mastered for success in school, post secondary education, meaningful employment, and lifelong learning and citizenship.

    What is required for graduation and when?

    Beginning in 2013, Oregon high school students must demonstrate proficiency in the Essential Skill of Writing to earn a diploma. There are three assessment options available to students to show that they have met the requirement.


    Approved Assessment Options

    Achievement Scores


    OAKS Writing Performance

    Composite Score of 40


    SAT Essay



    2 Writing Work Samples

    (one must be in either expository or persuasive mode, the other may be in any of the four approved modes below):

    expository, persuasive, narrative (personal), narrative (fictional)


    Score: 4 on each of the four required traits for each of the two work samples:

    (Work samples are locally scored with the Official State Writing Scoring Guide)

    To receive training in how to create and assess writing work samples, please contact
    Penny Plavala at the Multnomah ESD.
    Phone: 503-257-1777
    Writing Scoring Guidelines
    High School Secure Writing Prompts
    • You will not be able to access the Secure Writing Work Prompts unless given specific permission. For more information, please contact Sarah Phillips, 503-257-1585.

    Additional Writing Resources