"New Diploma requirements"
Ooh, interesting. I followed the link, read the new requirements, and realized that the state of Oregon was finally doing something right in regards to education. Check out the changes:
# Number of credits: The minimum number of credits needed to graduate was raised from 22 credits to 24 credits.
# English: The number of English credits was raised from 3 credits to 4.
# Math: The number of math credits required was raised from 2 credits to 3 and these 3 credits must be at the algebra I content level or above.
# Science: The number of science credits was raised from 2 credits to 3.
# Second Language / Art / Career & Technical Education: The number of credits required in this area (any combination of the subjects) was raised from 1 credit to 3.
# Electives: The number of required electives was reduced from 9 credits to 6.
More English (all four years), more Math (3 years, all at or above Algebra I (meaning Geometry and Algebra II at my school)), more Science (this means Bio, Chem, Physics at my school), and more awesome (includes CAD, shop, art, etc). As a result, elective requirements have dropped, diminishing the amount of schedule fillers that people normally take.
All in all, a recipe for smarter high schoolers and a good choice by the Oregon education system.