Oregon Education Among Very Worst in the Nation

SchoolFunding.serendipityThumb Oregon Education Among Very Worst in the Nation The results are in and Oregon is one of only 5 states in the nation to receive a D overall grade across all areas measured in the Education Week’s Quality Counts report just released.

I must ask, though, how can this be? Our teacher salaries are good, the teachers’ union is firmly in control, the Democrat politicians keep pouring more and more money into the education budget, and the experts in the state department of education tell us they know what they are doing. I wonder, though, given our national ranking”¦

Here’s a summary of how Oregon is performing in education from the Education Week Magazine annual survey of education in America:

1. Oregon is the worst state in the nation for Kindergarten enrollment (rank 50).
2. Oregon is the worst state in the nation for adults in the labor force working full time and year-round, a measurement of the outcome of the education system (rank 50).
3. Oregon is the worst state in the nation for 4th grade math achievement gains (rank 50).
4. Oregon is the second worst state in the nation for 4th grade reading achievement (rank 49)
5. Forty-seven states have early-learning standards — Oregon has none.
6. Oregon does not define college readiness or college preparation.
7. Oregon has no path for industry certification while 40 other states do.
8. Oregon has no requirement for licensing teachers that includes substantial coursework completion in the subject area to be taught. Twenty-seven other states do.
9. Oregon has no test of subject-specific knowledge in order to obtain a teaching license. Forty-two other states do.
10. Oregon does not require formal annual evaluations of all teachers’ performance. Forty-three other states do.
11. Oregon does not publish rankings or results for our teacher-preparation institutions. Thirty other states do.
12. Oregon does not offer an alternative-route program for teacher preparation. Forty-seven other states do.
13. Oregon does not provide incentives for teachers to earn national board certification. Thirty-eight other states do.
14. Oregon does not provide a mentoring program for new teachers. Twenty other states do.
15. Oregon does not provide a mentoring program for administrators. Fourteen other states do.

In short, Oregon is one of only five states in the nation to receive a D grade. What could possibly have gone wrong?

You can read the full report at www.edweek.org.

tt twitter big4 Oregon Education Among Very Worst in the Nation tt facebook big4 Oregon Education Among Very Worst in the Nation tt linkedin big4 Oregon Education Among Very Worst in the Nation tt reddit big4 Oregon Education Among Very Worst in the Nation

Posted by at 05:24 | Posted in Measure 37 | 106 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Alan

    Some of the benchmarks are inexcusable, others seem bureaucratic too me. Not every state can mold itself to a hundred other benchmarks of another state.

    • Jerry

      The benchmarks are not of another state.

      No state got an A grade. The benchmarks are simply steps that are considered necessary to a stong public education system. I agree that some might seem bureaucratic but the ones that really matter, like the fourth grade test scores, are simply inexcusable when you consider the costs expended for such “results”.

      I am deeply saddened for Oregon and the state of affairs in its public education system.

      None of this is rocket science. Oregon simply has chosen not to do what is needed to ensure a quality education. If it had, then we would not be ranked 49th out of 50 states!!!

      Read the report.

  • Sybella

    I don’t have to read the report to see the results and lack of basic education all around me.

    It’s too bad that our schools which are supposed to be learning centers are concentrating on entertaining the kids instead.

    This is such a loss, Oregon’s kids are the losers as a group. There are good kids, smart kids and kids that excel in spite of the system. I’m not talking about them. But just look around you.

    • Saltherring

      It’s not about entertainment, it’s about indoctrination. If less time was spent hammering global warming, diversity and whale saving, and more time drilling English, math and proven science concepts into students, the outcomes would certainly improve. When will voters kick the leftist oligarchy out of our state capitols?

  • Measure Happy

    Lets give credit for the schools ranking with Mississippi and West Virginia! Measure 5, Measure 8, Measure 30, Measure 26, Measure 47, Measure 41. Measure 48, Measure 28, Measure 88 and more cleared the way for our outstanding ranking. Out of state backers from Americans for Tax reform have skillfully united with the Taxpayer Association of Oregon and the Taxpapayer Association of Oregon to assure the quality of education in Oregon.

  • Taxpayer-friendly

    Measure happy, you are simply union-happy.

    The National Education Association, SEIU gov’t workers’ union et. al. have run huge sums of money into Oregon from out-of-state in order to secure political control of education in Oregon. Of course, all the News Guild writers black this out completely and parrot your line of B.S. with alarming irresponsibility.

    These unreported (“non-political”) sums of union money from out-of-state, expended year-after-year at the local and state level, DWARF the reported political campaign spending for the every-other-year initiatives. And the unions ALWAYS outspend initiative proponents during actual campaigns.

    Why can’t unionists take some responsibility for the collectivist mess of their own making? It’s so GWB to blindly refuse to admit obvious mistakes.

  • Peter

    Meaure Happy,

    Yes lets give credit for the schools ranking with Mississippi and West Virginia!
    Democrat Legislators, the unions, Vera Katz, John Kitzhaber, Norma Paulus, COSA, OSBA, ODE, Oregon Business Council, Oregon Business Association and our newspapers.

    All of whom supported and perpetuated the coslty 15 year failed school reform CIMCAM.
    They shamelessly championed this sweeping failure with a parade of lies and politics for the sole purpoose of maintaining control and power. They are despicable.
    And not all the money in the state would have changed the outcome. The massive program was flawed through and through without any merit but what was fabricated by these despicable people.

  • Chris McMullen

    Yeah Measure Happy, schools must have a terrible time with $10,000 a year per student.

    Multiply that number with the average class size, let’s say 25, and you get $250,000 per classroom per year. Are teachers getting $200,000 a year or something?

    There’s no excuse for our crappy grade with that kind of funding.

  • Peter

    The US depaertment of Education didn’t exist till Carter established after teacher’s unions too over our schools.
    Ever since the cost of education has soared while the product plummeted.

    All the while teacher’s unions calling anyone who crticizes them anti-teacher.

    Despicable.

  • dean

    Jerry…I did a quick and dirty perusal of the state grades. I think you make Oregon’s position sound worse than it is. No states received an A, and only a handful received Bs. Most of those receiving Bs have HIGHER per student funding than Oregon does, sugesting funding does matter. Oregon ranked very low on per pupil funding. I suppose with a bit of work Oregon could get a C grade like nearly everyone else, but given the criteria I’m not sure it would actually help the students.

    A mentoring program for administrators? Incentives for board certification? These don’t seem all that crucial in the scheme of things. What about class sizes, dropout rates, SAT scores, percent going on to and finishing college, and other measures of actual importance?

    I’m assuming teachers are unionized in most states, so unionization may not be any factor at all.

    • Jerry

      Dean,
      If you read the whole report you will find that Oregon finished 49th out of the 50 states. I am not sure I could make it sound much worse than that. To make such a statement seems clear evidence to me that you never even read the entire report. Why don’t you do that and then let us know what you think? Wait, I know why, because it wouldn’t matter to you what the report says – you just blindly defend incompetence and ask for more money to continue it. Good analysis.

      Incentives for board certification don’t mean much to you because you don’t understand the need for mastery in subject matter taught, which the board certification ensures. Apparently you like Oregon’s system where no test is ever given for subject matter mastery and no preponderance of coursework completed needs to be in the specific subject area of teaching. Just curious, would you go to a surgeon who had a lot of courses in medical theory, but none in actually operating? I guess maybe you would.

      To say unionization may not be a factor at all is stunning in that you pointed out no state got an A. Maybe it is the biggest factor. You certainly don’t know, so why make such a senseless statement?

      I suggest a bit more research and thought on your part prior to posting.

  • Sid Leiken

    I guess I am going to get home tonight and let my kids know that they are not getting a valid education and be prepared to dig ditches for the rest of your life. By the way, my 15 year old programmed my new PDA in about 20 minutes. It took me that long to figure out how to turn it on.

    • DMF

      I’m not sure if you meant that to be sarcastic or serious. It is serious. I hope that was your meaning because so many I see, not only can’t read or count money, they can’t work because they have never been taught how.

  • CRAWDUDE

    I think what you’d find on closer scrutiny is that the PPS draws the rest of the states schools down. It also the one that loses the most students per year to other districts. They touted that the only lost 174 this last year after 6 straight years of 1000+, I think it was but a resbit. The finacially chocking bebefit package for PPS employees leaves little let to educate the kid with.

    The Districts like David Douglas have a fair benefit package and also are the districts people move their kids to…..go figure!

  • eagle eye

    I went to the link and couldn’t find the report, but I am very skeptical.

    Go instead to the National Assessment of Education Progress

    http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/states/

    and go to “state comparisons”. There is no way that Oregon is 49th in reading for fourth graders.

    You’ll find that Oregon is a little below average for 4th graders — not surprising given the large class sizes here — but is above average for 8th graders, which arguably is more important.

    • CRAWDUDE

      I think they mean, the overall reading ability of Oregon students is just above the 8th grade level and they were highlighting the fact that 8th graders are now reading at a 4th grade level which is an improvement ;)

    • Jerry

      For those of you who can’t find the link, I have done that for you.
      Amazing.
      http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/01/10/18shr.h27.html

      • eagle eye

        You are being your typical gracious self. Thanks.

        • CRAWDUDE

          Darn! I hate being predictable :(

    • Jerry

      The figures were for achievement gains, not raw scores.
      In fourth grade reading in 2007 according to NAEP scores Oregon is 38th in the nation. For fourth grade reading change, however, from 2003- 2007, we are 49th in the nation.
      You actually have to read the report before you make accusations about what is reported.
      I have given you the link, Now, if you can, choose Oregon under the state drop down menu, download the report, and read it.
      I am guessing maybe you went to school in Oregon…

      • eagle eye

        Jerry, thanks for getting personal. Now, I’ll get personal with you. You claim to be an ex-principal, right? I don’t believe you, but with your attitude, it’s easy to say that if you ever had gotten such a position, you wouldn’t last long. You’re not fit either to teach in school or heaven help us, supervise or manage one.

  • Betsy

    Hey eagle eye and dean,

    Why didn’t you toss out here the SAT lie? That Oregon is Tops or second in the country”

    Is that bald faced lie cooked up by the ODE and OEA not flying any more?
    What a couple of nitwits excuse makers.

    Have you a good one for CIMCAM wasting 15 years, countless instructions hours and likely billions?

    • CRAWDUDE

      If there is an overcrowding of classrooms, it stems from misuse of alloted funds not a shortage of them. Liberals enjoy throwing money at a problem instead of solving it.

    • eagle eye

      OK, I’m a liar, a nitwit, thanks for sharing. Yours is the kind of club in the face pose that guarantees that your kind of ideas get exactly nowhere in real Oregon public life.

      The fact is, the headline for the article is “Oregon education among very worst in the nation”. And the fact is, unless you take very very selective data, the claim is just not true. It’s nonsense.

      • Jerry

        The headline is, in fact, true. You can discount the report all you want and you can falsely accuse me of not providing the right link, which I did, by the way, and you can accuse me of not being a teacher or administrator (which I was). The simple fact remains. Education in Oregon is in a horrible state and people like you want to ignore that fact.
        I strongly suggest you read the entire summary of Oregon and the articles they provide on the site that clearly show how they arrived at the scores, their methodology, etc.
        I feel sorry for people who can’t take an objective look at the facts. You don’t hear anyone from the education community attacking Education Week, do you? No, of course not, because they don’t want to draw ANY attention to the ranking or the article.
        I must say, too, I never called you names like you called me. I was simply surprised that anyone could not go to the home page of Education Week and find the relevant articles. They are all right there!!! Unless maybe you did not want to, as then you would not have to actually read them and face the reality.

  • Sybella

    What is the problem with large class size? When I attended school Kindergarten -12. Our classes were small with 30 kids. We were expected to sit up, take notice, and learn. We didn’t hassle the teachers because they could get our attention without mommy getting upset. Yes, that was a long time ago, but kids are still kids and teachers should be teachers, and parents should be parents. You know the ones that support the teachers and expect their kids to sit up and take notice. It’s an excuse, not a reason.

    • eagle eye

      Sybella, the problem with large class sizes is that it’s pretty well established that small classes make a significant difference in the lower grades.

  • Harry

    Jerry,

    Very good article. More discussion on this topic is needed.

    The Union apologists on this forum should not have a knee jerk reaction (and rejection), but rather should come back with real evidence of how great our schools really are.

    Jerry does appear to be an informed insider with real experience inside Oregon High Schools. And also one who is willing to actually ask the hard questions, instead of just ignore the plight of school kids, and kowtow to the Teachers Union, while waiting for their PERS checks to roll in.

  • Bailie

    Oregon’s K-12 education is about average from a composite rating of many studies. The problem is that two decades ago, Oregon went off on an education economic tangent to have relatively few high costing K-12 employees. Oregon K-12 teachers are the 8th highest compensated of all states. Oregon K-12 superintendents salaries are 18.6 percent above inflation for the last 15 years. Principal and vice principal salaries are also considerably above inflation rates (ODE, 2007)

    So Oregon has exchanged high individual K-12 employee compensation for large class sizes, very short school years, deferred maintenance and curtailed programs. The explanation is simple. Oregon’s collective bargaining laws (only one of 12 states that allow teachers to strike) rammed through by a young labor attorney, Ted Kulongoski, are tilted in favor of Oregon’s education unions. Volunteer school boards are no match for the collective power of Oregon’s education unions. Oregon is now suffering the results of an orchestrated plan.

    • dean

      Bailie…I could support a limit on striking if binding arbitration was used instead. But its not like we have had a rash of teacher strikes anyway have we?

      Maybe the better solution all around is to get serious about consolodating school districts and give up on local control. There is an interesting article in Atlantic Magazine about this. We could seriously reduce administrative costs and professionalize our boards by phasing out small districts….mabye ALL districts. Make it a state run service.

  • Harry

    Bailie, truer words have not been spoken. The focus is on the teachers, not the students. And the leaders of the teachers, during contract negotiations, are very focused on the top steps of the pay scale, even at the expense of getting more younger teachers onboard.

    Sad to report one Union President, during negotiations, bluntly stated he was not concerned about teachers who might be laid off in a down turn, since his seniority would protect him. Totally focused on ROI for the highly compensated part of the salary structure. His view, better to have fewer teachers who made more $$, than have more teachers (and thus lower class sizes) who made slightly less. What was unstated was that if you reduce class size, you take away the thorn in the public’s side that keeps them feeding more tax dollars for schools (ie It’s for the kids!)

    Lower class sizes are the best indicator (other than family income) of success for the child. Not higher compensation for the senior teachers.

    That’s just the view I get from the local School Board side of things. Totally outmatched by the Union dominated scheme that is the current state of school affairs in Oregon.

    • eagle eye

      So, Harry, how do you propose to lessen the power of the teachers’ union in Oregon?

      • Harry

        How to lessen the Union power? See Bill Sisemore’s ballot measures. His is a frontal attack on the Unions. Should be a battle royal. Thats he only way to answer your question. Do you really think that the Unions will give up any of their power without a bloodbath? Look at what they did to Kulo when he made moderate reforms of PERS.

        Maybe a different question:
        How do we improve the existing K-12 schools given the status quo is the Unions have all the power?

        Easy, just fire all the teachers, and rehire ‘em at half salary!! LOL, just kidding (and no, my name isn’t Ron S.)

        A great question, and a hard one to answer.
        1-Work with the Union, not against them. (Don’t do what Saxton talked about doing re: firing.)
        2- Use a credible org like Chalkboard to try and reason with them with real data, even as they resist the most benign reforms.
        3-Reward excellence in Teachers (note: I did not say ‘pay for performance'; but excellent teachers should get rewarded, and non-performers should NOT get the same pay as the very best teachers)
        4-Create more mechanisms for changing schools, ie more choices.
        5-Create more accountability and fiscal discipline.
        6-Line up the parents/voters interests versus the Union intersests; show that when forced to choose, they choose teachers over kids.

        (I just now saw Debbie Smith’s reply, which says similar things)

        • eagle eye

          Harry, I think your alternate question is the right one, since I don’t think things are going to change. At least, they haven’t changed in all the years since Measure 5, that was 1990, right? And heaven help us if we have to rely on Sizemore, his initiatives are all DOA these days.

          I think you are right, work with the unions, because for the foreseeable future in Oregon there is no alternative.

          It is going to take either a governor with some backbone and the right spirit, or else some brave school districts to get the union to bend at all. I don’t see much chance of either right now. The Republicans don’t seem able to come up with anyone electable. If anything changes, it will probably be a Democrat who does it, sort of like Kulongoski did with PERS.

  • Debbie Smith

    Oregon legislators must look to innovative reforms in order to improve the state of public education within Oregon by offering more than just rhetoric. Real reform, at both the state and national levels, will occur if legislators work to:
    1. Establish a national test to measure student progress more accurately;
    2. Raise compensation levels for high-quality teachers, especially in the areas of science, math and Special Education;
    3. Provide better information on school performance to parents;
    4. Eliminate district boundaries between schools allowing parents to choose the right school for their children, regardless of where they live;
    5. Allow greater flexibility for schools to hire and fire teachers;
    6. Make school funding more transparent by attaching education dollars to the student instead of the school district.
    For more information on public school reform, visit http://www.paths2choice.com.

    • Chris McMullen

      Sorry, Sleepy Ted won’t support any reforms that diminish the Teachers Unions’ influence. Christ, the man is bought and sold by unions.

  • Betsy

    Eagle eye, are you dumb or a hack?

    The fact is this article used the same data and measurements for every state.
    It is you and yours who seek to misrepresent and mislead with very selective data. Or invoking the large class size canards.
    You haven’t an honest bone in your body if you can’t acknowledge the horrific job our union and Democrat dominated education establishment has done here in Oregon.
    The constant meddling and wasteful programs forever distracting our students and fine teachers has resulted in Oregon not even keeping pace with the national average trend.
    Let alone providing the “World Class” education these clowns forever claim with their reforms. They can’t even honestly track what they do to prevent lenthy and more harmful misdirection.

    In some cases it’s been nearly pure insanity by some of your Democrats staples.

    Steve Novick in particular showed up at every oppotunity to defend CIM CAM and the etsablishment pushing it.
    To quote Novick’s brilliance “They [Opponets] want to turn over the testing of our student to big fat evil corporations”.

    How about State Legislator Mary Nolan (D) who at a hearing over a bill to repeal CIMCAM was so impressed with the propaganda from the establishment aksed, “Have you considered pattening this and selling it to other states?”

    How about the OBC (Oregon Business Council) lapdogs for the government establishment Oregon Department of Ed/COSA/OEA and OSBA, who put together a 2001 “white paper” touting CIMCAM as working. A bigger load of bull there has seldom been.

    There’s been MANY red flags during the past 16 years of reform and meddling by your pals. All of which pointed towards our system floundering and students paying the price.
    All we got was the same BS you trot out now.

    • eagle eye

      Betsy, I’m dumb enough to waste my time trying to reason with the likes of you, is how dumb I am.

      Look at the NAEP data to which I posted the link. (The article here didn’t even manage to post the link correctly to the Education Week article.) The NAEP data clearly show that Oregon school performance is middling — a little below average for 4th graders, a little above for 8th graders. Not stellar, but not among the “very worst”.

      The poster “Bailie” has it about right.

      It takes a very selective use of data to come to the “very worst” conclusion. Only people who are determined to see the worst, out of their hatred for the public schools, will see it the way this article does.

      • dean

        Ya gotta love the internet. Makes name calling so easy.

        Also makes research easy. I suggest: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind08/pdf/c08.pdf for the latest on math and science education rankings from the National Science Foundation (warning, these crazy liberals also think global warming and evolution are for real, so who could trust them on science education?)

        A glance through the tables says Oregon tends to fall in the 2nd quartile (upper half) on most measures, including teachers salaries and education funding. Looks like we get what we pay for, which is a bit above mediocrity.

        Some states have very low teacher salaries with very high student performance: Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota (though these are also low cost states to live in). Others have high pay and relatively low performance: California, Illinois, Washington DC. (high cost of living). More often, it appears that pay and spending do matter, with the southern, Republican “base” states holding up the bottom on teacher salaries, school spending, and not surprisingly, performance, and northern liberal, Democratic base states spending a lot and getting good results (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan).

        Based on the National Science Foundation report, I would say Jerry’s original post is hot air. Relax everyone…we are above average after all, unions or no unions.

        • Harry

          “Relax everyone…we are above average after all, unions or no unions.”
          ———-

          LOL

          Is that your summary, dean?

          Did you read this link? (http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/01/10/18shr.h27.html)

          Or did you just change the subject to the nsf data?

          Hello, dean?

          Stawman? Or Change the Subject?

          What does dean have to say re: eagle eye’s posts?

          • dean

            I would say the National Science Foundation report confirms Eagle Eye’s observations from the NAEP report, (which I did not read). Oregon education results rest near the midpoint. No need to panic, no reason to brag. Better to put heads together and figure out how to improve?

            As for the CIM/CAM issue Betsy is Bashing, I’m agnostic on it. It may have been a well intentioned way to shift to outcomes based education, but it was never fully funded or embraced, and now it has been mostly dropped. I agree it has been a failed effort. We could have NOT tried it and still failed.

            I have no stake with teacher unions (other than an ex-wife who is a teacher,) but it seems to me that “conservatives” are so hell bent on breaking the Oregon teacher’s unions that they are reflexively opposed to any meaningful effort to improve education (other than abandoning public schools altogether) and will blame the unions for every failing. Breaking the unions is a goal you have little chance of ever acheiving, but hey…its a free country. Knock yourselves out.

          • Jerry

            Dean,
            Both you and eagle need to read the entire report at Education Week before you make such silly statements.

  • Besty

    I get it eagle eye.
    You want to compare Oregon’s NAEP scores, of which I am abundantly familiar with, location with the education weekly’s measurements to show that the lower on eis wrong and Oregon is really mediocre?

    Wow that’s quite the impressive waltz.
    Typical method used by CIMCAM defenders.

    Quite evasive too.

    Oregon just finished going through the most extensive re-shaping of our education system in Oregony history. For nothing. It wasted student education, time, teachers efforts and billions.
    The purpose was not to stagnate with a lower performance trend than the national average trend. Or to perpetuate mediocrity. We could have done that without the School Reform For the 21st Century your democrat establishment abused our schools with.

    It was intended, promised, forecasted, and even guaranteed to create “World Class Standards” and improvement.

    All sorts of fabricated justifiacations and excuses ushered along the imiplementation.

    Today remnants remaninbut other monumental fabrications linger.
    Such as the totally fabricated Quality Education Model which promises, without any basis that, 95% of students will meet benchmarks with an additional 2 billion per bienium spent on K-12.

    One thing is for sure. Had Education Weekly contradicted the NAEP and placed Oregon near the top you, and the etsablishment would have been touting it as reliable. And it would have found it’s way on the front page of the Oregonian.

    • eagle eye

      Betsy, I read your last little rant, and despite the syntactical incoherencies, spelling errors, etc., I think I get your gist.

      Just so you’ll know, I’ve never thought much of cim/cam, or the so-called quality education model, I’m not part of the “democrat establishment”, in fact I’m a registered Republican, voted for Republicans for President through many election cycles, even when they’ve made it tough to do so.

      I do say the data — NAEP results or see the NSF report mentioned by dean — show that Oregon schools are not among the “very worst”. They’re middling — not the best, not the worst.

      Most people in Oregon know this, know they’re schools are not down there with Mississippi or West Virginia. And so crazy talk like this article about them being at the bottom turn most people away, turn away people who might well be concerned about the schools and desirous of being something better than “middling”.

      • Jerry

        Unfortunately, the NAEP data shows clearly, for achievement gains in 4th grade reading and math since 2003 we are at the very bottom of the heap…49th and 50th.
        That is fact. If you chose to ignore it, fine, but don’t say it is not true.

        • eagle eye

          The data for different ages in different subjects are all over the map in that link you provided. Anyone who knows anything about statistical sampling knows that there are statistical fluctuations and these are all over the map. If you want to cherry pick those data, you can find things that will make Oregon look great, and others that will make Oregon look terrible. The article here has done the latter. (The EdWeek article was more nuanced.)

          The fact is, for the last time, Oregon 4th graders are a little below average at their grade level and 8th graders are above average. (I would much rather have it that way than the other way around.) And any honest look at student performance says that Oregon is somewhere in the middle — not “among the very worst in the nation”.

          If your morbid public school hating, government hating worldview compels you to believe that Oregon is that terrible, that’s your problem. Most normal people have other things on their mind.

  • Jerry

    I don’t hate Oregon schools at all. I am just saddened by the report and think it deserves attention, not defending.
    There is no cherry picking of the overall summary of the Education Week report. In that OVERALL summary Oregon finished 49th out of 50 states. That takes EVERYTHING into account. All grades, all subjects, all tests, teacher salaries, state policies, etc., etc. That is what you don’t seem to either understand or be willing to accept. I never even mentioned the fact that Oregon was 49th in the nation in my original article. If I was trying to cherry pick I certainly would have. 49th is not a very strong showing.

    To say someone hates Oregon schools because they pointed out the results of a nationwide, unbiased, non-political report that measured all states using the same criteria speaks much more about you and your judgment than mine.

    • eagle eye

      So YOU are the Jerry who wrote the article here?! That makes it even worse.

      Go to the link you gave

      http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/01/10/18shr.h27.html

      click on “Oregon” in the states list.

      Go to p. 6 (of 15).

      You’ll find some data in which Oregon is indeed 49, others where Oregon looks very good.

      Cherry picking is what the author has done.

      There is no way that Oregon schools are “among the very worst”. No way.

  • Jerry

    Of course I picked areas of trouble for the article, but Oregon, nonetheless, was ranked 49th out of 50 for all areas by Education Week.
    Can’t change that fact.
    So we are doing some good things – I guess – at least better than one other state.
    Nice.

    Now I feel better. Oregon at 49th looks great. Maybe we should have a party.

    Has anyone noticed that NO ONE from the teachers’ union, the state department of ed, the Oregon School Boards Association, no administrator, no teacher, no student, NO ONE has publicly addressed the 49th ranking of Oregon nationally. NOT ONE.

    I wonder why….??

    • eagle eye

      Jerry, nobody except you has paid any attention to this report because (1) nobody cares about Education Week and (2) nobody in thier right mind believes that Oregon schools are #49.

      I’m glad to see that Oregon 8th graders are doing pretty well on national tests. I hope older students are doing even better. It’s of some concern that 4th graders are a little under par. None of this is surprising: I might expect it given the large class sizes for the 4th graders, the high teacher pay which might just translate into better teachers for the older students.

  • rural resident

    This is a case of someone taking a large data set and not looking too hard at what it really says.

    There are six main categories, and Oregon does fairly well in three of them. The ones in which it doesn’t perform “up to par” are those relating to state politics, state administration of schools, state educational policy, and, in a couple of cases, the way resources are allocated within schools and districts.

    In the “Schooling Years” indicators (the only ones over which the schools have any, even indirect, responsibility, Oregon ranks tied for 33rd. The “State Achievement Indicators” show Oregon last in only one category – and that concerns reading gap between students who are and are not eligible for free/reduced lunch programs. In other words, it’s more of an indicator of poverty than of achievement.

    The EPE’s “Achievement Index,” based on three factors: 1) current levels of performance; 2) improvements over time; and 3) and equity between poor/nonpoor students, ranks Oregon 39th. However, it ranks 30th based on current performance, which would seem to be the most important standard.

    On the state report, Oregon scores right around the national average (which is fairly low) in most categories. Its achievement measures bounce around from near the top (improvement in graduation rates; 8th grade reading) to near the bottom (4th grade math and reading; gaps between poor/nonpoor).

    Where Oregon falls down is in areas relating to educational infrastructure, such as content of teacher preparation programs, teacher support, alignment between curriculum standards and curriculum content, and barriers to entry for teachers. It hasn’t adopted several of EPE’s “Salary and Incentive” measures, some of which are rather political and not tied in any discernible way to teaching performance. Some of its low marks are tied to educational funding: a lack of state-financed professional development, class sizes, and working conditions within schools.

    Oregon’s total score on all measures is 411.7, or an average of 68.6. The state is low (and is graded down by EPE) on below average spending per student, and other measures of per-pupil spending. If one eliminates the measures over which K-12 schools have little or no control, the state would rank at or slightly below the median. That’s not great. But it’s not nearly as bad as the author of this piece paints it. In fact, someone could take this set of data and make a very good case for the proposition that increasing per-student spending and providing additional resources to teachers and schools would dramatically improve its “grade” according to EPE.

    • dean

      EE and RR have got you Jerry. Resistance is futile. We are mediocre and proud of it, so stop dissing us.

      • Schooled

        LOL Mediocre is your middle name. Susan is your first, and Kulogowski is your last name.

      • Jerry

        You are right Dean. I give up on these people who want to make a ranking of 49th in the nation something to celebrate.

        They must be part of the ed establishment. As customers of that enterprise it is my hope parents and students will begin to question what is going on in Oregon education that could allow us to fall so far so fast. When bad news hits it is ALWAYS the messenger. Did you notice the attacks on me and Education Week??? But nothing on the people who got us the 49th ranking. Interesting.

        Those who are critical of my article also never mention many other aspects of the report which I did not. Things like drop out rate, percentage of education money not spent in the classroom, number of test items that are multiple choice, etc., etc. Trust me – Oregon did not fare well in those areas, either. Not at all.

        Thank you, though, for your statement. As long as some people learn about the report, read it, and understand just how bad things are in Oregon my article will have been a good thing. Some of the energy expended here defending a failed system might even be put to use improving it.

  • Betsy

    If you were had been following Oregon education you would know that the effects of the perpetual irresponsible meddling of CIMCAM and other programs Oregon Student performance has been trending towards the national average. Closing the small gap and now about to cross beneath that average.

    http://www.edweek.org/media/ew/qc/2006/17shr.or.h25.pdf

    • rural resident

      Betsy …. You’re absolutely right about CIM/CAM. I knew this was destined for the scrap heap the first time a ODE rep came to explain it to us (around 1992). I saw that the “benchmarks” looked like the behavioral objectives of the 1970s and the CAM like “career clusters.” I asked her what was so new about CIM and CAM. She got that deer-in-the-headlights look on her face and replied, “They’re just different, that’s all.”

      Hundreds of millions were spent on reinventing the wheel (such as writing new learning objectives). If the resources spent on this misguided effort had been directed at sharpening instructional practices, providing additional aides to help students having trouble understanding subject matter, and investments in educational technology, our students would currently be performing much better.

  • Betsy

    Those dishonest people controling our schools won’t even admit to wasting the money.
    In fact as they defended the later efforts to dump CIMCAM they even put together propaganda claiming the reform didn’t cost much and the Bend LaPine Super testified it saved money.
    Among other manipulations the COSA survey to determine cost told districts to NOT included any teacher time.
    The whole mess has been covered up and forgotten as they work on their next meddling baffoonery. All the while focusing on the number one goal.
    Keeping control.
    Had the millions wasted been spent on only reading improvements Oregon averages would be far above where they are now.
    But the meddlers think BIG.

  • rural resident

    Jerry …. I don’t see anyone “celebrating” Oregon’s position in these rankings. However, painting pictures of doom and gloom just to dump on teachers and their union doesn’t do much to help.

    There is no doubt that an essentially white, middle-class state with decent levels of educational spending should perform better. However, you can’t solve a problem by ignoring some aspects and overemphasizing others. Identifying the deficiencies, determining what is wrong, and looking at what can realistically be done to improve things are the first steps to improvement.

    One of the problems with education is that everyone thinks they’re an expert. And the longer it’s been since they’ve been in a school, the more their expertise grows.

    • eagle eye

      Well put, RR.

  • Jerry

    I don’t recall bashing anyone. Must be guilty conscience for you to assume I was bashing the unions and the techers. I was not and did not.

    In short, if you rank 49th out of 50, there is not a lot of good to take a look at. You don’t concentrate on a couple areas where you came in somewhere in the middle. You fix the areas where you came in last or next to last and in doing so maybe fix the other rankings as well. In order to succeed you MUST focus on the problem areas. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is necessary in order to improve.

    I also never said I was an expert, but with 19 years in the classroom actually teaching I think I might know a couple things. What are your credentials?

    Well put, Jerry.

    • rural resident

      Four college degrees in business/economics/business education, including a Ph.D. More than 25 years of teaching background, including 21 at the high school level. Several teaching awards. Many years of advising students in professional/technical organizations. Fifteen years of business experience in accounting, marketing, finance, and educational consulting.

      • dean

        Jerry has been out resumed. I’m with RR.

        Jerry…as a non expert in Oregon K-12 education, I have a question for you. You started this off claiming Oregon is 49th among all states, citing the Education Week rankings. In your honest, deepest, heartfelt opinion, do you really believe that Ofregon schools are 49th in the nation with respect to educating students across the board?

        And if you believe that, do you have any other citation other than the one you have been using to support your position?

        • Jerry

          How do you know my resume to know I have been out-resumed as you so kindly state?

          I don’t feel that I have been at all. I am glad that rr has been involved in education in Oregon, though. That helps me understand.

          To answer your question – in my deepest, heartfelt opinion I firmly believe that Oregon is a D state. We are 49th in the Education Week report and no one seems to be able to understand how that could happen. Our hours of instruction are exceptionally low – VERY, VERY low. I don not know of one district that even complies with the ORS required annual hours of instruction. We have VERY lax state standards for graduation – among the very lowest in the nation. We have a healthy drop out rate. Our achievement gains are very low – for some grade levels the lowest in the nation. We don’t even require annual evaluations for teachers each year. We don’t test teachers in their subject fields. We don’t mentor our new teachers. We require teachers to take class after class that in NO WAY prepares them to teach in an actual classroom. The state of teacher preparation in Oregon is without question deficient to say the very least.
          The CIM/CAM disaster is just one example of the unbridled hubris in the state department of education. They hired teachers to write the tests – teachers who did not know the first thing about test writing. The whole program is a complete failure. They should have simply used a recognized national standardized test rather than come up with some half-baked, home-brewed piece of junk that is so unreliable they have to change the benchmark scores, throw out the results, stop the testing, start the testing, use paper pencil, use computers, go back to paper pencil, go back to computers, etc., etc.

          The teachers’ union has never, ever done anything that actually benefited a student. NOT EVER. There is no incentive pay to complete board certification, become a teacher leader, teach a difficult subject with few qualified teachers, etc., etc. There is only a steady drumbeat of electing Democrats to office and working less and less each year for more and more pay and benefits. That is all we ever get the teachers’ union. Everyone gets the same pay for the same 172 days of actual contact with the students, regardless of success or failure.

          Are there good teachers in Oregon? Sure. Are there good schools in Oregon? Sure. Is Oregon doing a good job in public education. I don’t believe that it is. I have honestly answered your question to the best of my ability. All this arguing about how we might not be 49th – maybe we are really 47th – is plain stupid. If you chose to ignore the report, fine, but don’t make up stuff so you can feel good about the state of education in Oregon. Good intentions don’t always produce good results. The report is simply a wake-up call for the paying customers of Oregon education to demand better. I am not clear why this is so hard to understand.

        • Harry

          Four college degrees including a PhD. Wow, were you at the Rancho Rajneesh in the 80s? They had the highest per capita of PhDs on the west coast.

          What was the PhD in, may I ask?

          And a PhD has gotten you where, may I ask?

          Creditials is alot like power. If you have to keep saying how much power you have, most likely you have lost most of it without really knowing how much of it has already slipped away.

          • dean

            Jerry…for me the debate is more about whether Oregon is 49th or in the middle of the pack, not 49th or 47th. The National Science Foundation Report, which focused on outcomes (not teacher support) placed us above the middle on most measures.

            I’m not saying one is better than the other, but when I look at the criteria each was measuring I would go more with the NSF results.

            Nevertheless, slightly above the middle is not where I want us to be. But like I said, teacher unions exist in states that have higher scores than ours, so I think we need to focus on other issues. If we have to break the union by further breaking the public school system, it is not worth the cost, in my opinion.

            As for Harry, the reason RR shared his education resume is that he was challenged to do so by Jerry. No need to get snarky about someone else’s life acheivements. Rancho Rajneesh? Why not select Harvard or Berkley?

          • Harry

            Harvard? Oh, that was the school that Bill Gates didn’t bother finishing his first term there. How many degrees does Bill Gates have?

            Or closer to home, how about our own little Harvard here in Oregon, the highly regarded Reed College? Oh, the school that Steve Jobs didn’t bother finishing. What did Steve invent? Products: iPod, iPhone, MAC, and many others. Companies: Apple, NeXT, Pixar.

            My point: Degrees are very impressive at cocktail parties (do they even exist anymore?), but less impressive when touted in the comment sections of blogs.

            This coming from a guy with a Top 3 MBA. Big woop-tee-doo!

            Here is a test for all those PhDs (or MBAs) out there: What are you going to instruct you child to do for his/her future?

            1-Get a undergrad degree? (My answer: Yes, no matter what)
            2-Get a Grad degree? (no, unless absolutely needed ie JD, MD, etc)
            3-Get a PhD degree? (never, if you want to teach, then go out and “do it first, with success”. Then any institution will gladly take you on since you have proven yourself successful, and you will not need the tenure, PERS or pitance of a salary, much less the politics of places that require a PhD in order to teach there.

            As Henry Kissinger once said about the land of PhDs:

            “University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.” see: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger

          • eagle eye

            Harry, I happen to know a bit about university hiring practices. Your “advice” is idiotic. If you want a university faculty position in most any field — certainly any science or technology field — you better get a Ph.D. or equivalent. In fact, if you want to be a research manage in industry or government, you better get a Ph.D. You simply don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

          • Harry

            Yes, my advice is idiotic if you want to have a university faculty position. You obviously missed the implication: Why would anybody want that?

            Faculties at most Universities are wastelands filled with left wing lunatics fighting petty political fights. You are from that environment; do people reading your posts really believe that you are happy in your work? Would you honestly tell your children to follow in your footsteps? Most faculty members I have talked with do not advise their kids to follow in their footsteps. And speaking as an offspring of two educators, most Professor’s children go on to college, but don’t make a career of it in academia.

            How about this advice: If you want to be like eagle eye, go get a PhD and tell others how important your resume is. You will lead a happy life, just as eagle eye is doing with his comments on this and other blogs.

            “In fact, if you want to be a research manage (sic) in industry or government, you better get a Ph.D.”

            Yes, just like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did. Go get your PhD; without it you can’t be successful in industry. What would industry be without all of those PhDs! LOL

          • eagle eye

            OK, Harry, OK.

  • Betsy

    “Identifying the deficiencies, determining what is wrong, and looking at what can realistically be done to improve things are the first steps to improvement.”

    Boy that sure sounds swell. Did you just discover that? Because that entire threory, common sense and honesty was missing in action while the teacher “UNION” backed politicians assaulted our schools with CIMCAM for 15 years.
    And who dumps on teachers?
    Their own union that’s who.
    The teacher’s union, are so disconnected from the classroom that and even though their own members had strong objections to CIMCAM the union political allegiances supported the reform.
    Union heirarchy were regular participants in defending CIMCAM in exchange for the continued political alliance between COSA administrators, the ODE, OSBA and OEA.

    The union could have used their power to jettison the refrom fraud many years ago. But the union is not a school advocacy group.
    Their a left wing, political action committee and fundraiser for Democrat politicians. The excessive and disproportinate amount of political power the teaher’s union has makes them as politicized as any institution, bad for eduation and in need of removal.

    So get off the strawman dumping on teachers every time the union driven, rotten politics in our schools is discussed.

    Prior to 1973 there were no teahcer’s unions in our schools. We, students, teacher, parents and taxpayers, would be better off without them now.

  • rural resident

    Jerry …. I actually agree with much of what you say here. Teacher training seem to have devolved somehow. I think the politicians and universities really were trying to improve things, but too many teachers seem to come out of these programs with little understanding of teaching methods and resources. I like the idea of requiring teachers to have more subject matter background. Too many teachers used to be long on HOW to teach and short on WHAT. Now, they seem to be short on both. I think there was some value to having people return to school to get a fifth year/Master’s degree after starting their careers. It gave them a structure into which to fit the additional subject matter and teaching methods. I can remember courses where we taught each other as much the professors taught us, because we brought practical experience to our course work.

    You’re also right about the whole CIM/CAM disaster and test writing. When politicians, state bureaucrats, and school administrators try to pad their resumes by doing something “ground breaking,” it isn’t usually the ground they break. I’ve never been able to understand why each state has to write its own math or science standards, for example. Math concepts in Oregon are the same as those in other states. Why reinvent the wheel?

    I’m undecided about the contact time thing. When students move from high school to college, their contact time drops, but (assuming they’re capable) their productivity soars. Yes, they’re older and paying for their education. I’d like to see students take more responsibility for their learning and learn how to manage time. That’s really what trips so many of them up in the transition from high school to college. Teachers often do such a good job of organizing things that students become almost passive. However, I’m not convinced that district administrators would be willing to take the heat that would come when students don’t get the job done and are really held to account.

    Along this line, we do need to get high school seniors into the classroom for something close to a full day instead of the one or two hours many spend there now. Too much of that valuable final year is wasted.

    Betsy …. I’m not a big fan of OEA, especially when they get involved in matters outside of education. Their support of Measure 49, for example, was mystifying. When I spoke with one of their governmental people about it, she couldn’t even come close to a reasonable explanation. Most likely the Dems called in a favor to get them to endorse it.

    However, I can’t agree about their role in education. Teachers (especially elementary teachers) are often generous and idealistic. They’re also somewhat passive about the financial ramifications of the employment relationship. Unions provide a countervailing force that equalizes the bargaining power between the two sides. If we had excellent administrators it might be different. Too many administrators lack management skill, let their egos get in the way, play favorites, and aren’t well organized. Most teachers wouldn’t agree that things were better prior to 1973, unless they enjoyed being underpaid and powerless.

    I’m also not convinced that OEA was all that thrilled about CIM/CAM. Teachers, including yours truly, talked with them about many questionable aspects of it. There was only so much they could do. Most of that effort came under the heading of “management rights” within the contract. Most of us tried to do what we could, when we could, to make it work as well as we could within the structure of a poorly conceived idea without the necessary resources for implementation. I’m sure they occasionally used a “go along to get along” strategy. They might have done it differently in retrospect.

  • Betsy

    “There was only so much they could do”

    They, the union, did worse than nothing.

    And what, they can come out opposing M37 and support M49 but worse than silent on CIMCAM?
    Give me a break.

    I persoanlly eyewitnessed teacher union hierarchy chippping in with the defense of CIMCAM.
    Union heirarchy who behind the scenes admitted CIMCAM was a fraud and that their members were opposed to it.
    The OEA and every local is a foul, bought and paid for political machine for liberal democrats.
    The OEA and locals also stood and did nothing while teachers were threatened and silenced.
    That’s a fact.
    The OEA is the most powerful entity of it’s kind in the State and could have easily dumped CIMCAM. That would have brought embarassment anmd consequences to their political allies and provided fodder for Republican candidates.
    So the union sold out students and their own members to protect their politicians and retain their own union power they provide.
    It’s cold blooded politics first, students and teachers second.

    • Harry

      “So the union sold out students and their own members to protect their politicians and retain their own union power they provide.
      It’s cold blooded politics first, students and teachers second.”
      ———–

      I have heard variations of that theme from many teachers. But only in whispers when nobody else could hear them speak, because that Union is powerful.

      Which makes eagle eye’s question (see 16.1 upthread) so very important. Excessive Union power is harmful to kids. Harmful to teachers. Harmful to Oregon.

      How to keep excessive union power in check?

      • dean

        The United States has by far the lowest rate of union membership in the first world. In the good old days of the 1950s 36% of our workers belonged to unions. Today we are at about 12%. Public employee unions like the teachers, imperfect as they are, are about all we have left holding up wages and benefits. And if dead end service jobs like WallMart are ever going to be unionized it is going to take the financial heft of the public unions to make it happen.

        So bash them, blame them, try and tear them down. If you work hard enough at this you can get us all back to the really good old days of Dicken’s England.

        • Harry

          “So, Harry, how do you propose to lessen the power of the teachers’ union in Oregon?”

          That was eagle eye’s question (16.1 upthread) that I mentioned. Nothing about US wide unions or Dicken’s England.

          “teachers’ union in Oregon”. Try and stay on topic.

          The topic is not unions in general. Or about the US and unions. Not about Dickens. It is about Oregon. And the teachers’ union. And lessening the power of said teachers’ union in Oregon.

  • Jerry

    What we really need is a bloggers’ union. People should get paid for articles that generate over 70 comments. Pure and simple.
    I want my $.
    I want it now.
    I am organizing a bloggers’ union. All of you will have to pay dues (it’s only fair) and those dues will come out of your paychecks. Then, I will use the money to back only conservative, right to life candidates. My main platform will be getting speech recognition on the desktop of every blogger – this typing stuff is so old hat – and unhealthy – and difficult.
    Won’t you all join me please???

    Wait, I forgot, you don’t get to decide – this is Oregon. You are in the union now and I will, from now on, speak for you on all matters.

    Thanks everyone for your support.

    Union Boss Jerry

  • Betsy

    Mr. Dean,
    You take all of the teacher union’s political extremes and detriment and wrap it up as our only “imperfect” hope to avoid “Dicken’s England”?
    Staggering.
    Especially with the OEA and affiliates regularly abandoning their members and students in favor of flexing political power.
    Your perception and characterization of the teacher’s union is about the most patently disingenuous and insulting blog entry I’ve ever read. Despite your pretense of civility.
    Your brand of distortion is the poison that sustains all that is wrong with the politicizing of our most vital institutions such as education.
    You are despicable.
    Shame on you.

    • dean

      Betsy….bully for you for not even pretending to be civil. I should take some lessons. I think I’ll go and drown a puppy just to get in the right mood.

      My point…to you and Harry and others, is that tearing the Oregon teachers union down should be considered within a wider context of union decline and the role they play in propping up middle class wages and benefits. I’m not defending specific tactics or policies of the Oregon’s teachers union, and don’t know enough about them to either defend or condemn them. All unions should be expected to look out for their members interests first, which usually means wages, benefits, and working conditions. We should not expect otherwise.

      One public interest is to get the best possible education outcomes for the least possible cost. Putting teachers in a weaker bargaining position by tearing down their union might achieve that goal to an extent, but at a wider public interest cost (middle class decline) that should not be overlooked.

      Jerry….you should see the movie Gross Point Blank where there was an attempt to form a contract killers union.

      • Bailie

        dean,
        The problem is not necessarily the union. The problem is the collective bargaining system in Oregon that has given unbalanced power to Oregon’s education unions. There are only 12 states which allow teachers to strike. Oregon is one of them. The volunteer school boards are no match for the cohesive force of the education unions. As you say, with this power the membership comes first and the students a distant second. The result is the 4th largest class sizes in the U.S., the shortest school year in the U.S., curtailed programs and deferred maintenance on the education infrastructure.

        • Jerry

          Precisely. Thank you. Could not have said it better. You are absolutely correct in what you say. Remember, too, no one has taken me up on my offer to let us all know just ONE thing the union has EVER done to help ANY student at any time.
          Just one…but no one has stepped forward.

        • eagle eye

          Bailie, you are probably right about the power of the public employee unions to strike in Oregon and the effect this has on the schools. Do you see any prospect for change in the laws? It seems to me Oregonians must be happy or at least satisfied with this situation. I see no move to change things by initiative or legislation. It seems that pro-union politicians like Ted K. are increasingly successful here. So, are we not at an impasse?

          • Bailie

            eagle eye,
            You asked, “Do you see any prospect for change in the laws?” No, not as long as we have a Democratic Governor with veto power. There is symbiotic relationship between the Democratic Party and the Governor’s office. Nothing will change until Oregon education is in despair. This probably won’t happen, however, because there is just enough intelligence involved to bend our education system and not break it.

            You said, “It seems to me Oregonians must be happy or at least satisfied with this situation.”

            As one editor of an Oregon Newspaper remarked to me, he is amazed at the ability of the education unions in the PR department. The people in Oregon know that there is something wrong in Oregon education, but they have not “connected the dots”. Give credit to the Democrats and their unions (or is it, the unions and their Democrats).

            You ask, “So, are we not at an impasse?” Yes, I believe we are for quite some time. The students of Oregon are the losers.

  • Betsy

    Dean,
    Are you a teacher’s unions member and/or rep?

    You have their rhetoirc down pat.
    Nonsense that the Oregon teachers union should be considered within a wider context”.

    If you want to advocate for your version of social justice go join the Portland Bike Alliance on their regular Friday rides.
    The only thing the teacher’s union does is prop up their own wages and benefits and feed the liberal democrat etsblishment.
    At the detriment of our students teachers and schools.
    You are indeed defending the indefensible Oregon’s teachers union, and while you admit you “don’t know enough about them.

    If all this union was about is wages, benefits, and working conditions this discussion would not even be happening.
    The OEA doesn’t deliver millions to the campaign seasons for wages benefits and working conditions.
    They’re a left wing political organization, funding by way of paychecks, our left wing democratic party agenda.

    Without concern for getting the “best possible education outcomes for the least possible cost” cost at all.
    Quite the contrary and the evidence is everywhere. Union’s have long used their power and money to gain administrators and school boards who routinely grant them new generous contracts where funding does not even exist. Requiring other school cuts to be made to cover the cost.
    Teacher’s unions have long ago evaded genuine “bargaining” by their use of millions in tax dollars to buy political allies and guarantee allegainces that often harm our schools.
    CIMCAM the mother of all harm.

    Tearing down the union, and removing their politics, influence and the conflicts of interest with administrators and boards is the only way to acheive the goal of better schools.

    And better schools without the corrupted conflicts will provide the wider public interests for the middle class.

    You are intentionally overlooking the extremely detrimental influences the techer’s union have on our schools and society because you are a liberal enjoying their support on your broader agenda. Their huge contributions to electing and re-electing your Goldschmidt, Kitzhaber, Kulongoski, Katz and Adams has you ignoring the adverse impact to our schools.
    Shame on you.

    • dean

      Betsy…no, not a union member or rep. Never have been. Am a “left-wing Democrat” however. Guilty as charged.

      The Bike Alliance? Please explain. Are there no other choices for me?

      Yes…unions support democrats. Why in the world would they do that? Could it be because Republicans have decided to break unions so that their core constituency, big business gets an advantage? Heavens to Betsy (as Donald Rumsfeld might have said).

      Okay…make the debate about union busting and I’ll oppose you. Make it about needed reforms to improve schools and I’ll work with you. Its as simple as that.

  • Betsy

    “Make it about needed reforms to improve schools and I’ll work with you.”
    That will never happen with the union and liberals controling our schools. It’s as simple as that.
    Their last round of needed reforms was CIMCAM. A collosal failure and waste.
    Does Intel have any unions? How about Costco? Home Depot?

    How about Toyota, who’s building plants all over the country?
    San Antonio http://www.pww.org/article/view/6824/1/264/
    Michigan!!!! http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/12/26/news/detroit.php

    Your unions are obsolete, liberal politics cash cow and a detriment to jobs and the economy, period.
    Our schools, police, fire and other public services have been brought down by them.
    They continue to be the enemies of the state.

    • dean

      Many places that pay well and have decent benefits lack unions. Les Schwab, Whole Foods and New seasons Markets among them. It may be the reason they pay decently is to keep unions away by keeping their workers happy. Or they may just have a share the wealth business ethic. Either way, bully for them.

      Our police, firefighters, teachers, road maintenence workers, VA medical personnel, and so forth are “enemies of the state?” And who is the state? You? Do I detect a narcissistic personality disorder?

      Good for you Betsy. You have crossed over well into looney right wingnut land. Enjoy your journey and write me the next time you and your friends win an election somewhere outside of the deep south or Utah.

  • Betsy

    Mr. Dean,

    Is it supposed to be clever to use what I never said and retard the conversation?
    Did I call the union member employees enemies or their unions?
    Of course it was the unions as you can read again yourself.
    I see that you have punted your effort to dfend the public employee unions.
    As far as teachers, police, firefighters and road maintenance workers go they don’t need defending because no one is attacking them.
    They also don’t need a union.

    • dean

      Betsy…okay, I can see where I misread your sentence. You meant the unions are the enemy of the state, not the workers. But the union does not exist without the workers, so if it is the enemy then by association the membership must have some responsibility no? Its like saying the government is the enemy of the people, while we elect the government. This is known as a Pogo moment.

      I don’t feel the need to defend public employee unions. They have plenty of resources to fight for themselves. My concern is more with the wider decline in union membership and the extent to which that has contributed to a decline in the middle class. And to the extent you want to bust a union to improve education in Oregon, then in the immortal works of Louis B. Meyer, “include me out.”

  • Besty

    ” And to the extent you want to bust a union to improve education in Oregon, then in the immortal works of Louis B. Meyer, “include me out.”

    Of course and by that attitude you choose to allow schools to languish in mediocrity forever as long as your union keeps control.

    Every time a board passes a new contract with compensation increases that aren’t funded your union celebrates. Everytime your elected liberals meddle with our schools no one faces any consequences.
    Yes the unions have plenty of tax money to elect Democrats. That’s the racket. They elect democrats who lavish their salaries and beneifts without regard for anything but maintaining their spoport every election cycle.

    • rural resident

      1. Compensation increases to teachers in local school districts are ALWAYS funded. School districts cannot do deficit spending, nor can they assume debt for current operations. You may not agree with their spending priorities, but that’s a different issue.

      2. “Elected liberals,” just like elected conservatives, are completely accountable. School board members must answer to the patrons of their districts. State legislators and statewide office holders are accountable to voters in their districts or the state as a whole.

      3. Yes, you’re correct that the unions do have plenty of tax money to elect Democrats. Given the fact that Dems generally support teachers and Republicans too often use them as political punching bags, would you suggest that they do otherwise? Obviously, a majority of Oregon voters perceive that school performance is at least OK — or these people would be voted out regardless of how much OEA spends. There was a time (days or yore, long long ago) when moderate Republicans, who respected the efforts that teachers make and were willing to work with the unions, could actually get past a Republican primary in Oregon. That was before ideological purity triumphed over actually GETTING ELECTED. I know it’s a wacky way to think, but mightn’t it be a good idea for the R’s to think about trying this strategy again?

  • Betsy

    1. Compensation increases to teachers in local school districts are ALWAYS funded.

    That’s abald faced lie. I have eyewitnessed and read about, in multiple districts, the passing of compensation increases with them knowing full well funding would be short.

    2. There is no accountability in education at all. Zero.
    No one is held accountable by anyone.
    Just as no one was held accountable for the Portland Strategic Plan or held accountable for CIMCAM lies.

    3. Teahcer unions take plenty of money from theie members to elect Democrats. Given the fact that Dems always fork over money they can’t afford. Republicans often use the unions, deservingly, as political punching bags. They are quite admirring of techers themselves. Moreso than democrats who forever screw with the classrooms.
    I suggest we dump the public employee unions entirely.
    Your phony idea that “these D people would be voted out regardless of how much OEA spends” is ludirous. The newspapers all lie like you.
    There was a time not too long ago when we had strong Republicans and no teacher unions, 1972. Your union hack BS that morphs union oppostion into teacher opposition is typical crap.
    It is easy and justified to respect the efforts that teachers make while condemning their unions.
    Pandering to the unions has undermined our schools.
    There is no “working with the unions”. Capitualtion is it.

  • Andrew

    Our teachers salaries are GARBAGE, get your studies of comparative salaries around GOOD rated states! OUR union is being over hauled, especially in the PERS sector…and so on! Democratically this is junk, we have not had anything but funding cuts for the last decade pluss when states like Alaska, Wyoming and other midwesterns that are very very stable!

    -Andrew Seagoe (Elementary Teacher)

    • Pimcclane72

      no excuse for teachers to not give there best and beyond and this is why my stepchildren are back east instead of in oregon.?Better everything and we think of the future of our kids you dont. 

      • Andrew

        No excuse for you not to pay for it!  Get an education on how EDUCATION works my good man, duh! 

  • Andrew

    Our teachers salaries are GARBAGE, get your studies of comparative salaries around GOOD rated states and see for yourself! OUR union is being over hauled, especially in the PERS sector…and so on! Democratically this is junk, we have not had anything but funding cuts for the last decade pluss! States like Alaska, Wyoming and other midwesterns are very stable, because of the emphasis on Salary and classroom funding.

    -Andrew Seagoe (Elementary Teacher)

    • Andrew4luv

      This program won’t let me edit my own posting????!!!!

  • Emeraldsteve

    Liberals just don’t want to face the fact that giving more money to education alone doesn’t provide better results.  Given the social culture here in Oregon (I know it well I’ve been born and raised here) my guess is that the problem is the parents in conjunction with overly-laid back teachers filled with all sorts of lefty goobiltygook that is the problem.

  • Driskelljbm

    Not only is the article outdated, but I just looked up the SAT performance of Oregon.  I have a hard time believing Oregon ranks so low based on our the SAT performance data that I’ve seen.  Over the last 15 years Oregon has consistently beaten the national average for SAT scores.  If we rank so lowly then why are we consistently ranking above this national average for writing, mathematics and reading?  The article’s data is not correct in many other aspects that are specific to individual districts in Oregon also.  Some districts do give incentives for National Board Certification.  Oregon does have specific testing for content knowledge.  This guy is “wack”, like my students might say.  Some of his individual assertations might be correct when it comes to the state, if you look at it as all encompassing.  But in Oregon the many individual districts all do things very differently.

  • Thorsdottr

    The data is from ’08. Tse something within the past year to be topical, plz. 

  • Thorsdottr

    The data is from ’08. Please use something from within the year you are talking about or prior year data. 3 years is just too far back to be significant. 

  • Sickofstupid

     I am not at all surprised at the results of education here in Oregon.. Drive on our roads… Watching an oregon driver is like watching a retarded soccer team.
    I work in retail, the basic math generally expected is not expected at all here, the people here are stupid and ghetto.. I’m moving very soon, I am so sick of the stupidity here…

    • Jpd1965

      move to alabama or mississippi, or texas, they’re all conservatives and all very smart. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1215290544 Susan Nunes

    Bullshit.

    • Driskelljbm

      Totally and completely correct!  Hoops… lets talk about 20000$ worth of hoops for a Masters degree, and too many others to mention…  Oh hell lets go with it.  $200 content tests each time you take it.  Continual “lifelong learning” requirements that are required for continued licensure.  Oh man I could go on and on about Oregon.  I’m not going to complain about the salary I earn, because if you include all the benefits and add them to the take home salary (which many teachers dont do)  then we actually are doing alright for the education we are absolutely required to have in this state.  It’s truly the love of teaching that will keep you going with this career.  If you get into it for the money,  ummm , well you shouldn’t be a teacher.  Most of the real great things are all intrinsic.

  • Pingback: H5wHd1j6ax H5wHd1j6ax

  • Pingback: payday loans mississauga

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)