Panel to consider abolishing CIM/CAM today. Here is why.

The House subcommittee on Education Innovation will be having a public hearing on HB 2263 to abolish CIM/CAM. CIM/CAM is that expensive, bureaucratic and intrusive failed education program invented roughly 15 years ago. Here is why they need to ditch it. It is tragic that after so many people worked so hard to expose the flaws in this program (Rob Kremer, Steve Schopp, Linda Flores) that it took so long for the liberals to wake up.

All low performing schools have one thing in common. They allow too many things to disrupt classroom instruction”
Wilma Rimes,
Principal Wesley Elementary, Houston
“No Excuses: Lessons from 21 High performing, High poverty Schools”

CIM/CAM is an extreme burden on schools, principals, teachers, parents and students. It needlessly interferes with all aspects of education and takes away valuable time and money away from the classroom.

When I interviewed teachers for the Oregon Tax Research report, “What teachers think, and why they leave Oregon schools” I was amazed at how interfering CIM/CAM is in the daily life of teachers. My report shows that it took five entire pages of CIM/CAM instruction just to explain to a teacher how to grade a single student speech.

One teacher summed it up this way, “We have a lot of new teachers in our building, and after one year they realize that it [CIM/CAM] doesn’t work. It’s so time consuming, kids don’t benefit, and they spend mountains of time on paperwork when they would rather take more personal time with their kids.”

One teacher who taught in schools around the world was frustrated at how insane Oregon’s grading system is. CIM/CAM invented a new grading system for certain tests based on numbers 1-6, instead of the universally used A-F or 1-100% system. Every year this teacher had to undergo the time-consuming ritual of explaining to his new students what their 1-6 grade “really” meant. Then came the expected call from parents, who didn’t understand the new system either. Consequently, the grading system would have to be explained all over again to educate the parents on this new system.

National test scores have not significantly improved for Oregon under the CIM/CAM. That means this bureaucratic system that has taken away teacher time, local control, teacher freedom, and millions from the school budget has been for nothing.

Re-inventing testing has been a colossal failure of CIM/CAM. It has cost taxpayers millions in additional costs for a system that is less accurate. In 2004, over 80% of students failed new math test created by state. The failure of the test was so severe they had to scrap the test altogether.

Re-inventing the diploma has been another striking failure of CIM/CAM. Over the years, most students failed to earn a CIM degree. Those that did, found that colleges had no idea what it was, which only gave them a disadvantage.

When we think about the best teachers we had as kids it usually happened for two reasons (1) the teacher took personal time to help us or (2) the teacher used great creativity to make learning fun. Both of these fundamental attributes of time and creativity are robbed away by the burdensome and bureaucratic nature of CIM/CAM. It is time to restore the job of teaching to our teachers, and show them that we trust and respect them by giving them the freedom they need.

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Posted by at 07:33 | Posted in Measure 37 | 6 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    Here is what MUST be done to insure accountability. Implement a nationally recognized standardized test immediately for all grades. Whoever thought Oregon educators could come up with a good system for testing students was obviously nuts, as they were not able to do so.

    Something like the ACT, SAT, or MAT would be fine. Anything nationally recognizied.

    We need to know if the kids are learning anything. CIM/CAM may not have helped, but we need some independent, third part assessment. Otherwise, who knows what is going on?

    And while we’re at it, how about making the new grad requirements effective immediately, not with some class of 2010 or whatever the fools proposed. Arkansas has higher grad requirements than Oregon. What a sad joke that is.

    It is no wonder parents and students are wondering what is going on – no one in Salem seems to know.

  • Captain_Anon

    So, all the hours it takes teachers to do thier CIM/CAM work is above and beyond thier 6 hours of daily student contact, right?

    • eagle eye

      Come on, Cap, everyone knows teachers only work 5 hrs. on a heavy day. Even with CIM and CAM. Right?

  • Chris

    Come on Jerry, a nationally accredited standardized test? We do not need more government, we need less. You want accountability, let parents take their kids and the money we spend on their schooling and choose where we they want to go. If a school stinks and the kids are all failing, parents will choose a better school.

    We need competition, not more layers of government bureaucracy. The only way to get rid of the excessive bureaucratic/union garbage is to give parents and private schools more room to operate.

  • Jerry

    Chris – agreed. If we had vouchers then I would not call for the need of standardized testing.
    Capt. – are you one of the underpaid, overworked teachers??? You can’t seem to acknowledge that teachers are only in contact with their students for 172 or FEWER days, and then only for about 4.5 to 5 hours. Wake up!
    I know of no other “profession” with such a short calendar and such a short work day. If what teachers do is so vital, why are they not then screaming out to do more of it? Instead, all they ever want is more time off for “planning” and “in-service” and “conferences” and “grade days”. There is no job anyone can even get with hours and days as short as the public school year. It is a JOKE! And we can’t hold them accountable for any learning – why that would not be “fair”, would it?

  • Marvin McConoughey

    I agree that a third party testing program is needed. One that will tell students, their parents, and teachers all across this great nation how well they are performing. Our children will live mobile lives and may seek work anywhere in the nation, and quite possibly anywhere in the world. We, and they, should know their academic performance relative to their peers around the world. Oregon’s parochial and problem-ridden testing system is inadequate to do the job.

    A low cost starting point to higher student performance is simply to grade students’ performance accurately, using the well-accepted A-F grading system. Businesses spend heavily to achieve the quality of “brand recognition” that A-F grading has. Our education system should make full use of a grading system that has credibility among citizens.

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