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.