In today's Oregonian, state schools chief Susan Castillo puts down her marker on the various proposals to reform/abolish the CIM and CAM standards for Oregon's schools.
I agree that the CIM and CAM in their current form must give way to an improved structure that will help us create better outcomes for Oregon high school students. The CIM and CAM must evolve into something better, and that evolution must begin immediately.
But rather than destroy the existing system with no plan for the future, I have proposed an alternative: By 2006, the Oregon Department of Education -- working with the State Board of Education, State Board of Higher Education and education partners and advocates on both sides -- will propose a redesign of the high school system that is based on quality, equity and accountability.
The proposal must include a recommendation on CIM and CAM. It must include recommendations on increasing high school graduation requirements, particularly for English, math and science. In addition, the proposal must include plans for meaningful career guidance, distance learning, online courses and college credits for high school students. Finally, we need to look at whether testing should be at 10th grade or at a later grade.
It is likely that CIM/CAM will not continue in its current form after those work sessions, as most everyone agrees that there have been serious issues with implementation. The difference will be that, under my proposal, there will be thoughtful planning for next steps -- rather than an abrupt dislocation.