How should we reform CIM and CAM?

SusancastilloIn 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.


  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
    • CIM/CAM, diplomas, grading schemes: all these are secondary concerns to education. Good teachers in a condusive environment with motivated students is what it's all about.

    • Schools will be crippled as long as standardized test results dictate academic programs.

    • Rather than the generic "English, math and science", I suggest an emphasis on logical thinking, scientific method, critical thinking, sustainable economy, media literacy, and democratic governance.

    • Castillo is bright and competent. She needs to rise above status quo mediocracy if we are to break the usual cycle of educational pseudo-reform.

    • Unfortunately, there is considerable opposition to excellent education. Both business leaders and social conservatives fear young people who can think clearly and respect their own integrity.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Heya Susan. Here's my advice after 10 years teaching in Portland.

    Take CIM. Take CAM. Stuff them both into a rusty 55-gallon drum and bury them in an old wheat field outside Madras.

    No questions asked!

    Then, take the millions of dollars you saved and use them for something productive -- like art class, music class, wood shop, AP classes in HS -- the classes we killed to save Oregon's sacred spot on the lowest-taxed states in America list, available at Tax Foundation's web site.

  • Bill Holmer (unverified)

    Finally! Let's shoot this horse and put us out of our collective misery. CIM and CAM were the educrats response to improving education. It was one more expensive effort to tinker with the process rather than focus on the basics. Following the latest educational fad like whole language and fuzzy math, multi-culturalism and promoting self esteem, have allowed the schools to focus their efforts and resources in all the wrong places. CIM and CAM were just symptoms of public education run amuck.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-public education or anti-teacher. It's just that we've been asking the teachers to focus on the wrong target. Good teachers work hard and good teaching is hard work. But as long as we focus on the peripheral issues, we'll be stuck with the mess we've got.

    Now if we can get rid of the grade inflation which lulls parents and students into a false sense of achievement, we'll know that the education establishment is serious about reform.

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)

    I have to refute the "lowest taxed state" claim Mr. Leader posted.

    Oregon ranks(ed) 32 in total tax burden for 2004 and 2005 -- this was found on the Tax Foundation web site.

    What's also left out is Oregon's dependence on fees, which in turn bumps the total tax/fee burden of Oregon closer to the top of the list.

    Compounding that fact, Oregon's per capita income ranks below average.

    The State of Oregon spends too much money, period. All this quibbling over new taxes and budget shortfalls is frivolous. We need to start talking about ways to cut spending, not increase it.

  • (Show?)

    As a parent with one child in high school and another three years away: kill CIM/CAM. They are not relevant to anything.

  • PeteJacobsen (unverified)

    So how about a pointer to an explanation of CIM and/or CAM? They aren't in any of the abbreviation / acronym sources on the web that I checked.

    Perhaps original posters could provide such links in the future.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Vera Katz's educational reform that brought us the CIM and CAM are based upon studies done many years ago now that compared American education with European education. I happen to be married to someone who did a thesis on this a few years back.

    Guess what? The research is bogus. The American education system has never had the two tracks found in the European models. All American kids were compared to the college bound European kids. So, everything predicable follows from this. Our "average" American kids didn't test as well as the top European kids. I'm not surprised, it is not an apples to apples match. So, we invent things like, "No child left behind", CIM and CAM, etc. and build up a huge testing business. It then follows that American businesses see an opportunity.

    So, our schools in America, and particularly here in Oregon now teach to the test. It's all about the tests. Kids are not prepared for real life. In the "real world" our success or failure does not depend upon how well we do on standardized tests.

    There are good things in the CIM/CAM system. As it was envisioned, there were opportunities to help High School kids get into the entry level of many trades or professions. It isn't really how its been implemented. It has become just another bureaucracy with dubious positive effect.

    I don't advocate throwing the system out, until we have a thoughtful and caring replacement. I understand Bill Gates has advocated some major educational reforms. While he is not an educator, I think he and other business leaders (e.g. employers) should be heard as part of a redesign of our educational system.

    Here in Prineville we have a fellow that shows up periodically at School Board meetings and advocates that the schools throw out the computers, and go back to the manual typewriter level of technology. Well, the horse is out of the barn, it's too late to just erase things that are in place now. What we need is leadership forward.

    And when I go back and read at the top of this column what Susan Castillo is actually saying, well, we are on the same page. Her leadership is a little vague given her position, but she is saying what I consider to be the right things.

  • CIM/CAM LIES (unverified)

    Is Blue Oregon awake?

    CIM CAM Certificate of Initial Mastery and Certificate of Advanced Mastery

    Civiletti you are completely nuts.

    Kari you edited out Castillo's more flagrant lies. What are you doing?

    The only plan she has is keep misleading the public in order for her and the status quo to stay in control of our school system.

    "The House Education Committee passed HB 3162, which would eliminate the Certificates of Initial Mastery (CIM) and Advanced Mastery (CAM) for Oregon high school students."

    She's right there.

    Then Castillo begins her flight from the truth. "I oppose this path to eliminating CIM and CAM because it is a destructive action that will result in instability and confusion, causing more harm than good for our students and schools."

    Utter nonsense. The state is so poor at testing it threw out all of the 10th grade math problem solving test results last year because only 15% PASSED THEM. There's your confusion and instability. The Certificates of Initial Mastery are meaningless and worthless once obtained and the busy work process to get one has benefited not a single segment of the student population.

    Castillo says "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."

    What the heck is she talking about. For 14 years the CIM/CAM school reform has been forced upon our schools as being just that. In fact is actually previously failed Outcome Based Education renamed Standards Based Education.

    Castillo, "But rather than destroy the existing system with no plan for the future,""""

    What future? 14 more years of this crap? The future is making room for things that work by dumping our failed reform.

    Castillo's alternative is proposing we gather together all of the same people who perpetrated our reform all these years. I say get rid of the reform and those who lied about it all these years. That's accountability. Something Castillo and company are certainly not interested in.

    She proposes "a redesign of the high school system that is based on quality, equity and accountability." That is the identical rhetoric which delivered our school reform 14 years ago. Castillo says "The proposal must include a recommendation on CIM and CAM."

    Who needs that? We all know full well what to do with it.

    Castillo says, "It must include recommendations on increasing high school graduation requirements, particularly for English, math and science."

    We don't need her committee making recommendations. We need more math and English courses because after all these years of so called High Standards reform Oregon ranks near the bottom in high school graduation math and English course requirements. Nice standards.

    How tough it that to fix Susan? Get rid of CIM/CAM and add the courses.

    Castillo says "In addition, the proposal must include plans for meaningful career guidance"

    The CAM, on the verge of being implemented is chuck full of career related edubabble which would waste more class time and force students in10th grade to begin making career plans. We don't beed that unfunded mandate crap from the state and no one wants it.

    Castillo lectured about other things we "need to look at" as if they haven't been looking?

    But she's been busy helping to promote a Cultural Competency bill to force teachers to "advocate for social justice" in their classrooms.

    People, she hasn't the slightest idea how to direct or lead our public school system and neither do any of those around her or on the state board.

    Castillo says ",,, 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."

    What the heck is she trying to spin? What proposal? All she is calling for is more of the same failed nonsense by the same people who are terrible at running our education system.

    Castillo says, "Many aspects of the current system are working and making a real difference for high school students"

    WHAT ASPECTS? According to what? The thrown out tests? She has not a single example to share because their are none which won't bring about laughter.

    Castillo says "and I am solidly in favor of testing, standards and accountability."

    What testing? Ours sucks. What standards? We are near the bottom in the country in simple math and English course requirements.


    What accountability? Who is being held accountable by whom?

    This is just intolerable.

    What are Oregonians, blue and/or red going to do? Sit by and take this snow job and allow this fraud to continue?

    Castillo, "All students should be expected to meet grade-level standards in reading, writing, math and science"

    More identical, verbatim rhetoric from our current failed reform.

    Castillo, "Oregon's assessment tests are already in place, fully meet federal requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act, and are aligned to our state standards."

    More crap. Our worthless assessments, scoring guides and standards are continually changed, weakened and even thrown out when they don't like the results.

    Castillo whopper "House Bill 3162 requires Oregon to scrap those tests and purchase new ones -- even if the new tests deliver less information at higher cost."

    There is not a chance of that happening and she knows it. How high was the cost of our thrown out tests? The nationally recognized professionals who craft assessments don't have their test results thrown out and they are correlated to other state assessment systems so we would know more not less. There would be no more meddling by our state officials so the results would be reliable. And yes, having the professionals design our assessments would cost far less.

    Castillo whopper, "If that wasn't bad enough, those off-the-shelf tests would not meet federal requirements, putting Oregon's $400 million in federal funds at risk."

    I can't tell you how big of a lie this is. The damn Bill she is talking about has NCLB compliance with independent assessments specified in the bill.

    What she is afraid of is having real assessments measure real progress without the department of education "processing" the results.

    Castillo whopper, "I believe it's time to move forward. That means taking time to design a 21st-century plan for improving our high schools so they can better prepare all students to be successful in whatever they choose to do when they graduate."

    Wow! The 14 year failed CIM/CAM school reform she is shamelessly and dishonestly defending is actually called The School Reform Act for the 21st Century.

    I'm telling you folks you better wake up and I don't care what color politics you breath.

    Castillo whopper, "When CIM and CAM were passed, they were a mandate from the Legislature."

    UNFUNDED "mandate" so the entire implementation and 14 year failed experiment without children's education stole the money from classrooms and every basic we want.

    Castillo ???? "There was very little ownership by students, parents, teachers, administrators, employers and Oregon colleges and universities. HB 3162 repeats that history".

    Ownership? The whole thing was a pack of lies. Telling students they wouldn't graduate without a CIM, that they wouldn't get into college without one, that jobs will be based on them. It was all lies.

    What the heck is she talking about? HB 3162 gets rid of what more and more Oregonians every year know to be an absolute worthless bunch of nonsense.

    Castillo "Everyone has a stake in the success of Oregon's high school students. They are the next generation of citizens and workers. This time, let's make sure we provide constructive criticism and direction for what they need. A thoughtful process, which must include the Oregon Legislature, is better for everyone and will lead to a better result in the end.

    "This time" what? Do it all again to another generation?

    A thoughtful legislature will get rid of this scam once and for all.

    There will be plenty left for the red & blues to argue about.

    Make sure you tell your legislator this must end now.

    Vicky Walker chair of the Senate Education Committee has said she will kill any bill which ends CIM/CAM.

    503-986-1707 Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-210, Salem, OR, 97301 Email: [email protected]

    Contact her and straighten her out now.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Well, drum roll please.

    CIM/CAM Lies gets the award for Longest Post ever, and most unreadable post ever. Take the golden statue home.

  • Sally (unverified)

    I thought it was the best post I've ever read here. Now that we've covered the rhetorical extremes, maybe someone with specific agreements or disagreements can come along.

    The bar's been set high for punch & power.

  • CIM/CAM Lies (unverified)

    The longest fraud on our children's education is this worthless reform and there is nothing extreme about that realization. Bucknum you can sit there rubbing your chin over the matter but Castillo isn't saying or doing anything "right".

    Castillo has lied more than anything.

    She is on the opposite side of your earlier acknowledgment that the approach is bogus.

    And all our reform has been is people "saying" things while the farce festers in our schools. Who cares what it was envisioned as.

    The Bill to replace CIM/CAM is specific, thoughtful and must be passed.

    Castillo and Bucknum apparently haven't even read it.

    Certainly a majority of Democrats, Republicans and every other strain of persons in this state know CIM/CAM for what it is. Having our State Superintendent defending and sustaining it further erodes the system's credibility and public support.

    Who is she fooling?

    If this farce reform continues, at the exspense of real education improvement such as adding those missing math and english courses, more mediocrity and decline will be the result.

    With such poor judgement being demonstrated by Castillo and 14 years of ODE and State Board folks the best thing we could do is pull our assessment system out of their hands.

    I for one would also like to see real accountability and real consequenses for those who have been dishonest and reckless about what our reform has been doing.

    Of course with so many people helping them hide what they have done that is very unlikey.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Okay, so you won't take the golden statue and go home.

    Let's get a few things straight. (Brief summary)

    The current situation in K-12 education we find ourselves in started in the 1980's. Reagan wanted to end the Education Department, but by using the bogus studies comparing the best of Europe to the average American, they created a "crisis" that has been used ever since to attempt to privatize our Educational system, and give businesses a huge opportunity at the public trough with standardized testing. The Federal Education Department then reinvented itself as the champion of educational improvement on the false/bogus claim that we were falling behind the rest of the world. Ironically, since they started meddling in local schools, we probably are falling behind.

    Second track - Here in Oregon, again starting in the 1980's, then Speaker of the House Vera Katz, put forth a bold plan to improve Oregon's education system. It called for what has become the CIM/CAM program, but at it's earlier and less bureaucratic stage it was an attempt to move more towards the European model of having a vocational/basic skills track (CIM) and an advanced skills/college bound track (CAM). I recall the early work on local implementation here in Crook Co. - It was exciting to think that our High Schools could help give our advanced kids a leg up into medical, scientific, or other advanced fields.

    Then reality hit. Measure 5 passed, and gutted the budget at the State level. Some local districts benefited (like ours) due to Statewide equalization, but that was not tied to CIM/CAM. Luckily, the State hit good economic times in the 1990's, so the worst of the Measure 5 hits were mitigated and put off until the next recession, where we find ourselves now - too dependent upon personal income tax.

    Same time the recession started to gut Oregon Schools, we got the worst President in the history of the United States, that promised to "leave no child behind", then failed to adequately fund new requirements that have new costs. He (Bushie) has left every child behind.

    So into this situation comes Susan Castillo. We have to have someone in that position, and I certainly don't blame her for the situation caused by all the factors I have briefly summarized above. In fact, I don't blame her for ANY of them.

    She has, in my humble opinion, only stated something obvious. You don't throw out a system, planned and in part implemented over a period now reaching well into a second decade, without giving more thought to the replacement. House Bill 3162 is a thinly veiled move to throw out the existing system without thought. "Thought" ought to include a whole lot of things like coming to grips with the financial reality, dealing with the new Federal (every child left behind) regulations, and what is best for kids in Oregon. House Bill 3162 has it’s targeted areas, and is not at all comprehensive.

    Yeah, how about doing what is best for kids in Oregon.

    Long winded, record setting (length) attacks on Castillo do nothing to answer questions about what is best for kids in Oregon.

    House Bill 3162 is a thinly veiled attempt to end the CIM/CAM. It calls for a two-year study. Another costly study, but it is directed at specific issues. As such it avoids the comprehensive review needed, and misses the mark.

    Do I have one proposal to offer? NO. It ain't my job. Do I know a crackpot idea when I see it? Yes! Throwing out the baby with the bathwater (the current House bill’s seeming intention) is bad for kids because it destroys the system at a time of great system stress, without a reasonable replacement. It would then cost even more money outside of the classroom, to make a change almost randomly.

    Frankly, your name - CIM/CAM LIES - about tells it all.

  • Terry Olson (unverified)

    People who know nothing about education and even less about legislative history should refrain from passing judgment on CIM and CAM.

    The performance assessments required in the original legislation were already "reformed" by a subsequent legislature to ensure that students were proficient in the traditional subject areas. Proficiency is now measured by standardized achievement tests.

    The key components of the original CIM requirements were these:

    "Ensure that students have the necessary knowledge and demonstrate the skills to read, write, problem solve, reason and communicate;

    "Ensure that students have the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to learn, think, retrieve information and use technology;"

    In other words, students had to show what they could do with the knowledge and skills they had acquired in order to get the Certificate of Initial Mastery.

    The legislature failed to fund CIM/CAM adequately and most school districts do not require them for graduation. Which is unfortunate, since we're still entrenched in the old system of "seat time" in 22 required courses for the high school diploma.

  • (Show?)

    I wrote HB 3162. I've just posted a rather lengthy explanation of the flaws of CIM/CAM and Oregon's system of assessments that 3162 would solve.

    Initially I was just going to post it here, but it is so long that I thought better of it.

    Please do read it, if you are really interested in understanding the issues at hand. They are not simple.

  • (Show?)

    Oops.. forgot to give the url

  • CIM/CAM lies (unverified)


    What a load of BS. .

    A perfect match for the dishonest incompetent meddlers running our public school system.

    You have very few "things straight"

    Get over yourself and go bone up.

    Our School Reform for the 21st Century has nothing to do with Reagan.

    What a fool.

    Your made up crap about this all emanating from some scheme to "give businesses a huge opportunity at the public trough with standardized testing is near retarded.

    In fact it is you who should just shut the hell up.

    I don't even think you are familiar with Oregon's reform at all.

    Sure Katz pushed through the mess but did so after the pilot program in Cottage Grove failed miserably. Then the department and State board forced the reform upon our school system without any of funding required in the bill.

    The plan was doomed from the beginning with or without the funding as it is riddled with fatal flaws, addresses no real problems and seeks to force every student through the same non remedy.

    Our reform has been a distraction for advanced kids, a deterrent for those at the bottom and an obstruction for all students.

    Your BS about it giving a "leg up" is useless.

    You did accurately say

    "Then reality hit. Measure 5 passed, and gutted the budget at the State level."

    CIM/CAM happened at the nearly the same time (91-92) making the decision to move forward on it even more eggregious and irresponsible. Many weremaking that charge back then.

    Measure 5 didn't cause CIM/CAM not to work. Loser incompetent people forcing an unproven, invalid program upon our schools did. And to make matters worse they never utilized any corroborating tracking to avoid the massive failure we now have. After abandoning nationally normed assessments in favor of Oregon's experiment we no longer had any way of knowing where were or where we were heading. The Department of Ed. refused to give an occasional test with an independent assessment to monitor our reform.

    None of this has anything to do with your BS about our over reliance on our personal income tax.

    You are being a complete ass with your comments blaming the President.

    If you think NCLB came with no money you are even a bigger ass.

    You haven't summarized squat sir.

    Your total excusing of John Kitzhaber, Vera Kats, COSA, OSBA and the OEA and pathetic newspapers for any of reform failure makes you an intellectually dishonest political hack.

    On Castillo you said "I don't blame her for ANY of them."

    You should, she had ample opportunities to help rid our schools of this the FRAUD you are spinning.

    Bucknum said "She has, in my humble opinion, only stated something obvious. You don't throw out a system,,,,without giving more thought to the replacement. "

    Thought? In this case it's throwing more money and time after bad if we keep doing what doesn't work.

    Just because you obviously haven't been paying attention to the detriments and non benefits of our reform doesn't mean others haven't. There has been extensive analysis, data, thought and study on our reform. Efforts to get rid of it span several legislative sessions.

    Had the people you support not obstructed it's demise for years now it would be gone today and courses our high schoolers desperately need would already be in place.

    Here 14 years along and people like you are still doing the same thing, using the same "don't throw the baby out with the bath water" song.

    The replacement is simple, cost effect and returns our system to a more fundamental approach.

    There's been plenty of thought and the years behind this are reason to dump it not keep it.

    Don't lecture me about what's best for "kids in Oregon" until you pull your head out of the ODE sand.

    There is no question "what is best for kids in Oregon".

    And it's certainly not lying to them and their parents about a reform delivering nothing but waste.

    You deserve attack and so does Castillo for the reckless endangering of our public school system with repeated failure on a grand scale.

    Bucknum says, ridding our schools of CIM/CAM "is bad for kids because it destroys the system at a time of great system stress, without a reasonable replacement." Go ask the kids and their parents. The CIM is the stress along with the terrible waste.

    Terry Olson, you are even more dishonest and foolish declaring people shouldn't form an opinion on CIM/CAM. That's a hoot.

    You claiming our assessments our standardized or that we have standard is a joke.

    The nationally normed assessment we used previously were far superior and prevented state bureaucrats from adjusting the difficulty, scoring guides qualifiers and benchmarks.

    Repeating the orgininal objectives does nothing to address the problems and lack of meeting them.

    What kind of snow job is it that repeatedly echoes the goals without ever demonstrating the process achieves them?

    "Ensures" my ass.

    You claim "students had to show what they could do with the knowledge and skills they had acquired in order to get the Certificate of Initial Mastery."

    What a hoot. You obviously haven't any idea how many changes have been made to allow students "other means" to supposedly show what they could do. Juried assessment, equivalency credit and all sorts of blatantly dishonest creative methods have been adopted to show "meets" and gains where none exited. That's one of the primary flaws in our system. It's too easy for the system to cheat big time. Just as it did this year as it took 10 months to deliver the CIM numbers from last year. Naturally at the end of the 10 months many more CIM's were discovered to have been earned than reported at the end of that 2004 school year. Just enough to show a very slight 1% increase overall.

    After all they could very well allow a reduction to show up the same year thousands of test results were thrown out. It would make them look bad in the face of demanding more funding.

    In my "summary" our public school system is being run buy corrupt, dishonest liars. Castillo is definitely one of them. Her ODE staff and the folks at the State Board are engaged in a cover up, obstruction and public deception.

    Other collaborators are COSA, OSBA, OEA and OBC.

    They and you got nothing to show for the 14 years of CIM/CAM but the crap you declare and can't backup with anything.


    If you think the only people recognizing the failure of our reform are "people who know nothing about education and even less about legislative history" you are sadly mistaken and likely a victim of the snow job.

    I don't know who you are or where you get your information but there is not a single district which requires the CIM for graduation. And it's a good thing otherwise at least half of their graduates would be denied diplomas for not having a worthless certificate.

    If you are referring to North Clackamas, (CIM lying central) they attempted to require the CIM. When reality sunk in they made up their own version of a CIM. So dumbed down that every single graduate was given one. Then at the end of the 2004 school year with help from the O they hype their CIM completion as broad success without reporting the State CIM numbers.

    Some standards huh pal?

    At this late date anyone supporting CIM/CAM is part of a major betrayal of our public school system.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Second golden statue to CIM/CAM Lies - another record in column inches.

    You know, before you go calling someone a liar, you'd best read what they wrote. I discussed "big picture" what has been happening with K-12 education. Of course Reagan didn't make CIM/CAM happen, it just was all happening at the same time.

    I will give you more voice, and ask a question. I have read and read and read your thousand column inches of stuff, and at the end of it all, I'm not sure what your point is.

    Please, in four column inches or less, summarize what you message is for "dummies" like me.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    As no great fan of CIM/CAM, I fail to understand the hatred of some toward the system. Is it because CIM/CAM is associated with Democrats? Because it is associated with public schools? Because it is different than how things were done in 1890?

    CIM/CAM Lies: I will let others decide which of us, if either, is completely nuts [unless you would like to pay for some clinical testing of the two of us].

  • gus (unverified)

    Here's a link to Rob Kremer's blog on CIM/CAM

    There are really three basic questions. Are CIM & CAM benefitting Oregon's students? Would the resources expended on C&C be better utilized elsewhere like reducing class sizes or restoring programs and activities in schools. Are other tests like Stanford Achievement or SAT Advanced Placement (for college credit) more economical to administer or of greater benefit to students in Oregon?

  • CIM/CAM LIES (unverified)

    Civiletti says,

    "As no great fan of CIM/CAM, I fail to understand the hatred of some toward the system. Is it because CIM/CAM is associated with Democrats? Because it is associated with public schools? Because it is different than how things were done in 1890?"

    I thought I saw you post something on another blue thread which is enlightening today.

    So I went and found it.

    Civiletti posted

    "I was quite active as a volunteer with NC12 when CIM and CAM were being developed. I also know some pretty sharp teachers. My conclusion was that CIM/CAM, like many educational reforms, is more window dressing than substance. So why all the time, money and attention?

    Because public schools are always under attack, always struggling for sufficient funding. Such reforms are a way of addressing problems that don't exist with programs that don't do anything. Good education requires good teachers in a conducive environment with a reasonable number of students who are ready to learn. It's really quite simple, but it's not cheap.

    Indeed, it is Republicans and other anti-public education forces that drive programs like CIM/CAM. Believe me, teachers did not view this as addressing the needs of the educational system. Posted by: Tom Civiletti | March 29, 2005 09:57 AM"

    What happened Tom? You condemned the CIM and blamed it on Republicans and now you ask if people hate it because it is associated with democrats.

    Yes, you are nuts.

    And by enabling or defending CIM/CAM you are a traitor to public education in this State.

    CIM/CAM has been a total betrayal of our school system. It has been ushered along with a continuous series of lies and misrepresentations. The waste has been tremendous and for those who truly care about our public school system and have taken the time to check the claims made by our education officials and check the effects across the board there is plenty to hate. If you and others choose to sit by and allow this fraud to continue while blaming it on Bush or funding or the rest of the crap you dream up don't be surprised when things get worse. You are making it happen.

    Bucknum et al. Try reading. Especially Kremer's piece it's excellant. Then shut up and help our schools instead of destroying them.

  • (Show?)

    Tom: It's not hatred, it is opposition to a failed program. I outline in great detail how and why the system failed on my blog.

    You have to admit... you do look a little silly blaming the Republicans in one post then accusing others of hating CIM because democrats support it.

    Also... it doesn't make any sense to say people hate the CIM because they have some underlying animus toward the public schools.

    If I hated the public schools I would be the biggest cheerleader CIM/CAM ever saw.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    I was found to be "clinically normal" for a research study at the UO years ago, so at least I can escape CIM/CAM Lies statements about being "nuts". (Tom Civiletti - it may be a feather on your cap to have this guy call you "nuts".)

    You didn't answer my request! A short summary? Your rambling columns of statements are all over the map, what is the center of what you believe? You seem obsessed with this CIM/CAM stuff, so - put your thesis down simple and straight so we can figure out your point!

    What I'm getting at is that you have made lots of conclusive statements - "CIM/CAM is a total waste!" - But you never really seem to get clear on why you think this. You have made lots of accusations like accusing Kari of editing out comments by Castillo, like calling Tom Civiletti "nuts", and I deliberately am not remembering what insult you tossed my way. So, please summarize why you think/feel/believe that you do.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    And the memory finally kicks in. Rob Kremer ran against Susan Castillo. She won. Sour grapes?

    Rob Kremer is the big advocate of Charter Schools, those new fangled things that have been failing all over the State. I begin to see the real picture here.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    CIM/CAM Lies:

    I meant what I posted. I think CIM/CAM was unnecessary. That is not the same as disasterous or unworkable. Yes, a lot of time and money was spent on development. If we drop CIM/CAM now, a lot of money will be spent on a new system. Either way, I don't see this as one of the most critical ones facing K-12 public schools. I think Castillo's approach makes sense. It will lead to gradual changes and prevent another reform spasm that wastes time and money.

    Rob Kremer:

    I have read your blog on CIM/CAM and disagree with much of it. One example: requiring students to to verify the answer to a math problem using an alternative method. The object here is to test mathematical thinking and problem solving ability rather than memorization of math rules and formulas. I think it is worthwhile. I was a good math student, getting good grades and doing well in standardized tests [770 SAT math score]. Even so, I sometimes forget the method I was taught for solving some specific problem. Because I learned to think mathematically, I have usually been able to work around some forgotten formula or technique by either returning to more basic rules or by turning the problem into one that used a formula I do remember. This ability has served me well in the 30 years since my last high school math course. I am seldom unable to come up with an answer to a math problem I face. I think Oregon's students would do well to develop this ability as well, if using math in life is the educational aim. If doing well in multiple choice tests is the aim, then you may be correct.

    Also, remembering that Republicans in the legislature were supporters of CIM/CAM is not inconsistent with noticing that most vociferous opponents of the system now are Republicans who commonly harshly criticize Democratic officeholders [such as Susan Castillo] and teachers [OEA members]. CIM/CAM is not the reason that Oregon public education is underfunded, Republicans are the reason.

  • (Show?)

    Steve Bucknum:

    Pretty laughable. "Rob Kremer is the big advocate of charter schools, which have been failing all over the state?"

    Guess who else is a big advocate of charter schools? Oh let's see, to name a few: Portland City Club, Democratic Leadership Council, Tony Hopson of Self Enhancement Inc., La Raza, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation... I could go on.

    Tom Civiletti:

    Your point about mathematical reasoning is fine. I don't object to having kids verify math problems... I challenge the reliability and validity and cost of the math problem solving test when used as a large scale high stakes assessment.

    The simple fact is, Oregon's math problem solving tests have been PROVEN to lack validity. The state had to throw them out! I've been telling them for years that the test was not valid, and they ignored me. Now, they seem mystified that their tests had validity problems!

    So, are you saying that you support the math problem solving tests? If so, you support a schema for testing math reasoning that the state itself has admitted is completely flawed. If not, then I guess you don't disagree with what I wrote after all.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Rob Kremer:

    If I remember the process, the math reasoning test is not used as a pinpoint measure of math knowledge. The idea is to see if a student understands the problem solving process and can apply basic math strategies to a given situation. As far as this requiring communication skills, sure it does. I don't see this as a problem. It is not as though this is the only math test a student will face. There are plenty of multiple choice affairs along the way that do not test the abilities of the test in question.

    That coming up with an effective math reasoning test takes time and experience does not surprise me. There have been many problems with traditional tests that have lead to changes in them over the years. Valid testing is not a simple matter.

    I also believe that students have multiple chances to pass the math reasoning test. Correct? Is taking and failing such a test a waste of time? I think it would be a valuable learning experience.

    As would giving and listening to speeches, something I did in high school many years ago, but which you deride as a waste of time.

    It seems your attitudes toward education are based on a strict adherence to "readin', writin' and 'rithmetic." I think good education has always meant more than that. If that makes me a Dewey socialist, I will gladly accept the tag. US education improved greatly under his sway, in my opinion.

    And that, I think, is really where this debate leads. Your conclusions about public education flow from a fundamentalist, socially and intellectually conservative, anti-socialist viewpoint. Those who do not share your viewpoint are going to find little value in your conclusions.

  • CIMCAM LIES (unverified)

    Bucknum, Do you read? Did you read the O piece and Kari's piece? Accusation? Yeah, and I accuse the sun of rising in the morning.
    Go read my posts again and go read Kremer's piece. Stop using the Oregonian's method of ignoring and excluding everything that doesn't wash with your misguided view.

    Didn't you notice any contradiction in the two posts by Civiletti? Exhibit A Civiletti's March 29th post Such reforms are a way of addressing problems that don't exist with programs that don't do anything. Indeed, it is Republicans and other anti-public education forces that drive programs like CIM/CAM

    Exhibit B Civiletti's post today As no great fan of CIM/CAM, I fail to understand the hatred of some toward the system. Is it because CIM/CAM is associated with Democrats? Because it is associated with public schools? Because it is different from how things were done in 1890?

    Now Civiletti it taking the ODE approach of conjuring up the stale concepts as if they need to be explained yet one more time.

    Both of you should shut the hell up and say something.

    Charter school are not failing all over the State. No one narrowly focusing on a "strict adherence to "readin', writin' and 'rithmetic." There is no "fundamentalist, socially and intellectually conservative, anti-socialist viewpoint" at play here.

    Instead it the many facets of 14 years of reality that have demonstrated what you yourself characterized as "addressing problems that don't exist with programs that don't do anything"

    That's what's in our schools. And if you were honest you would stop the dance and recognize that it is a detriment to our schools for this to continue.

    But no. You are so forgiving of the massive waste that you have now boarded the ODE excuse train with nonsense that "If we drop CIM/CAM now, a lot of money will be spent on a new system".

    We don't need another CIM/CAM system to replace the current one. Apparently you are incapable of paying attention.

    The system we need is an honest one which sustains and supports the very things people are screaming for instead of the chaotic scramble to push students through our excessively burdensome assessment process.

    Many people have witnessed the busy work of "addressing problems that don't exist with programs that don't do anything" along with the lack of outcome the concepts continue to promise. So what is your problem here. It seems you have shifted into some political protectionists game.

    Our School Reform for the 21st Century does not work in the real world of our schools. It never will because of the very basic reality you stated. "It is addressing problems that don't exist with programs that don't do anything".

    Ironically your lecture on math problem solving resembles closely the assumptions made in the reform you know to be ineffective.

    Math problem solving is old news and of course is valid. The problem comes in with the mandated shape it takes within our failed school reform. And to have the entire 10th grade MPS assessment thrown out last year because only 15% passed is unacceptable. If we had the REAL professionals designing our assessments that never would have happened. We would have year to year consistency and alignment with standards as well as norms which do not shift. The irresponsible assessment system we now have is chaos. It is not evolving. It is morphing into more chaos because it lacks controls.

    The State has approved "other means" to "meet" benchmarks which are all over the place, teachers are giving credit for speeches not given, schools are giving credit for tests not passed, and the irrational focus on the average performance is dumbing down the entire works. The big push is to have numbers of students participate and numbers of students "meeting" no matter what it takes. Even with ALL of the creative, and at times cheating, ways to pad the numbers our CIM numbers last year increased a paltry 1%. ANY impartial person looking at this outcome has to conclude that had the benchmarks remained the same fewer students would be meeting them. That is going backwards.

    The proof is really in things such as our SAT scores. Not 1st or 2nd in the country by the way as our education and newspapers lie about every years. shows we are around 25th.

    The real alarm is that Oregon has failed to keep pace with the national average trend over the last 8 or so years of our reform. During those out years of pushing our students through the meaningless CIM process our slight lead over the national average has narrowed by an amount placing us on a trajectory soon to cross below that national average.

    Yet the ultra dishonest ODE keeps telling Oregonians that we are "tops" in the county.

    Have to run for now but you need to recognizee the depth and meaning of your own acknowledgments and quit wallowing in excuses, concepts and theories.

    The state and many district officials have repeatedly lied to the public about what is going on.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    CIM/CAM LIES suffers a common fault among right-wingers: digital thinking. Things are either 1's or 0's, good or evil with him. He is unable to appreciate nuance, and therefore, reality.

    I wrote that CIM/CAM was unnecessary and a waste of time and money to develop. I then wrote that working throwing the system out know and developing a new approach is also unnecessary and would be a waste of time and money. This is contradiction?

    As well, suggesting that Republicans have shifted their position on CIM/CAM hardly suggests that I am contradictory.

    As I suggested in the first comment of this string, schools should put more emphasis on teaching logical and critical thinking. Without those skills writing is just a collection of letters and numbers, signifying nothing.

  • allehseya (unverified)

    My apologies for the long post...

    It’s fairly safe to say that we, as Americans, can agree on a few things. Among them being that our educational system should work in a non-partisan manner towards making a real difference for our next generation. In general, that educational standards, assessment and accountability are aspects of the system that we look to which ensures K-12 student success. I would like to believe that while we may differ in opinion on the tests used, the standards set and that we may question accountability processes – that we do so because we are striving towards the same common goal.

    Those of us who have been in the education industry for any length of time become “veterans” that have survived many battles, many wars. Teachers, educational administrators and associated non-profits are on the front lines everyday, we enter that arena full of idealism, optimism and hope, determined to make a difference for our kids -- only to find that we will inevitably be attacked, budgets will have to be cut, schools will have to close, our time with students will become compromised and the ever-shifting landscape of the education field we have entered -- renders the majority of us: jaded and numb. We get a boot-camp style crash course in the politics involved and the veterans that make it through that initiation, either learn how to play the game constructively, take orders -- or lead -- and no-one leads alone.

    Those of us who have built the armour necessary to endure in this field are sick and tired of Kremer’s proposed solution, which basically amounts "do it all over with a different test again". The teachers are more inclined to stay within the guidelines of a system that can be built upon and improved as opposed to trashed altogether – the training and expense of making the necessary transition to a new assessment system altogether is an unnecessary one and we’ve all been through it before – too many times. Ask any teacher how much they enjoy having to sit through yet another new development meeting / session to learn yet more guidelines for yet a different test -- another change in the landscape we have to conform / adapt and be re-trained to survive in. Teachers want to work within a system that is reliable and they want to use it right -- change that system altogether and they dread the next change much less trust it. (and people wonder why we burn-out?)

    Just to be clear, I'm not stating that CIM / CAM et al -- are flawless and a perfect assessment systems. I share the frustrations that Kremer and the school district, and even Castillo voice and share. My co-workers share it as well. Having said that, however, I tend to agree with Tom in my fear that Kremer suffers from the very thing he critiques: partisan politics getting in the way of our common goals.

    As Castillo has stated, ”Oregon's assessment tests are already in place, fully meet federal requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act, and are aligned to our state standards”

    She even addresses Kremer’s concerns when she writes ”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 students. The CIM and CAM must evolve into something better, and that evolution must begin immediately.”

    Rather than working together, Kremer’s (at least seemingly) partisan approach only serves to hinder true dialogue that addresses our shared common goals. Eradication of one system simply translates into an entire redundant process of having to learn from the inevitable mistakes of another.

    In relation to CIM/CAM/CRLE and standards in general, here in Portland, the dialogue has already begun in regards to how school partners, non-profits and businesses can serve to support, augment, contribute and improve existing school plans and learning objectives in times of budget crisis such as we currently face.

    The community has been receptive as have the schools and the district.

    I encourage Kremer and others of like mind to join in and engage in these planning discussions – to take the opportunity as one of constructive dialogue from a position of support towards improving our assessment and educational goals for each child – in this way, they may find that their critique of the system’s short-comings and call for change can be better addressed rather than have their opinions and solutions reduced to simply: isolated, partisan, pessimistic and extreme.

  • Terry Olson (unverified)

    Let me correct Steve Buckmum's characterization of the CIM/CAM. He wrote:

    "... it was an attempt to move more towards the European model of having a vocational/basic skills track (CIM) and an advanced skills/college bound track (CAM)."

    The Certificate of Initial Mastery measures the skills of all students, regardless of their post-high school plans. The Certificate of Advanced Mastery is designed to steer kids (their choice) into either vocational or college prep programs.

    That aside, Steve's comments have been a pleasure to read. But here's some advice, courtesy of Thom Hartmann: just ignore the rantings of people who sign their comments CIM CAM LIES.

    P.S. Great comment, allehseya! As a teacher in Hillsboro and an early CIM/CAM enthusiast, I was appalled at the legislative tinkering with CIM assessments, which replaced truly visionary performance measures with subject area standardized tests.

    P.S.S. 2004 was the year the foreign language CIM requirement was to kick in. Students then would have had to demonstrate a conversational proficiency in a language other than English in order to get the CIM certificate. Now that's a European model we should never have allowed to fall through the cracks.

  • Bert (unverified)

    CIM/CAM...a nice idea, but how do they measure up against the SAT? Are they widely accepted as a way to prepare a student for college?

    Germany's system of 2-tiered K-12/K-10 still has merit and is worthy of mention, in my view. Not all students are able/willing to go into college, and a school system that does a mediocre job of taking ALL students half-way to some sort of preparatory standard is largely gussied-up day-care.

    Education's supposed to be a challenge. One question to ask the proponents of CIM/CAM is whether or not they feel it will help prepare kids in america to be globally competitive in an ever-changing environment in which business skills such as mathematics, communication(written, verbal, or otherwise), and reading comprehension are basic and critical to any other steps along the education path. Included in this is the obvious merit of teaching foreign languages that are anticipated to be of use in the business world. Like it or not, at the end of the day when kids graduate, typically they're expected to find some sort of job. If they're not ready to hit the ground running in that respect, then they're not prepared to face challenges such as learning to manage businesses or even start new ones. You don't want edu-care, no matter what you do. You want schools that will open kids' heads to geography, science, and other key subjects that will give them an accurate picture of the world, at least to some degree.

    A conventional desktop computer from companies such as Dell now costs around $500. Whatever it is they're doing with the states' education budget, just make sure that most student desktops now contain an actual desktop, and didn't go to finance someone's Lexus.

  • CIMCAM Lies (unverified)


    Could you be anymore transparent?

    Exactly what is your reality.

    "CIMCAM" is addressing problems that don't exist with programs that don't do anything and is pushed by Republicans"


    "Right wingers hate it because it is associated with associated with Democrats?

    What a phony you are.

    You wrote that CIM/CAM was "a way of addressing problems that don't exist with programs that don't do anything"

    But NOW you are defending it because why?

    Because you found a new song and dance about,

    """""throwing the system out now and developing a new approach is also unnecessary and would be a waste of time and money.""""""

    That is right out of the ODE headquarters Mr. transparent.

    What new system?

    No one is suggesting dumping CIM/CAM only to begin all over again with another one only slightly different.

    You haven't been paying attention, haven't read the bill, haven't responded to a single specific facet of our reform I have raised.

    So it's now only "right wingers" and Republican "partisans" who want CIM/CAM out of our schools? And you are not a partisan?

    What an obnoxious load of crap to are now handing out.

    I guarantee you there are loyal Democrats reading thread and wondering what the heck is wrong with D's like you. There are countless loyal Democrats across this State, many of them teachers and other professionals, who have been eye witnesses to our reform CIM/CAM charade.

    The only thing you are doing is the same as Castillo. Further eroding public support for public education.

    You may enjoy joining the delusion that the masses of Oregon parents and taxpayers have solid confidence in our public school system leadership and programs, but you are pathetically mistaken.

    You are indeed a hypocrite and have little understanding of what is happening in our schools.

    You suggest that schools "should put more emphasis on teaching logical and critical thinking. Without those skills writing is just a collection of letters and numbers, signifying nothing"

    Who's critical thinking? Yours. Oh yes. You think there is this "considerable opposition to excellent education" And " Both business leaders and social conservatives fear young people who can think clearly and respect their own integrity."

    Is CIM/CAM the path towards an excellent education? No.

    Duncan Wyse and the Oregon Business Council are co-conspriator, big promoters of CIM/CAM. Go read the white paper they prepared (concocted) in 2000. He's on the State Board now.

    You there Duncan? You have another batch of lies for the public about ready?

    I noticed you eagerly claimed Oregon was 1st in SAT and ACT.

    Back to your "critical thinking".

    I don't know what problem you are referring to but it sounds like YOU "want another program that doesn't do anything to address a problem that doesn't exist".

    I have met and know MANY graduates of our public schools and they are magnificent thinkers. "Unfortunately" they were robbed of additional opportunities because of worthless programs invading our schools.

    Programs which you now defend.

    Do you have any names of Oregon graduates who, as you say, can't "think clearly and respect their own integrity." I imagine you can go out and find some. So go ahead find them. And ask them if they feel they have been a victim of business and social conservatives or a victim of CIM.

    Wanna bet you would get more on the later?

    You may have read in today's paper about the law suit over neglect of TAG students. That neglect began with the adoption of CIM/CAM. I watched it happen with my own TAG child from the first grade. "Sorry we have to focus on the new portfolios and Benchmarks. The same goes for many other efforts and opportunities in our classrooms over the 14 years of CIM /CAM. Sacrificed.

    All things took a back seat. No matter the priority.

    I heard a principal explain that a large reduction in his school's SAT scores was due to their emphasis on CIM.

    The examples of sacrifice for CIM are immeasurable, yet all we hear from the proponents is endless conceptualization, echoes of it's too early to judge, it's a work in progress and you don't understand.

    Like I said earlier, when you had NO RESPONSE, 14 years of so-called high standards and Oregon couldn't even move from the near the bottom nationally in Math and English course requirements for graduation. Again, some "standards"!

    Tell me does it take a "new system" to simply raise standards by requiring more courses? No, it does not. Does it take teacher in-service days and more training? No, it does not. It takes common sense and leadership. And it should have been done years ago.

    Does it take more training and a new system to give teachers more time to teach?

    But you want more emphasis on "critical thinking". Yeah that's perfect pal.

    Perhaps you are on board with the foolish crap Castillo has come up with for Cultural Competency? Have you read that piece of work? Now there's some real progress from Susan and the State experts. By the way that's also something she blatantly lies about.

    Perhaps you would align with the State Board who is considering requiring the CIM for graduation.

    Perhaps you align with Terry Olsen who posted """"most school districts do not require them for graduation. Which is unfortunate """"

    Hey Terry what do you TELL the student and his parents when their diploma is withheld because they are missing some part of the useless CIM?

    "That's unfortunate"?

    Is that what we tell half the would be graduates? That's unfortunate?

    I notice not one of you responded to the mother of all ODE lies regarding our State SAT scores.

    Is it only right wingers who bother to go and read the college board web site?

    Perhaps you need to go ask Castillo what to say about it instead of checking the SAT administrators web site.

    You may never realize that just about every aspect of our current public education administration involves some degree of snow job. The people controlling our schools who you blindly support have so politicized our system with such partisan hackery that all things teaching and classroom take a back seat to their endless manipulation.


    What "standards and what accountability"? Who is being held accountable by whom?

    I wish we did have REAL "educational standards, assessments and accountability" in our system Then we could indeed "look to them to ensure K-12 student success.

    We do not.

    And I don't know how you think you speak for teachers. Are you a union rep. or bucking for an administrators job and uninterested in polling your own peers?

    I know plenty of teachers, including many seasoned veterans.

    Most of them would gladly choose to abandon the never-to-be-improved CIM/CAM in exchange for a simple, easy to administer assessment system and more time with their students and lesson prep.

    Did you miss teacher Sid earlier in this thread?

    Posted by: Sid Leader | May 12, 2005 12:36 PM """""Heya Susan. Here's my advice after 10 years teaching in Portland. Take CIM. Take CAM. Stuff them both into a rusty 55-gallon drum and bury them in an old wheat field outside Madras. No questions asked!""""""

    Dumping CIM/CAM is not the "do it all over with a different test again" nonsense which you must have gotten from the liars at ODE.

    There is absolutely no effort in the state to do such a thing period.

    Teachers are not "inclined to stay" with CIM/CAM because the guidelines are forever changing, it's unworkable and doesn't deliver.

    That's why the State doesn't simply parade out the data showing success. There isn't any. That's why the State took 10 months to compile the CIM numbers for 2004. I have seen solid evidence that there was a decline in the numbers and they needed time to "process" them to find a few more and show a minute gain.

    How long are you proposing we build upon CIM/CAM? Forever? Why? We don't need it. It doesn't remedy anything. It is clearly worse than useless, in the way and students and parents don't want it.

    You get that part.

    Students and parent don't want it. That's why you have never seen any group of them chanting support for CIM while there has been abundant testimony and unreported chants to dump it which I witnessed and your pals ignore.

    It won't take training to dump CIM /CAM.

    That's the problem with what we have. Not what we will have.

    No more in-service days for CIM training.

    The transition would occur during a summer when the Oregon assessment system dies and new, reliable, valid and simple tests are adopted.

    You ever wonder what the other schools in Oregon use and why?

    How about what Oregon used before CIM?

    The ones Catlin Gable or Jesuit uses?

    You really should challenge the ODE more and demand they stop misleading everyone.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    It seems that Steve Bucknum's views on public education are right in line with the conservative intelligentia[?]. It's all Tom Dewey's fault, that godless humanist.

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