The Chalkboard Project. Friend or foe?

The Statesman-Journal has a round-up of the policies that the Chalkboard Project has been advocating for - and the controversies that have ensued.

The nonprofit Chalkboard Foundation swept into the Capitol building this year on a cloud of hopeful expectations, buoyed by several years of research on education, extensive public polling on the present and future of Oregon's schools and scads of good publicity.

Two views:

"They are setting themselves up as people coming in to whip those schools into shape," said Tricia Smith, a lobbyist for the Oregon School Employees Association, which represents about 20,000 secretaries, custodians, bus drivers and classroom assistants. "They think they don't need to learn how things work in schools; their methodology is better." ...

"There's a mindset that we have to pour money in, rather than find ways to improve efficiencies," said Rep. Linda Flores, R-Clackamas, who is one of two Republican and two Democratic lawmakers advising Chalkboard. "It's a philosophical distinction."

In some cases, the Chalkboard Project has worked well with progressive advocates:

There has been some common ground. Chalkboard partnered with Stand for Children, a parent advocacy group, to push for a bill to fund a teacher mentorship program that's garnered lots of support; they also worked with the state's largest teachers union on a plan to form a new clearinghouse on teacher professional development.

But they've managed to generate some opposition as well:

Another of the group's proposals was to give schools only a limited menu of options on which to spend money from a state "school-improvement fund"; Chalkboard wanted to narrow the choices to early reading programs and reducing K-1 class sizes, options they said would give the most value for the dollar.

But that proposal also has fallen by the wayside. Laurie Wimmer Whelan, the lobbyist for the Oregon Education Association, refers to the idea as "one-size-fits-all, favoring 5-year-olds over 15-year-olds."

It's all in the details:

"We are frustrated, because so many of those stakeholders are on record as supporting the causes we are advocating for, but they don't like the details of the Chalkboard proposals," [Executive Director Sue] Hildick said.

Wimmer Whelan, the longtime OEA lobbyist, said it's the rare bill that sails through the Legislature unchanged, and Chalkboard's are no different. Still, she said, Hildick's assessment is accurate. "We believe we have congruence with them on the 'what,'" she said. "The incongruence is in the 'how.'"

Rep. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, a former high-school principal, is another one of Chalkboard's legislative counselors. He said Chalkboard's influence will wax or wane as its ideas are put into place and show results -- or not. "No one just wants to experiment on our kids," Roblan said. "There's a tradition among teachers and districts to be conservative with rapid change, because this is a generation of people."

Read the rest. Visit the Chalkboard's website. Discuss.

  • (Show?)

    I've looked at Chalkboard's proposals in some detail. The proposals started with efficiencies and they continue to promote and even insist on them, and very specific ones when others offer vague platitudes to the alter of efficiency as a talking point. Rep. Linda Flores, R-Clackamas was quoted as saying, "There's a mindset that we have to pour money in, rather than find ways to improve efficiencies." From that, she sounds as useful a Republicans adviser as Larry George is claiming to be "working" to fix Measure 37 -- NOT!

    I don't see Chalkboard as saying "one size fits all", but rather that, looking at what is most important in improving the state-wide results -- and while some specific school systems might need help in other areas, in general what will improve Oregon's schools (not a specific school) appear to be the things Chalkboard choose. For the state, those are the best things to fund on limited budgets as they get the most bang for the taxpayer buck. If some schools don't need that, fine. We can get the next level of priority improvements after these are in place.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)

    "There's a mindset that we have to pour money in, rather than find ways to improve efficiencies," said Rep. Linda Flores, R-Clackamas, who is one of two Republican....

    There is a reason that Willamette Week rates Linda Flores dead last in their yearly roundup of our elected officials. She is a mindless, neocon, rubberstamp who has yet to have an independent, intelligent thought as an elected official.

    Don't kid yourself, she is 100% for dismantling public education and turning into a for-profit, home-school, religious experience.

    But if you want to throw her into a hissy, just ask her in a public forum to name, EXACTLY, what "efficiencies" we need to enact. I'm mean after all she has been in office three terms now. And don't get her started on the teacher's union because god forbid we should pay college educated professionals a decent wage with healthcare benefits and a retirement.

  • LT (unverified)

    The most interesting question to ask anyone talking about "effeciencies" is about administrative pay/ job descriptions/ evaluation.

    Anyone can go to, click on the NEWS tab at the top of the home page, choose "schools and youth", and look for the database of Salem-Keizer administrative salaries. It is not a current list (has the former supt. listed) but makes a point.

    SK pays 4 HR / personnel administrators an average of about $100,000 each. Try as they might, no one can blame that on "the teachers union". They don't even have a well functioning HR dept. at SK (by any measure) so why do they pay the administrators so much--"we've always done it that way"?

    I have no use for T. Smith's comments, though. Where has she been on the issue of administrative salaries all these years? Sounds like it is so much easier to play the "our group vs. that other group" game than to actually solve anything.

  • Dickey47 (unverified)

    I have yet to find good evidence that shows small classrooms are more effective. I have evidence that shows ability grouping in small groups works for teaching foundation skills such as reading, math, and maybe writing (Project Follow Through). Ability grouping, BTW, is NOT tracking because it uses the same text/curriculum but starts kids in different spots and progresses at a different pace.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Funny how the people who say "you can't throw money at schools" are the same people who toss Catlin Gable $21,000 (plus donations) per year for their kid's education.

    Versus the great state of Oregon which spends about $6,000 per kid. Tops.

    Who says blogs aren't funny??? I can't stop laughing!

  • blizzak (unverified)

    It's always funny to me that by the time people turn 30 or so they forget how terrible and dehumanizing the K-12 experience is for most children. The educational system is designed to crush the human spirit, encourage conformity, and create good workers/consumers. John Taylor Gatto has written extensively about this. Anyway, I can never get really excited about throwing more money at a broken system.

    Some facts from the NEA (numbers are from 04-05)

    -Oregon spends $7,842 per student. -Average salary for a teacher in Oregon public schools is $48,330. Pro-rates out to $64,440 per year if you figure the average teacher works 180 days a year compared to 240 for other workers.

  • Becky (unverified)

    Oh here we go on education.
    You folks are amazing. Scott, How do you know that Flores is a "mindless, neocon, rubberstamp who has yet to have an independent, intelligent thought as an elected official"? Have you ever even talked to her? I have. Yes she's elected.

    Get a grip fella. Of course if you were told by one of your equals that she is, "100% for dismantling public education and turning into a for-profit, home-school, religious experience"

    and you belived it, that explains much.

    No doubt many Republicans would like to see Jefferson High turned intot a public charter school. Your brilliant democrats and "For Kids" OEA would prefer it remain the same for another 20 years or close it down entirely. Anything but let someone else run it successfully. The students be damned.

    Is there no limit to the insanity here? I mean come on.

    ?"for-profit, home-school, religious experience"?

    Is that what Flores wants to turn our public schools into? Of course not. Do you have a basis for that charge. She would like to protect the Connections Academy online public charter school run by the Scio public school district. The OEA has tried to shut it down along with all other public charter schools. Flores would like to see some changes and avoid the perpetual attack by the OEA and prevent the ODE from cooking up more CIM-CAM like reforms. Many people want better public schools like Flores and are not democrats.

    Rep. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, a former high-school principal, "No one just wants to experiment on our kids," "There's a tradition among teachers and districts to be conservative with rapid change, because this is a generation of people."

    What? Ever heard of the grand experiment CIM-CAM? The big failed experiment pushed on for 15 years by Democrats, ODE, COSA, OSBA and fully enabled by the OEA even though it's members were strongly against it?

  • dddave (unverified)

    Leader, $6 k per kid? What numbers are you using? Certainly not the all funds budget and PERS? Spin, spin, spin. Chalkboard doesnt mention a thing about PERS costs, which averages somethere around 20% of schools entire budgets. Essentially the whole thing involves getting more money for schools, period. Helped by Tim Hibbits and Davis, Hibbitts, & Midghall, Inc. Specializing in corporate image projects. These folks seem to do really well with govt agencies, school districts, etc, to help these folks mold public opinion and manage an agenda. If still up on the Chalkboard site, you can discern from the so called polls or questionnaires given to parents of students that they are not asking the tough questions. Here are their BIG FINDINGS on public opinion poll in 2004:

    Not enough direct parental support … 83%* Lack of stable and adequate funding … 82% Not attracting/retaining highly qualified teachers … 71% Unfunded federal mandates … 70% Central administration waste & inefficiency … 70% They actually ask if Oregonians feel that their schools and education should be "amoung the best in the nation" WTF? Without asking, "what would you be willing to pay for such a system?" C'mon. The UNstable funding crap is mentioned and polled repeatably by DHM. Maybe if DHM printed the friggin budget amounts for the last 20 years for these focus groups to see, THEN ASK THAT SAME QUESTION!! Unstable my ass. Another pearl "Oregonians are split on whether schools need more money". haha And the last slide in their findings: 66% Said: Oregon’s K-12 public education system needs to do more about quality, accountability, and finance.

    <h1>61% Agree: Oregon needs a group of independent, non-partisan organizations to convene to improve the state’s K-12 education system.</h1>

    Yes, if we get some official sounding organizations that all agree the schools need more money, we wont be able to pin it on the politicians, mainly dems. Chalkboard is a shill.

  • (Show?)

    Teachers work more than 180 days a year.

    180 days a year is the length of an average school year (with recent cuts, some years are less -- which means the teachers make less since they aren't paid for the days that are cut).

    That often does not include teachers in-service days, the days before the school year starts when teachers are at the schools preparing their classroom, days they spend after the year ends closing down their classroom, developing their curriculum plans over the summer, etc.

    And $64K isn't that much, compared to average salary for someone with a Masters outside of teachers is $75K.

  • (Show?)

    $6 k per kid?

    The sentence said: "Versus the great state of Oregon which spends about $6,000 per kid."

    To me, that's saying the state (as in from the state budget) spends $6K per year. Schools do get funding from other sources, which would account for the remaining funds between $6K and $7,842.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)

    Oh Becky, I see you still haven't gotten your anger issues under control.

    Anyway, simply stating "no she doesn't" then going off on a rant about the CIM/CAM, Democrats, ODE, COSA, OSBA, and the OEA does not make for a cohesive discussion.

    So I'll leave you with WW 2006 election recommendation:

    In two terms in Salem, incumbent Republican Linda Flores has done nothing noteworthy. Labor, environmental and education groups rank her near the bottom of her peers, and she earned a perfect "zero" from the American Civil Liberties Union for her votes in the 2005 legislative session. Flores also earned dismal marks in WW's 2005 edition of "The Good, The Bad and the Awful."

    All of which is to say we'll take a gamble on her opponent, 23-year-old Ryan Olds, who graduated from Willamette University last spring. Olds spent one term as a legislative intern and, unless he kills somebody, cannot do worse than Flores.

  • TR (unverified)

    When the baby boomer generation was being educated in our public school systems, class sizes in districts like Portland were 30 plus to 40 students each, K through 12. Now, after years of being part of the work force and paying taxes, just when boomers are coming of retirement age and looking forward to what should be the golden years of their lives, large corporations are raiding their pension plans, moving operations overseas and finding ways not to retain them in their remaining years of employment.. Then along comes Chalkboard that wants take away even more of their soon to be fixed income to pay for mini-classes that are in many cases less the half the size of the classes boomers were educated in. Boomers who have been the backbone of the workforce have continually been taken advantage of, paying higher taxes to fund urban renewal, new development, alternative transport infrastructure, etc, ect, always paying for the future of somebody else. For boomers, their future is now! Expecting them to pay for an education they never received is just taking advantage of the boomer generation one more time to many. It just may very well be the straw that breaks their backs.

    Let’s be realistic and face this head on. When boomers received their education they did not have computers, the internet and the pre-sorted research information at their fingertips that makes learning a whole lot easier. If the people that have run industry, provided the leadership for government and protected this country in the armed services over the last several decades can be educated in large class sizes, then so can the youth of today. Chalkboard is simply asking for too much from those who have already been taken advantage of too many times. Boomers should have the right to live their lives without having to make any more sacrifices due to the long arm of the tax collector once again picking their pockets.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Oregon spends about $5,000 per kid on instruction and instruction-related work, according to the freshest data at Nat'l Clearinghouse for Educational Statistics at

    Oregon does spend about $8,000 per year, per kid, when you factor in the cost of sending Dudley Do Right back to Texas, Goldy Lite back to the MAC Club, etc,...

    In fact, PPS just spent tens of thousands of dollars to tear down one of its newest buildings -- Whitaker MS -- where I watched children be poisoned by the radon and mold in the basement that PPS refused to clean up and denied was even there. The kids said they had headaches and were tired and more than a few principals there said the kids were just lazy and needed more sleep. Yea, right!

    That money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, whether it is for for Dudley Do Wrong's new house in East Texas or Goldy Lite's new Hummer, has absolutely nothing to do with instruction, zip, so it does not count.

    I was wrong. It's $5,000 a year or so. Oops.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)

    TR: Or to phrase it another way (and my numbers may be off a little here), 20 years ago corporations in Oregon shouldered 30% to 40% of the state tax burden. Today corporations only contribute 6% to 8%.

    End corporate welfare (beer tax increase anyone?) and invest in all areas of education (not just K-12).

  • (Show?)

    Educations of the next generation are always better than what the previous received. It's called improvement.

    The baby boomers got a better education than those who were paying for it. Many of those paying the taxes for those schools probably didn't even graduate high school.

    I want kids to be able to get a better education than I did. I want the system to be looking for better ways to educate our kids. Sure they have computers and the internet. But what you don't get is that more is expected of them. The reports they write are held to a higher level than they would have a few generations ago.

    Education in the United States absolutely has to improve, or we're going to be left further and further behind. We're so far behind many of our counterparts in other parts of the world that it's not even funny.

  • (Show?)

    Well I bet Jenni Simonis' children would do a lot better in school than TR's. I'd rather have her as a parent than TR.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)

    To add to what Jenni posted, per the Programme for International Student Assessment the United States ranked:

    • 24th of 38 in mathematics
    • 9th of 38 in science
    • 7th of 38 in reading
    • 20th of 38 in problem solving.
  • (Show?)

    Our daughter will be starting school this fall, and we're looking forward to it.

    She's already writing her name, as well as a few other words, recognized a good number of words, and has learned the "trick" to counting (that starting with twenty, it's the same nine numbers added to twenty, thirty, etc.). She's doing remarkably well for a child who, with the exception of a few months when she was 2, has not gone to preschool.

    She's sure to do well in school, as we've made sure she is quite prepared. I also can't wait to get involved in the parents groups and volunteering. We're lucky enough to live just up the street from her school -- it's about 9 houses away.

    Unfortunately, most kids won't come to kindergarten as prepared as Abby.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    I remember going to big city schools back east in the 1960's when "Johnny Couldn't Read."


    All my generation did was build Silicon Valley, the Internet, the space program, put a man on the moon, create designer drugs that let you live 'til 100, etc,...

    We've been hearing that Johnny Can't Read "crapola" for 150 years now and it is just not true.

    Silicon Valley is in California, not Canada, not Germany, not England, but America.

    And thank god for that, otherwise, you'd be watching an old "I Love Lucy" rerun right now, instead of reading this blog on a computer designed in the... USA.

    Not Mexico.

  • Becky (unverified)

    Sid, How did that ever happen without the teacher's unions looking out for the kids?

    The OEA began "helping" Oregon schools in 1974.
    What a success story that has been. &@)^!+"^

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Sarcasm doesn't really work on blogs, Becky, so I will take your comment as a positive thing.

    Because if it was not for the union, teachers would make $1 an hour and live in their school's basement so they could start the furnace in the morning, like we used to back when schools were only allowed to hire "old maids".

    You an old maid?

    Hope not. I'm not, either.

  • (Show?)


    I was thinking the same thing when I was talking with my husband on this topic yesterday (he's a recovering Republican, but still a huge fiscal conservative).

    He too brought up the old days in schools -- when you often times had teachers who didn't even have a college degree teaching students. They taught students the absolute basics (basic reading, writing, and math), which pretty much equated to what you'd need to be able to work your farm, small family business, and the like. Teachers lived in a small home/room furnished by the school. They lived on very little money, many times getting donations of food from the community they served.

    That no longer works today, he said, since we expect much more of our students and our teachers. We expect masters degrees. We expect them to be constantly taking new classes, learning new things. We expect professionals. Yet because their pay and benefits come from tax money, we want to treat them poorly, giving them much less pay and benefits than they'd get working as a professional with a masters degree at a big company.

  • Becky (unverified)

    Boy Sid and Jenni, what a fairy tale. Without the teacher's union they would be paid "$1 an hour" "live in their school's basement" "have to start the furnace in the morning" would be "old maids". "live in a small home/room furnished by the school" "live on very little money" "get donations of food from the community"

    When was all of this? Funny Sid how you avoid like the plague pre-1974 when many of us went to school and teachers were great,
    schools were as good as today and graduates went on to do all the things you listed,,,without a union.

    Today the sama stellar performance without a union is all over the place. Many local public Charter Schools and private schools have very qualified and happy teachers who are compensatated well without any union. Many if not most are former union teachers. I have personally interviewed a number of them, former union public school teachers, here and in other states. They are quite specific in their preference and appreciation for their new school and nonunion environment. Most say the total compensation package is not quite as much but praise the teaching environment, school conditions, management and parent involvement as much better. Overall their career is more rewarding. I get the feeling you wouold turn every school into Jefferson before dumping your precious union. Is that about right?

    Why no comment on CIM-CAM? Your union and your Democrats perpetrated that assualt on our school children. What, are you such a political hack you only have room for trashing NCLB as a Bush/Republican blunder while giving your Ted Kenedy and Democrats a pass?

    You Democrat education wonks/advocates just never play it straight, do you? Never.

  • (Show?)

    Actually, I've known a number of people who were teachers before 1974. They have quite the stories to tell about how little they made, no benefits, etc. I've seen this both in Oregon and in Texas. Some of the teachers were there back when things were bad (they were young then) and continued after things got better. They talked about how much better things got -- not only did they have enough to live on, to buy their own house, etc., but they saw the level of education they can give to the students improve as well.

    Many private schools don't pay as well as public schools, and they do not have very good benefits. Nor do they require masters degrees. Yet they still spend a lot more per student than our public schools do.

    And it's not "my union." I've never been a member of a union. As far as I know, no member of my family is a member of a union either. I've had at least two members who were members of unions at one time -- one working for local governments in a professional job and one working for GM.

  • Becky (unverified)

    Jenni, That goes for many jobs in the 70s and 60s. Especaily , as you say, young and just starting out. Same goes for today for those just starting their careers. The teacher's union led to holding our schools hostage for excalating salaries and benefits far ahead of inflation and other similar careers. What teacher had inthe 79s was proportianate to the times and other jobs.

    You've known a "number of people who were teachers before 1974". Well, their stories don't neccessrily mean things were complete gloom and only the union could save them. Private school teachers have not been starving since. And your inference that they are less qualified or talented is off the mark. Of course they talked about it being better getting paid more with better beneifts. I'd imagine anyone would. And of COURSE they would claim that it made "the level of education they can give to the students improve". That was the beginning of "look at me how good I am give me tenure and more money.

    Most private schools pay close total compensation with the exception of PERS and age of retirement which is ridiculously lavish in for Oregon public school teachers. Masters a great teacher does not make.

    This is where you really are off the mark. "they still spend a lot more per student than our public schools do" Public charter schools don't spend more. They only get 80% of the state share and spend 30-45% less. Catlin Gable type schools are the spendy private schools that are not good comparisons. Christain schools are also hard to compare but they spend much more wisely. All of these private schools have stellar teachers without the PERS/early retirement excesses.

    Sorry, I was talking to Sid about "his" union. I think he is a teacher. I don't know what your job is.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)


    You seem a bitter woman. I am sorry for that. I am more sorry that you speak in rhetoric and anecdotes instead of facts. Do you have any facts to back up your pet theories or do you just spew misinformation?

    I don't know what your job is, either, other than to spread disinformation. I guess that pre-1974 period was quite an era for education. I'm glad that things have improved since then in terms of student outcomes.

  • (Show?)

    This is where you really are off the mark. "they still spend a lot more per student than our public schools do" Public charter schools don't spend more. They only get 80% of the state share and spend 30-45% less.

    Charter schools are different than both public and private schools. They're a non-profit school running in conjunction with the public school district. However, they only have to have half their teachers be licensed instructors. They get some funding from the state, but basically work like any other non-profit: they have to raise funds themselves. Studies have also shown they underperform public schools at the middle and high school levels. They get "at least" 80% of the per student funding that would normally come from the state. In some instances, they get more. They then make up the difference. A good number of the charter schools that have closed down have done so because of financial reasons. They're also able to keep costs low by hiring those who are not certified (From the handbook: "At least fifty percent of the total FTE (full time equivalency) must be licensed teachers and/or administrators. The other fifty percent must be registered by the TSPC" - Teacher Standards and Practices Commission).

    As to private schools:

    Actually, having had several family members in private school, and knowing other parents whose kids are in such schools, I know this to be a fact. Besides that, last year I looked at the per student cost at these schools.

    Their per student cost (which just like public schools doesn't include construction and such) is higher than public schools. Many have tuitions that start out between $7-10,000. Then they bring in additional funds through connected churches, alumni, fundraisiers, etc.

    St. Mary's, for instance, has a tuition of $8,550. They actually spend $12,000 per student.

    Central Catholic: tuition: $8,124; cost per student: $10,687

    Portland Adventist: tuition ranges between $7,875 and $9,250, depending on if you're a member of an affiliated church. I could not locate the actual per student amount.

    Jesuit: tuition: $8,950; per student: $11,150

    Portland Jewish Academy: Tuition: TK - 5th Grade: $12,345 Tuition: Middle School: $12,745 According to their web site, the actual cost per student is approximately $2000 more than the tuition cost.

    As you can see, these are all considerably higher than public schools.

    And you have to remember that many of these rates do not include all the lab fees and such the students pay, plus application fees (that run in the hundreds of dollars).

    Some of the teachers I talked about were retired by the time they made the claims about education improving. They weren't just saying it so that it appeared they deserved their paychecks.

  • Erik Sorensen (unverified)

    Besides what Jenni Simonis highlighted in her above comment regarding blizzak’s claim that teachers only work 180 days, my wife spent 1 month last summer before the 180 school days even started getting her new classroom together and doing other duties, which were all mandatory.

    Aside from in-service days and other summer vacation duties, she spends most of her what you term "free-time" during the summers taking classes to stay current on her state license endorsements requirements and the latest teaching techniques, which all cut into OUR personal budget.

    Also, when not at the school building, she works from home in between dinnertime and bedtime grading papers and working on lesson plans. You don't really think she has time when the children are in the classroom to do that, do you? Oh, and her 15 minute lunch break she sometimes gets, that time she spends preparing for the afternoon section and grading papers.

    Don’t forget, she also makes weekly trips to the store for supplies which she needs and those she makes available to the children whose parents don't provide. This also cuts into OUR personal budget. That big 34,000 she makes per year doesn't seem that big after all does it.

    So next time you accuse a public school teacher of making the "big bucks" and only working 180 days (1440 hours a year), you need to actually do some research into how it really works for them. Maybe try talking to a teacher instead of relying on Lars Larson's gibberish--who, by the way dropped out of public school.

    You know, my wife is an extremely intelligent and dedicated teacher, and goes way above and beyond for the very modest wages she makes. She never complains and always puts the children first. But really, from my perspective, heaven forbid my wife had to do all of what she does working for an "efficient private school" where she would be lucky if she just above minimum wage.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)

    I find those without a Master's degree, without healthcare benefits, and without a retirement are extremely bitter about those who do.

    Second, I have a Master's degree and I haven't made as little as 55-60k in twenty years. I also don't have to pay for my own office materials for my co-workers nor do I have to pay out of my own pocket for additional education.

    As far as the "ridiculously lavish" pay for Oregon teachers, drive by any public school parking lot and you will see the largest collection of decade old Volvos, Jetta, and Toyotas.

    Drive into my parking lot and you will park between a Lexus and a BMW.

  • Harry (unverified)

    Where is BlogCop Kari when you need him?

    The Post says Chalkboard Project: Friend or Foe?

    Why don't you stick to the topic at hand?

    Are the policies that CP is pushing friendly or not?

    I guess it depends on who you are....

    ...unions? (Looks to me that Union leaders view CP as a foe) ...teachers? (Some view CP as a friend for stable funding and accountability goals) ...administrators? ...students? ...parents? ...taxpayers?


  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Thanks Jenni and Scott and all for your support. It helps.

    As for Becky's rants... well... teachers did make a few bucks a day and live in the school's basement and were not allowed to marry back in the day. Those are called facts, not opinions.

    Another fact for you. The OEA never pushed CIM/CAM. That (bad idea) was dreamed up by former Mayor Vera Katz when she was in Salem. Another f-a-c-t. I've been against it since Day One because of lack of money and support and the fact that 99% of colleges in USA did not care about it and did not understand it.

    I'm a teacher. I deal in facts. You may have your own opinions, however uninformed and warped they may be, but not your own facts.

    Final fact -- I am a 30-year Independent voter -- which comes from my working as a journalist for CNN and Gannett both here and around the world.


  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)

    OK Harry, you have a point ....

    Let's review the Chalkboard proposed changes as developed by 5 Oregon Foundations for a better K-12 schools (this list can be found on the Collins Foundation website):

    1. Attract and Retain Quality Educators and Administrators

    This cost money.

    1. Focus on Funding and Accountability

    Oh I think there has been plenty of focus on the funding as we watched the republican legislature cut, cut, and cut again the school budget so we are now ranked right alongside with Mississippi for public education.

    As for accountability, this is easy for anyone the say this, but I've waited 12 years for someone, ANYONE, to come up with a concrete example how millions and millions of dollars are just plain wasted. Yet there's Linda Flores spewing her neocon talking point of "improve efficiencies philosophical distinction."

    1. Involve Parents and Communities

    And exactly who is against this?

    1. Understand School Budgets

    Who reads them? Who cares? How does this make your child learn any better?

    1. Effectively Use Transportation Dollars They say "Oregon can save money by providing fixed grants to districts for transportation costs, instead of reimbursing districts for a large percentage of actual costs." Translation - let's cut the transportation budget and let the districts figure it out for themselves.

    2. Create a Centralized System of Online Purchasing

    Wow, great idea! They are already doing that.

    1. Optimize Federal Funds for Special Education

    "Optimize" - wow another great loaded word just like "maximize efficiencies."

    1. Create a Statewide Student Data System

    Are you telling me that a large company like Nike, Intel, or other private sector companies have just 1 payroll system or just 1 HR department location? No they do not. "Consolidation" is another loaded buzz word. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Consolidation does not automatically translate into savings.

    1. Conduct Community Audits

    "For better efficiency and to encourage community connection, school districts should regularly conduct performance audits — and involve community members in the process." Ok, I'll bite - just exactly what do you mean here? And who will pay for this? And just exactly how do you measure performance? Attendance, test scores, graduation rates? Sorry, those are already measured.

    1. Reduce Class Sizes for K–1

    Excuse me, we've been told for 12 years that class size doesn't matter. The republican run legislature also cut 20+ days of education. Why don't we restore both?!?

    1. Work One-to-One with Early Readers
    2. Take Attendance More Seriously
    3. Create Safe and Respectful Learning Environments
    4. Emphasize Student Health

    And who is against any of these policies?

    1. Expand Public School Choices "The Legislature and Oregon Department of Education should seriously explore statewide open enrollment, making it easier for all Oregon students to choose from any regular, charter or magnet school, or special emphasis program around the state."

    I just knew they were going to throw this in there. As much as I'd like to comment on charter and home schooling and the use of taxpayer funds to pay for this failed folly, that is an entirely new thread.

    In conclusion, restore the budget, restore the school days, and reduce class size back to 22-24 students and then we can talk about moving forward. But the Chalkboard Project is just more feelgood, empty, well-meaning suggestions that we haven't already heard before.

  • Becky (unverified)

    Sid, You are out of your mind or out of honesty if you think the OEA did not participate in perpetrating and sustaining CIM-CAM. You are one warped teacher. I hope you don't share your "facts" with your students.

    I'm not even going to dignify your pathetic revisionists history with the examples of how they did. But having talked to Salem Education Association Pres. Steve Evans who touted it , talked to OEA president James Sager who defended it, debated a high school union rep who praised it (but never poller her own teachers), Neither did the OEA. and I followed the whole mess, I know that your union and every one of the local unions sold out the students and joined school administrators in the promotion, and/or stood passive and were absolutely complicit in the reckless, irresponsible and wasteful experiment.

    Next thing you'll be doing is saying it wasn't a Democrat assault on our schools when every single democrat lined up to tout it, support it and defend it while many republican tried to end it.

    I certainly don't need your elementary lesson on the subject. I think I picked up the Vera Katz thing about the time she originally pushed it with then Senate President Democrat John Kitzhaber.

    The only f-a-c-t you offer that is reliable is that you had been against it since Day One.

    It wasn't for lack of money since every school district implemented it by stealing from other programs. In direct violation of the reform act which called for new funding before implementation.

    It wasn't for lack of support since it was ushered along with one lie after another and everyone was coerced to jump on board. And there was coercion.

    It wasn't 99 of colleges that had no use for it. It was 100% including ALL of our own Oregon colleges. They understood it fine. That it didn't measure anything with any correlation to any national norm or anything useful. Yet most districts told students and parents the CIM would be needed for HS graduation for college and even to get a good job. That's one heck of a way to push a reform. Lie to people.

    It's kind of funny but your excuses are nearly verbatim the same as Vera Katz herself. But you must now that. After all you are a teacher. You deal in facts.

    Another funny thing is how CIMCAM has faded away in virtual silence. Not even so much as a farewell lecture from the Oregonian editorial board who delivered regular doses of CIMCAM promotion just as the ODE, COSA, OSBA, OEA and the Democrats wanted.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)

    Oh Bitter Becky, there you go again with your anger issues and diarrhea of the keyboard. Just because you type it doesn't make it true:

    I know that your union and every one of the local unions sold out the students and joined school administrators in the promotion, and/or stood passive and were absolutely complicit

    WRONG Find one article, mailer, promotion piece, or union directive that proves this fabrication.

    when every single democrat lined up to tout it, support it and defend it

    WRONG I'm a progressive democratic party member and I didn't support then nor do I support it today. My neighbor is a teacher and a republican - she doesn't support it. My other neighbor is a principal and a progressive democratic party member and she doesn't support it. When you paint with a broad brush you look, well, like an assclown.

    It wasn't for lack of money since every school district implemented it by stealing from other programs.

    WRONG Administrators just can't at a whim move money without authorization.

    And there was coercion

    WRONG And you can prove this how?

    But you must now that. WRONG It should be "But you must KNOW that." But then again if you had Sid as your teacher in high school, you would KNOW that.

    Yet most districts told students and parents the CIM would be needed for HS graduation for college and even to get a good job.

    WRONG CIM was 100% voluntary. It was never a requirement to graduate from any high school in Oregon. Stop lying to prove your point.

    Another funny thing is how CIMCAM has faded away in virtual silence. Not even so much as a farewell lecture from the Oregonian editorial board

    WRONG There are 88 articles in the Oregonian archive.

    Now get up, go stand in the corner, and write on the board "I will not waste everyone's time at Blue Oregon without doing my homework first" 100 times.

in the news 2007

connect with blueoregon