|Bennett's Blog: Plan developing to dump CIM and CAM|
by Chuck Bennett, Director of Governmental Relations
CIM and CAM – the acronyms that send some radio talk show hosts into paroxysms of invective describing millions of dollars in government waste – appear to be headed for the dustbin of Oregon education history. Or at least that’s the plan under review at the Oregon Department of Education, State Board of Education and in the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo.
They may sound like the answer to that public radio show “Car Talk” questions involving an engine whine followed by a series of low thuds and your windshield wipers stop working. You can hear “Click” and “Clack” telling the caller something like, “Don’t listen to my brother. He’s still driving a ’63 Dodge Dart. You know the one with a transmission controlled by dashboard push buttons. The only other vehicle on earth like it is the Space Shuttle.”
It appears Oregon’s state level education establishment has decided to lose the terms. The bottom line question is whether in dropping the names, the underlying commitment to proficiency measurement loses ground to the old system based on seat time. Not likely, is the reply. In fact, department folks working on the CIM/CAM issue say that proficiency including portfolios or other demonstration systems is central to any revisions being considered.
Elimination of the CIM and CAM, which never really went into effect, is the public relations centerpiece of the larger review underway of state graduation requirements. Beyond that discussion, which is being financed by several hundred thousand dollars of Gates Grant money, ODE staffers are working on a revision of ORS 329, the “Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century.” Plans now are to begin pulling together interested parties for a wholesale review of the statute with an eye toward eliminating pesky terms like CIM and CAM and at the same time clarify sections no one appears to have understood in the nearly decade and a half the law has been on the books and eliminate or update sections that have been on the books but out of the classroom for lack of interest or money.
Examples like a mandatory teacher mentoring program abound in the law and ODE staffers argue it’s time to clean them up, get them funded or get them out of the law. It also gives the department a chance to take statutory note of new programs like the state’s recently adopted and partially funded Virtual School District, federal requirements under No Child Left Behind and clarify the entire section in ORS 329.025 describing the characteristics of a school system.
It also offers an opportunity to rewrite the portion of the law regarding the Oregon report card and determine how it fits with NCLB and include new data characteristics unimagined when the card was created. The rewrite is expected to take on issues like early childhood education, integration of the “growth model” for measure student progress, clarify the current waiver system and rewrite the state assessment system.
The plan is a very big bill that will confront legislators with a major rewrite of state education policy. But the folks at ODE also are convinced the entire thing can be done without really changing anything districts are currently doing or have adopted as a result of the old ORS 329 scheme. They haven’t figured out how to recognize kids that meet what we will no longer call CIM standards or how school to work programs will shake out (it goes by the name never to be mentioned). But, this will be part of the rewrite process.
This also will be an opportunity for some new ideas but no one has yet ventured too far from ODE central with those suggestions. What’s clear is that this project will dovetail with the other one to revamp Oregon graduation requirements incorporating a lot of the thinking that gets rid of CIM and CAM but keeps the concepts and incorporates them into the diploma.
This review will be an opportunity for expansive thinking and one that we hope will excite conversation among COSA members. Please take time to write us your opinions or ideas on this blog and we’ll be sharing them with decision makers at the department.
|This page was last updated on Wednesday, June 07, 2006 .|