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Title Also Applies to the ASUO

Chuck Slothtower talks about “A complicted, expensive, rubric-ridden farce”. Of all the things he could finally be recognizing, it is the CIM.

Sure, I have issues with the CIM (Certificate of Initial Mastery). I think it’s bullshit, but just as much bullshit as anything else they put upon high schoolers in effort to make education worthwhile. The CIM falls into the same hole as everything else in high school curriculum: some people don’t want to go to college, and that is a perfectly acceptable path to choose.

Chuck’s argument is right on track, and is a vailant attempt to right the wrongs of one Ailee Slater: “The CIM is a solution in search of a problem. Long ago, teachers invented these things called ‘grades’… students who did well enough earned a ‘diploma’…An even simpler way to deal with grade inflation would be to grade tougher and make assignments more difficult.”

Sure, but that would make things a lot harder for the kids who come to class drunk after lunch. Like I did. Suckers.

  1. Timothy says:

    “If A then B” logically implies “If not B then not A” but it doesn’t logically imply “If B then A”. Nor does it imply “If not A then not B”.

    Economically speaking, Jean-Claude is looking at things from the perspective of revealed preference. The statement is “If teachers are in schools, then they can’t find better employment, because if they could they would leave.” And, while I think that revealed preference is useful, it may be dying. Further, there are non-monetary incentives and while folks may be able to get higher paying jobs in some other industry they may basically like teaching.

    The main problem, so far as I’m concerned, is the inability to fire really crappy teachers because of union power. There’s a finite amount of money to go around in a school system, even a public one. Lack of competition, constant carping about class size, and an inability to get rid of people are likely what’s causing the massive problems.

    If even the supply of labor for teaching were free, even leaving the public schools otherwise alone, I think we’d see massive improvements. Bad or incompetent people would lose their jobs, freeing up resources to hire better folks or reward good employees.

    It’s also not quite right to conclude that because teachers are still there, the market wouldn’t support them at higher wages. Competition along with the relatively high demand for education would likely drive wages for good teachers up because they would go from being beholden to union contracts (and thusly not being able to negotiate their own wage) to valuable pieces of human capital capable of negotiating their own market-clearing wage.

    Speaking very generally, it is often true that teachers at private schools have lower wages than teachers at public schools, but that’s no average not necessarily at the margin. Keep in mind that the average includes administrators, who are often paid much better than teachers. The reasons for this are probably pretty complicated, but my conjecture is that people suffer from the sunk-cost fallacy: they figure they’ll have to pay property taxes for the school anyway, and decide not to spend the money on private education while ignoring the marginal benefit.

    So speaketh the me.

  2. Scott says:

    I hate to be the logical ones, but almost all of your arguments are flawed from a purely Aristotilian perspective. If then statements are logical, perhaps even if not then not statements, but please for the sake of God Timothy back me up on this, if not then statements are categorically unreasonable under any system of reason and logic. If not in the private sector then bla bla bla is simply not a statment that can stand under the scrutiny of logical discourse. And I can make an argument that the market would support the current pay for teachers in the public education sector, in the same way that I could argue that the pay of a soldier in the US army is transferable — and indeed lower — than what that same soldier will make as a private intelligence consultant or security expert. Just because the government happens to have a monopoly on one particular section of society does not immediately therefore mean that the scales and systems in place in that section are not transferable. I think some of you need to take a refresher on logic and economics. I know you hate me Tim, but come on, please admit I’m sort of correct.

  3. Jean-Claude Ontario says:

    Yes, I can say that all public school teachers are overpaid. They would be teaching at private schools if the free market was to reign, but since they work for a public school, the government has to PAY THEM MORE than they would earn in the private sector. Schiess.

  4. Jean-Claude Ontario says:

    No they couldn’t argue from a market perspective! The fact that they don’t find employment elsewhere means that they are perfectly satisfied with their current wage! Your opinion is wrong! LoL!

    We need to bring that back, since when are all opinions right? If I’m of the opinion that the UO provides great education, my opinion is WRONG!

  5. Stacy says:

    As someone who had to supposedly complete CIM, and who currently goes to an Oregon college… I don’t remember my college ever asking anything about CIM. Oh well!

  6. Scott says:

    Let me say again that I am not saying that the current model for public education is the one that we should use, just that it is an illogical statement to make that because some, or indeed even most of teachers are overpaid that all of them necessarily are. I think that teachers who are really doing their jobs could argue from a purely market perspective that their salaries are too low. Just my thoughts and opinon.

  7. Jean-Claude Ontario says:

    Scott, if you think they should be paid more, then you can give them money. Obviously the benefits preceived (pay, time off) are more than what they’d make in the private sector, because they are there!

    There are a lot of good people working in the public sector though. There is nothing wrong with the SAT’s, people pay for them and school want ’em. In fact, the strongest measure of post-collegic salary is AP test completions…

    There are a shit-load of public schools in this country that fucking suck. What else are the socialists supposed to do? They literally have a mint creating money for the schools. That hasn’t worked…so lets try something new to prod on the sorry state of public education… It’s pathetic.

  8. Scott says:

    And for the record, building administrators do NOT get summers off like teachers do. Principals and Assistant — or Vice — Principals get exactly three paid weeks of vacation in the summer, and not a day more. I can attach at least a dozen administrative contracts and schedules if you want to see that in writing, by the way.

  9. Scott says:

    All right Melissa, we’ll start this out by ranting about the Asian girls so you believe it’s me. That being said, my father is Assistant Principal at La Creole Middle School in Dallas Oregon, and though he makes more money than I do, it is hardly six figures. I think my father would agree with me that there are really only 2 types of public educators in America, due largely to the Unions: those who bust their asses every day and earn every penny of their salary, and those who just don’t give two shiny fecal stains. There really isn’t any in between. I’ve seen how hard my father works, and if anything, the man is overworked and grossly underpaid, and certainly unappreciated, but he would tell you at the same time that there are school administrators who are just as lazy and worthless as the worst stereotypes. Anyway, just some food for thought.

  10. Michael G. says:

    “I can almost assure you that your high school councelor, dead or alive, could give a shit about your GPA. By the way, the “you’re never going to college” rap is used all the time by councelors and teachers alike to light a fire under underperforming students. Mission accomplished, eh Mr. Barnhart.”

    No, actually I was ignorant enough about college at the time that I accepted his diagnosis and joined the Army a few weeks later.

    Oh well, it was good for me: first, because it kept me from getting fat until I was 26. Second, now that I’m a senior in credits at this world-class institution (heh), I am glad I got the forty grand in education benefits… hardly any school debt.

  11. Timothy says:

    I like to say that I came out well educated to spite the public schools.

  12. Melissa says:

    Jan: That particular class was even better with a water bottle full of vodka. usted tiene gusto de la vodka? tengo gusto de la vodka, tambi?!

  13. Jan says:

    High School is a joke with or without standardized tests. If you like meaningless busy work, you’ll get good grades without learning much. If you don’t like busy work, you’ll get shitty grades without learning much. And is it my fault that Spanish class was about a thousand times better after a couple bong hits? They shouldn’t have scheduled the damn class right after lunch 😀

  14. Melissa says:

    Michael has a point. GPA, or high school performance, has little to no bearing on success after high school.

    Just an aside: I’m sure that Mrs. Etter is dead, but I thought it would be nice to point out that she gave me an “F” on my research methods in AP English, and now those same methods she criticized are my strongest academic asset. Dried up old hag.

  15. Casey says:

    I would agree, if it weren’t for the 6 figure salaries that some high school administrators pull in. They may have failed at most everything, but getting 100K a year with summers off and a sweet PERS package is winning in my opinion.

  16. Timothy says:

    High school counselors, like other high school administrators, are sad people who’ve failed at life. They should be ignored, belittled, and marginalized at every opportunity.

  17. Casey says:

    I can almost assure you that your high school councelor, dead or alive, could give a shit about your GPA. By the way, the “you’re never going to college” rap is used all the time by councelors and teachers alike to light a fire under underperforming students. Mission accomplished, eh Mr. Barnhart.

  18. Michael G. says:

    “The claim is that the CIM preps kids for college. But most colleges don’t even look at SAT or other socres unless the applicant’s GPA is below a certain level. I busted my ass taking the SAT, but my GPA was so good that it meant nothing. It was a complete waste.”

    Hah, I trumped it all. I went to the CC first, and all I had to do was provide UO with some minimum amount of 100- & 200-level credits graded C or better, and I was in. Piece of cake.

    To think a HS counselor told me “people with your GPA (2.1-2.2) don’t get into college. You are never going to college.” If he wasn’t dead I’d call him up and laugh in his ear.


    Maybe I’ll dance on his grave as a graduation present to myself.

    Okay, now I’m worked up… I’ll expand on this and submit two minutes of hate.

  19. Olly says:

    This sort of nonsense has been going on across the pond for a while now. The so-called “National Curriculum” (standardized tests and school “league tables” out the wazoo, in other words) has been a horrible idea since its inception in the early 90s, and it hasn’t gotten any less horrible under the Blair administration.

    On the other hand, there are now many more six-figure salaries available for educational consultants, meaning that we can radically increase the amount of money we spend on education without one cent (or penny, depending on the country) making it to a damn classroom. So it’s not all bad news!

  20. Melissa says:

    In addition to the already meaningless battery of standardized tests?

    The claim is that the CIM preps kids for college. But most colleges don’t even look at SAT or other socres unless the applicant’s GPA is below a certain level. I busted my ass taking the SAT, but my GPA was so good that it meant nothing. It was a complete waste.

    As for the CIM, it and other standardized tests do not predict individual college-level success.

  21. Casey says:

    I worked for about a year in a high school exclusively working on bringing up CIM test scores, with quite a bit of success. Students know it’s bullshit, teachers know it’s bullshit, administration knows it’s bullshit, but none of that matters since NCLB mandates student testing. You could get rid of CIM, but you’d just have to replace it with an equally as worthless standardized test.

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