Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Globe offers no mention of mass exodus of Joplin teachers, shoves big-money stories to inside pages

Approximately 100 teachers have left the Joplin R-8 School District, on their own or at the request of administration, and it appears nowhere in today's Joplin Globe or in any other edition for that matter.

While the Globe plays the same holier-than-thou game of refusing to use anonymous sources (the people who could be giving Globe reporters the best information are the ones who are in danger of losing their jobs if they speak on the record), the problems in the school district continue to grow.

More than 20 Joplin High School teachers will not be back when school resumes in August, including at least eight math teachers. Almost the entire faculty at McKinley Elementary will be changed, and major changes are also in store at other district buildings.

Meanwhile the Joplin Globe, the area's newspaper of record, offers its coverage of Tuesday's board of education meeting on page four of its print edition. allows district officials to push off the coming year's deficit budget on construction expenditures, and headlines the story with news that a district plan has been adopted (one which talks about the importance of high employee morale at the same time that the district is scrambling to replace the teachers who are leaving and is considering keeping others in their jobs unwillingly for another year because there are not enough available replacements).

As the Globe's main article emphasized this strategic plan and the budget pronouncements, in a small area in a corner of the article titled "Other business," it is casually mentioned that nearly $300,000 is being spent to give all district eighth graders IPads. (That total is actually around $320,000 when you include the protective devices for the IPads, which the board also approved last night, but are not mentioned anywhere in the article).

On the same inside page that features the board of education story you can find major articles of interest to Joplin readers including the following:

-"One million worth of properties bought along 20th Street"

-"Announcement on Joplin mosque plans closer"

What an embarrassment of riches that the Globe has so many good stories that it can put three stories of vital importance to Joplin readers on an inside page.

Not necessarily.

Page one of today's Globe features a cutesy feature on summer camps, complete with two photos, a feature about a cross-country runner raising money for clean water in Africa, an AP story on the U. S. Supreme Court's rejection of part of the Voting Rights Act, and Wally Kennedy's coverage of a Missouri Supreme Court decision rejecting the efforts of a McDonald County woman who was convicted of murder 17 years ago to get a new trial.

Page one in a newspaper is an indication of the editors' priorities. Apparently, the spending, whether wisely or wastefully, of millions of dollars of taxpayer money is not a top priority for the Joplin Globe.


Anonymous said...

Admitting that there is something terribly wrong with the school district does not fit in with the feel-good rebuilding stories. It might drive prospective businesses and future community members away, not to mention what few donations might still be trickling in. Better to just not air that dirty laundry. Sweep it under the rug. No one likes teachers, anyway, right? Why even have them, or those expensive schools? Give the kids computers, send them home or to a fast food operation with free WiFi, and just have a few monitors at computers in the central office. No more worries about behaviors, attendance, hiring/firing. And who knows, it might be good for the economy with kids having so much more time to eat out and shop. It's a win-win. Right?

Anonymous said...

The spending is phenomenal and no big deal was made of that. The teachers are leaving, but maybe the Globe just didn't know. The school employment page is rarely updated. It doesn't say how many teachers are needed, just math teacher or elementary teacher, etc., is listed. And there is rarely a total reported each month. It's been a pretty big secret except for the Turner Report. One in six teachers should be getting national media attention after all the glory and donations that were bestowed here. What a wasted opportunity to do great things instead of whatever was the newest thing. How's that working out for you, Joplin? Where are the parents? I don't understand the meekness of the parents there. What is more important than this to you? Maybe that's why the administration and the media get away with this--no one cares enough to hold anybody accountable.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those afraid to mention my name so I don't get fired. Please keep reporting Randy. You are my only source of local news now that I can read online without paying for it. I don't watch tv much and don't watch news. Would rather read mine. Please keep reporting!