Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The new high school looks great!

Tonight was the first time I ever set foot in the new high school.

I am sorry it took so long.

I know it's not new to you guys any longer, but a lot of planning obviously went into it.

Great job, Carthage!

Sam Graves: Government is the problem

(From Sixth District Congresssman Sam Graves)

President Reagan once famously stated that, "government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." I couldn’t agree more. I’ve long said that government does not create jobs. What government can do is enact policies that set the table for economic growth and provide certainty to small businesses.

For instance, we must have a tax structure that is competitive with the rest of the world. We need to streamline our tax code so that small businesses spend less time trying to calculate how much they owe the government, and more time trying to figure out how to grow their business so they can hire more people.

We must also put a stop to the unnecessary and crushing regulations coming from unaccountable bureaucrats in federal agencies. Washington’s endless stream of rules and regulations has become an obstacle to growth. If we are serious about getting people back to work, we need to cut the red tape. That’s why I have introduced legislation to stop an out of control EPA and voted once again to fully repeal Obamacare and all of its job-killing costs and regulations. These are two common sense steps in the right direction to giving small businesses and all hardworking Americans some much needed relief.

Small businesses want to hire and invest in their people, but they need certainty from Washington. Our job will not be done until everyone who wants a job, can find a job.

Ceremonial signing planned for pro-life bill

(From Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka)

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones and Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey will hold a ceremonial bill signing for one of the strongest pieces of pro-life legislation in the nation. The ceremony will take place Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. at the Freedom Center of Missouri in Washington, Mo.

Jones and the members of the Missouri General Assembly came together in overwhelming bipartisan fashion during the annual Veto Session to override the governor’s veto of the pro-life bill (HBs 1307 & 1313). When the bill takes effect as law on Friday, Oct. 10, Missouri will join South Dakota and Utah as the only states in the nation to require a 72-hour reflection period before obtaining an abortion. Current law in Missouri requires a 24-hour wait.

“With this monumental piece of legislation Missouri now becomes one of the safest states in the nation for the unborn. The members of the Missouri General Assembly believe in doing all we can to protect the lives of the innocent and I was so proud of my colleagues for coming together in a bipartisan supermajority to override the governor’s unconscionable veto,” said Jones, R-Eureka. “This is a great day in Missouri for all of us who have worked so hard to implement this common sense reform that will save lives.”

Joplin superintendent in charge of two of state's seven Blue Ribbon Schools

·Former Joplin R-8 Superintendent Jim Simpson's Lindbergh School District accounted for two of the seven Blue Ribbon Schools announced today by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The news release from DESE is printed below:

Seven public schools in Missouri have been honored as 2014 Blue Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Education announced on Tuesday.Missouri's Blue Ribbon Schools are:

Concord Elementary, Lindbergh School District

· Festus Elementary, Festus R-VI School District

 Henry Elementary, Parkway C-2 School District

Lincoln College Prep, Kansas City 33 School District

 Long Elementary School, Lindbergh School District

Mason Ridge Elementary School, Parkway C-2 School District

· North Glendale Elementary School, Kirkwood R-VII School District

The national award recognizes schools whose students achieve at very high levels or who have made significant progress to close gaps in achievement, especially among disadvantaged and minority students.

“Being named a Blue Ribbon School is one of the highest honors a school can receive,” said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro. “Administrators and teachers are working hard to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to be ready for college, postsecondary training and a career. Everyone’s efforts are to be commended.”

College and career readiness is a primary goal of the state's Top 10 by 20 initiative, which calls for Missouri to rank among the top 10 performing states nationally in education by the year 2020.

These seven schools were honored earlier this year in the state-level Gold Star Schools program, which is conducted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

More than 7,000 schools across the country have been honored as Blue Ribbon Schools since the program was founded in 1982. The state and national programs are part of a larger effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school-leadership and teaching practices.

The winners will be recognized November 10-11 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Billy Long: Are Secret Service tweeting and playing games on smartphones?

In what the magazine Roll Call described as a wild line of questions, Seventh District Congressman Billy Long had some interesting ideas of what the Secret Service have been doing instead of taking care of President Obama and his family:

Pierson also faced scrutiny for low morale at the agency, plus a wild line of questions from Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., about whether agents were using smartphones to play games or tweet while on duty. By the end of the hearing, members were suggesting discipline or firings at the agency.

Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes possible Thursday for Joplin area

(From the National Weather Service)

313 PM CDT TUE SEP 30 2014











No onsite parking for Joplin High School dedication, ribbon-cutting

(From Joplin Schools)

We're four days away from the JHS/FTC dedication and ribbon cutting! The event starts at 1 p.m. on Friday. It will be open to the public and includes special guests Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. 

Please watch www.joplinschools.org for details regarding community shuttles to the event (there will be no on-site parking) and security information. We're working fast and furious to finalize all of the plans - stay tuned! There will also be a community open house at the school that evening from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Study cites Joplin as 10th most dangerous city in Missouri

A report from KOAM's Jordan Aubey KOAM TV 7

Bond set at $300,000 for former Baxter Springs coach in sex case

A report from KOAM's Lisa Olliges KOAM TV 7

SW Missouri teachers continue battling Amendment 3

A report from KOLR's Matt Lupoli

Monday, September 29, 2014

C. J. Huff responds to PSU logo controversy: We'll take money from anybody

In his latest blog post, Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff responds to the furor that took place after the posting last week on social media of a goal post at Jnnge Field with a Pittsburg State University logo on it.

Schools across the country are constantly challenged with coming up with new and creative ways to expand programming and support for students. In an era when state and federal dollars are reduced, withheld, and redistributed, finding new revenue sources is a necessity.

Not unlike colleges, universities, and private schools, public schools are beginning to wade into the world of marketing and advertising to secure new funding streams. At Joplin Schools, the Board of Education has taken steps to move forward into this world by aligning policy and establishing protocol for the sale of advertisement and naming rights on school campuses. Particularly at the new Joplin High School, it’s athletic complexes, and Franklin Technology Center. 

The idea of advertising on school property is not a new concept. For decades, banners have been hung from football stadiums, inside basketball arenas, and on the outfield fences of baseball and softball fields. Corporate sponsorships of teams and student organizations have also not been unusual. Like most school districts, we’ve done it for years. Just not in a structured, well organized, and intentional way.

One of the things I am most proud of is the fact that in Joplin Schools we don’t believe we exist in a vacuum. Joplin is a regional hub and depends on the surrounding region to support our community. Smart initiatives such as the Joplin Regional Prosperity Initiative and Bright Futures look for ways to engage the resources in the four state area to build bridges, instead of walls, between communities and across state lines. No small task, but a necessary and important effort in this time where resources are limited and collaboration is a must for progress and prosperity. 

For the last seven years, we have been building partnerships regionally between Joplin Schools and human service agencies, other school districts, colleges and universities, faith-based organizations, businesses, and industry. They are all partners in our on-going efforts to provide ample opportunities to support our children’s education. Today it is not uncommon for competing businesses and other organizations to set at the same table and problem solve together.

A great example of this effort in action was the recent collaboration between Missouri Southern State University, Crowder College, Franklin Technology Center and Joplin Schools. Because of these partnerships we are now able to offer more advanced certifications, dual credit, advanced placement courses, and the opportunity for high school students to earn an associate’s degree at the same time they earn a high school diploma. I challenge you to try and find another high school in the country that has such a menu of high quality programming opportunities for students. Operation College Bound is another great example. Northeast Oklahoma State, Missouri State University, Pittsburg State University, University of Arkansas, Crowder College, and Missouri Southern State University work with us by supporting this great program for our elementary students as they begin thinking about life after high school. 

So don’t be surprised if you come to a game, music performance, or some other special event and find it is sponsored by an organization inside or outside of our community. The world is bigger than Joplin and we rely heavily on the support of many organizations across our region to support the work of our students. Allowing advertising on our campuses provides an opportunity for those partners to visually demonstrate their support of Joplin Schools, while at the same time providing new resources to support programming that supports our children. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership. 

If you have additional questions about sponsorships or naming rights, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to provide you with further information.

Until next time,

Court documents: Jail hasn't stopped Joplin developer from committing crimes

Being behind bar has done nothing to slow down a former Joplin developer accused of fraud, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud.

Richard Gregg, the former developer of 1717 Marketplace on Rangeline, is being held without bond, but his attorneys have asked the judge to reconsider that decision.

In objections filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Assistant U. S. Attorney Stephen Mohlhenrich says that even jail has not stopped Gregg from breaking the law.

Court orders health insurance payments for former Neosho city manager

A federal judge today ordered the city of Neosho to pay former City Manager Jan Blase the "reasonable value of 12 months of health care premiums for himself and his dependents."

The ruling came following a motion by Blase's attorney, saying that the city had not lived up to its agreement at the conclusion of the lawsuit filed by Blase after he was dismissed as city manager.

Arraignment for former Joplin High School teacher on sex charges postponed

The arraignment of former Joplin High School communication arts teacher Jessica Low on sex charges, originally scheduled for today, has been pushed back to 9 a.m. Monday, October 6.

Low is charged with statutory rape, statutory sodomy, and furnishing pornographic material to a minor.

The probable cause statement can be found at this link.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Long day in Joplin Friday for Vice President, Secretary of Education?

It appears that Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are planning a long day in Joplin.

Both men are advertised as "special guests" at the 1 p.m. Friday, October 3, dedication ceremony for the new Joplin High School/Franklin Technical Center. The event will also include the cutting of a six-and-a-half-mile ribbon, which will put the school in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The public schedule posted by Duncan on the U. S. Department of Education website sets the time for Duncan and the vice president's arrival in Joplin indicates the dignitaries will be here considerably earlier than that:

Friday, Oct. 3
10:30 a.m.Secretary Duncan will join Vice President Biden for a dedication ceremony at Joplin High School in Joplin, Missouri. The Vice President and Secretary Duncan will help celebrate the recovery the community of Joplin has made following the tornado in 2011.
Joplin High School, 2104 Indiana Ave., Joplin, Missouri

According to the invitations sent out by the Joplin R-8 School District, the dedication ceremony will last from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

News-Leader two weeks behind Turner Report on Springfield murder developments

It's the biggest crime story in Springfield in years.

A coach at a local middle school is accused of kidnapping, raping, and murdering a 10-year-old girl.

The story in question, of course, is the murder of Hailey Owens, whose body was found in trash bags in the basement of the home of Pleasant View Middle School coach and teacher's aide Craig Michael Wood.

Today, the Springfield News-Leader revealed that Wood had photos of other school girls in his home- a big scoop except that readers of the Turner Report read about that two weeks ago and first learned that authorities believe Hailey Woods' ,murder may not have been random almost three months ago:

A purple folder found in the apartment of accused killer Craig Michael Wood contained material that sickened the officers who found out- and gave police what they say is a blueprint to how the former Springfield Pleasant View Middle School coach kidnapped, raped, and murdered 10-year-old Hailey Owens.

Documents filed in Greene County Circuit Court indicate that an FBI search warrant uncovered the purple folder in a dresser drawer in Wood's bedroom. It contained images of child pornography, school photos of "female children similar in age to the victim, along with handwritten erotic stories detailing the rapes of female minor children."

Also found in the drawer, according to the court documents, were "student records from a Springfield public school."

After investigating the material, police discovered that the names of two of the children in the handwritten stories matched the names of the two of the children in the school photos.

From the lead to today's News-Leader article:

Court filings make it clear that the former school employee accused of abducting, raping and killing young Hailey Owens had two other students' schedules and photographs — and pornographic writings using the girls' names.

Michael Brown's parents dismiss Ferguson police chief's apology

Reader: The amount of testing in Joplin R-8 is ridiculous

(In a Turner Report post Friday, I wrote about the poor performance by the Joplin R-8 School District on the MAP tests and the song-and-dance put on by the C. J. Huff Administration to talk around the fact that test scores have dropped every year since Huff arrived. A reader posted the following comment.)

If this incompetent administration dislikes being judged by the statistics and data that make them look bad, how do they think the teachers that they are constantly trampling on enjoy it? The more they chase statistics as a way to control every classroom decision a teacher makes, the more these standardized scores will drop.

The amount of assessments teachers are required to give has reached a point of ridiculousness. This only erodes instructional time and prevents teachers from focusing on simply delivering engaging lessons. With standards based or competency based grading, teachers are required to have multiple assessments of every national standard covered during the entire year for every student. The only way this can possibly be accomplished is if a teacher is giving assessments every single school day. This makes no logical sense whatsoever. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Video- Sarah Palin's Joplin press conference

A video from KOAM News KOAM TV 7 Joplin and Pittsburg

Billy Long: I will continue to fight abortion

(In his latest report, Seventh District Congressman Billy Long writes about abortion.)

I was in high school when the Supreme Court passed their Roe v. Wade ruling. I remember vividly how I could not understand their thinking that legalized stopping a beating heart on demand. I thought it was outrageous then and the intervening years have done nothing to change my opinion. I believe in the sanctity of human life, which begins at conception, and in protecting the rights of the unborn.

I am an original co-sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. This legislation codifies and makes permanent several policies which prohibit the use of tax dollars for abortion, both domestically and abroad. I have additionally co-sponsored several other pro-life bills. If passed, these bills will establish that life begins at conception and ensure that no funds provided under Title X of the Public Health Service Act should be awarded to entities which perform services for, or provide funds to another entity which performs abortions.

I will continue to fight to stop legislation and related measures which allow taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. Moreover, I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect the rights of the unborn and promote policies that encourage adoption and promote stable families.

Each year women all across our country find themselves facing a decision about whether to carry their unborn child to term and how to provide for that child once it has been born. We owe it to these women, and their children, to make sure they are truly informed about the options they have for their child. I am leading this effort through my Adoption Promotion Act. This legislation will ensure that all women who access family planning services provided with Title X funding are given pregnancy options counseling which includes professional adoption counseling. With this legislation, I am hoping that when a woman feels she is unable to care for her child for whatever reason, she knows she still has an option to provide her child with life and a good, loving future through adoption.

I am pro-life and believe we need to protect the rights of the unborn children. At the same time, we need to ensure that women who feel they cannot care for their child know they have the option of giving the child the gift of life and a loving family through adoption.

Cleaver: We must get Washington back to work

(From Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

    Last week, I signed onto a very important piece of legislation. H.R. 2821, the American Jobs Act, introduced by my colleague, Rep. Frederica Wilson, would do so much to strengthen and grow our economy and put Americans back to work.
    The American Jobs Act would strengthen our economy by cutting taxes for working Americans, restoring emergency unemployment insurance, investing in infrastructure, and helping to put unemployed Americans back to work.

    It would put money in the pockets of tens of millions of low and middle income Americans by reinstituting the Making Work Pay Credit, providing a tax credit equal to 6.2% of earnings, up to a maximum credit of $400 individuals and $800 for couples.

    The American Jobs Act would make innovative and necessary improvements to the Unemployment Insurance program. It would create reforms to help the unemployed return to work, including the “Bridge to Work” program which allows people who are receiving Emergency Unemployment Insurance to take temporary work or pursue on-the-job training.

    The bill would facilitate rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure through grants for airport projects, air traffic control systems, highway and bridge rehabilitation, high-speed rail projects, Amtrak, and various other transit projects, all of which are proven job creating policies.
  • The American Jobs Act ends sequestration and raises revenue by capping individual tax deductions and exclusions for high income taxpayers, repealing deductions for oil and natural gas exploration, and closing loopholes like carried interest and corporate jet depreciation.
While I am in Washington this week working on a number of projects, Congress is not in session. We have begun our district work period. While I truly love and appreciate hearing from and talking with my constituents, I believe we have more work to do. We need to stop kicking the can down the road and tackle the real issues.

We need to start creating jobs through the Make It In America plan, advancing workplace equality through support for the Paycheck Fairness Act, and making high-quality education more affordable and accessible. We need to bring legislation to the Floor to rebuild our roads, bridges, and critical infrastructure; to make higher education more affordable and expand early childhood education; and to address other critical issues that the majority of Americans support and that will expand opportunity for the middle class, including passing comprehensive immigration reform, and most importantly, to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, providing 25 million Americans with a raise.

Let me share with you some facts and figures about the minimum wage. First, the minimum wage is not what it used to be. Today, the real value of the minimum wage has fallen by nearly one-third since its peak in 1968. And right now, a full-time minimum wage worker makes $14,500 a year, which leaves too many families struggling to make ends meet.
Think the minimum wage is just for students and young workers? Think again. Raising the federal minimum wage would not only benefit more than 28 million workers across the country, but 19 million workers from all types of households would see a direct increase in their wages. 599,600 workers in Missouri would benefit.

Working families depend on the minimum wage to get by. Why are we leaving them behind? 

We can and we must do better.

SW MO Democrats to hold phone bank on Amendment 3

(From the Southwest Missouri Democrats)

Southwest Missouri Democrats will have their monthly breakfast and a special phone bank on Amendment 3, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, September 27, in the Union Hall at 2001 Empire, Joplin.

Breakfast will be pot luck. Please bring food (casserole, baked good, or fruit) and your cell phone for phone banking. We will have a presentation over NO on Amendment 3, followed by an active phone bank over the issue.

Tell your friends and neighbors to vote NO on Amendment 3 because it would weaken local control of our public schools, incur substantial costs for the tests, and degrade teachers' abilities to negotiate the evaluation system. All local teachers groups, including the NEA and MSTA, have come out against this measure, along with Missouri School Boards and groups of School Principals.

On test scores, the same rules do not apply to Joplin R-8

If anyone thought the days of ducking and dodging questions about poor annual standardized test scores were gone when Angie Besendorfer rode the Western Governors University train out of town, they learned Tuesday night that is not the case.

It was more of the same nonsense we have been treated to every year since C. J. Huff took over the reins of the Joplin R-8 School District.

For those who were at the Administration Building for the meeting or watched it on the Turner Report or on the district website, you heard the following excuses for poor test scores:

-They (DESE) keep changing the rules

-We are working on it and we have new programs in place that will soon bring improvement.

-We are doing these things well and they are not measuring these things. Someday everyone else is going to wish they had been doing what we are doing.

-How about those beautiful new buildings?

All right. Maybe Jennifer Doshier, who is executive director in charge of something (the Joplin R-8 School District has more executive directors than you can shake a stick at if that's your idea of having fun) did not make the last comment, but it would have fit it nicely.

In other words, it was the same old bobbing and weaving that may have worked well for Muhammad Ali, but he, at least, had the ability to land a knockout punch. All we can expect from the crack team put together by C. J. Huff is more bobbing and weaving.

If some were put to sleep by the district's improvement on the MSIP 5 score, rest assured it had nothing to do with academics and the administrators told us that Tuesday night. Our improvements came solely as a result of improvements in the attendance and graduation rates.

And as the state auditors have been finding out the past few weeks, it is not hard to manipulate those numbers.

The board members who asked questions Tuesday night never received any straight answers from the administrators.

What no one asked, and what we should be asking, is this- Are we the only school district that has to face changes in expectations every year? Far from it, we are simply the only ones who have tried to make an art form out of whining about it.

The numbers tell the story. In the years before C. J. Huff arrived, Joplin's test scores were moving steadily upward. Ever since the pied piper of Bright Futures arrived, the scores have declined year after year after year- but the excuses, whether it be Angie Besendorfer or Jennifer Doshier who is given the thankless task of trying to put a shine on something that would seem more comfortable lying in a field, remain essentially the same.

Arraignment set Monday for former Joplin High School teacher on sex charges

When former Joplin High School communication arts teacher Jessica Low is arraigned on sex charges 9 a.m. Monday, September 29, it will be before a new judge.

Jasper County Circuit Court records indicate the hearing will be before Judge David Dally, who took over the case after Low's attorney, Charles Genisio, filed for a change of judge. The original judge was Gayle Crane.

Low is charged with statutory rape, statutory sodomy, and furnishing pornographic material to a minor.

The probable cause statement can be found at this link.

Interviews with Jasper High School students among evidence against former teacher's aide

Interviews with six Jasper High School students were included in the discovery evidence turned over to the lawyer for former Jasper High School teacher's aide Janice Rusk who faces charges of statutory rape and statutory sodomy.

The evidence also included a 23-page report from the Jasper County Sheriff's Department, a four-page report from the Jasper Police Department, and the investigative report from Jasper County Children's Division.

Search warrant information for two cell phones owned by Rusk were also noted in court documents.

Rusk is scheduled for a 9 a.m. hearing November 10, with court records indicating a possible change of plea may be made at that time.

An exchange of text messages led to a sexual liaison between the teacher's aide and a high school boy, according to the probable cause statement filed in Jasper County Circuit Court.

The allegations against Ms. Rusk, an aide in the special education department at the time of the alleged incident, but who is no longer working at the school, are spelled out in the probable cause statement from Detective Ed Bailey of the Jasper County Sheriff's Department:

On March 26, 2014, I was advised by Children's Division and the Jasper, Missouri, Police Department of incidents of sexual contact between Janice Lorene Rusk (an adult) and several juvenile males.

I made contact with D.S., a 16-year-old male on April 2, 2014. During an interview, D. S. said that on a day in the first week of December 2013, he had deviate sexual intercourse and sexual intercourse with Rusk.

D. S. explained that he had been texting Rusk for a while an they agreed to meet on a bridge at the west edge of B. S.'s family property on Baseline Blvd. in Jasper County.

After Rusk arrived at the location and told D. S. that he could not tell anyone about the event, Rusk stroked his bare penis with her hand. After this action, Rusk removed her pants; D. S. removed his pants and they engaged in sexual intercourse. D. S. stated this ended with him ejaculating.

C. J. Huff's lawyer: We're not going to tell what happened in closed session

The names of the defendants have been changed in the wrongful dismissal lawsuit filed by former Royal Heights Principal Larry Masters, but the defense strategy has not.

Joplin attorney Karl Blanchard, representing Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff and former assistant superintendents Angie Besendorfer and Steve Doerr, insists in documents filed in Jasper County Circuit Court, that his clients do not have to say a word about anything that was said during a closed session of the Board of Education.

Masters was rehired as Royal Heights principal for the 2010-2011 school year, but following a closed session of the board that offer was rescinded. Masters says that lies were told about him that caused him to lose his job.

Blanchard says it doesn't matter. In an objection to interrogatories posed by Masters' lawyer, Raymond Lampert of Springfield, Blanchard says the questions "seek information relating to a closed meeting, which means any discussions were confidential."

The same argument, word for word, was used in the objections for Huff, Besendorfer, and Doerr.

In other developments, Blanchard has asked the judge to set a trial date. Lampert objected, indicating it is hard to be ready for trial when the defendants are refusing to answer pertinent questions.

"The defendants have not yet answered discovery and their responses may bring to light information that may lead to the amending of pleadings."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Same sex couples sue to be recognized in Missouri

At Truman State, Nixon announces new funding for higher education

Suspended principal declines interview as student support grows

Despite screwups, Missouri's testing company may keep Oklahoma contract

Standardized testing is a nightmare at any time in our nation's school districts, but it was even more so for Oklahoma school districts last year when their tests, which were provided by McGraw-Hill ran into one problem after another.

Those problems, which included numerous computer failures, and which have the company under investigation by the Oklahoma attorney general, apparently were not enough to keep the Oklahoma Board of Education from considering awarding the testing contact to McGraw-Hill again.

What's worse, McGraw-Hill is the company which is providing the online tests for Missouri school districts this year as the first Common Core State Standards tests are given.

The accompanying video is from KOTV in Tulsa.
NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Nicastro: We're not trying to push Common Core...but it has to start with Common Core

The next time Chris Nicastro announces her retirement, it would be nice if it became effective immediately.

Missouri's Commissioner of Education is under the gun again following the opening series of meetings of the work groups designated by HB 1490 to create Missouri's education standards.

The bill was passed as a response to criticism of Common Core State Standards, but many of those who attended the first meetings said they came away with the impression that DESE officials, who were required by the law to set up the meetings, were trying to push a Common Core agenda:

Hartzler on Holder resignation: It's about time

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), in response to the news that Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning, has released the following statement:

“I have long felt that Attorney General Holder should resign. The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer of this country and is responsible for ensuring federal laws are enforced; and we simply haven’t seen that from Mr. Holder. From the Fast and Furious scandal to the IRS and Lois Lerner scandal, Mr. Holder has shown, time and again, that he has not been upholding his duties to the American people. His resignation is a service to the public. I am hopeful that President Obama will appoint a successor that has a greater dedication to the upholding and enforcement of the law.”

The social event of the century- Have you received your invitation?

My invitation must have been lost in the mail.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First Al Capone and now this- C. J. Huff headed to Chicago

Chicago, the city associated with Barack Obama, Arne Duncan, Rahm Emanuel (and Al Capone, for that matter) is opening its doors for Joplin's biggest celebrity, C. J. Huff for the rest of this week.

Huff is scheduled to speak at a $20 per ticket event Thursday event on "the value of developing an effective communications plan through building positive relationships."

The next day he will make a luncheon speech for the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association on the same topic.

Advertising for the two events is printed below:

Special September Event: Dr. C.J. Huff, Joplin Schools Superintendent

With school and community safety often in the forefront of the public’s mind, INSPRA has invited Dr. C.J. Huff, Superintendent of Joplin Schools, to speak on the value of developing an effective communications plan through building positive relationships. 
In May 2011, a deadly tornado struck Joplin, Mo., devastating the area and destroying Joplin High School. Dr. Huff led the efforts for Joplin Schools to deal with and recover from that tragedy, and he will share his story with INSPRA members, their guests, and any community members who want to hear this compelling story. 
Date: Thursday, September 25, 2014
Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Place: Addison Trail High School, 213 N. Lombard Road, Addison, IL
Cost: $20 per person
RegistrationAdvance registration required - click here to sign up today!   

September 25-26: Special Event & Communication Contest and Luncheon

Let's kick off the new school year together at the annual Communications Contest Workshop & Luncheon on September 26 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Oak Brook. The workshop features inspiring speaker Dr. C.J. Huff, Superintendent of Joplin Schools, who will speak on the value of developing an effective communications plan through building positive relationships. Hear Dr. Huff’s story as Joplin High School recovered from a deadly tornado in May 2011. Following Dr. Huff’s presentation, we will recognize our colleagues who are Communications Contest winners, and present the Golden Achievement Award. Register online or download the printable registration form.

Top Joplin R-8 official tied to attendance fraud

The state auditors reviewing the Joplin R-8 School District have been provided with information linking a top deputy in the C. J. Huff Administration to possible attendance fraud.

The auditors have already been provided documented evidence of a principal encouraging his staff to lie about attendance, but the Turner Report has learned that the latest evidence implicates someone much higher up in the Huff Administration, with an office at the district's Administration Building at 32nd and Duquesne.

The auditors' work in the past few weeks has included probing visits to two of the district's secondary buildings, as well as continued work in the Administration Building.

Video- Social Studies 6-12- HB 1490 meeting

Video- Science 6-12, HB 1490 work group meeting

Nixon congratulates St. Louis City Schools

Video- English/Language Arts HB 1490 6-12 Work Group meeting

Jay Nixon to Webb City School: Congratulations on raising your scores

Video- Social Studies K-5, HB 1490 work group meeting

Video- Math K-5 HB 1490 work group meeting

Blunt on Dana Loesch show talks gun rights, ISIS

Video- Math 6-12, HB 1490 work group meeting

Video- First meeting of K-5 Science- State Standards group

Suspended principal put students on cell phone plan, signed for meds

Graves: Let's put the focus back on jobs

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

There was a time when even liberals in Washington understood that our focus must be on jobs. “It’s the economy, stupid,” as one top strategist in the Clinton Administration famously said when talking about what is most important to the American people. I wish the current Administration understood this. Instead of clinging to the failed policies of more government spending and unnecessary regulations, they should follow our lead in pursuing common sense legislation to help put Americans back to work.

I'm tired of being an energy-rich nation that acts like we are energy-poor. We have abundant resources right here at home, and House Republicans have been working to ensure that we can use these resources. We've also been working to provide more certainty to small businesses. We have passed dozens of bills to expand safe and responsible energy production and promote efficient new technologies. These are the kinds of pro-growth policies needed to boost jobs.

The people of Missouri’s 6th District are feeling the effects of this Administration’s failed economic policies and continued war on energy. We should not be held captive by unstable and often hostile nations, when we can create good paying American jobs by using our own resources. That is why, last week, the House passed legislation aimed at creating jobs and lowering energy costs for all Americans.

Right now, an overbearing federal government is making energy more expensive and stifling economic growth. Whether it is to address rising energy costs or an economy that continues to be burdened by regulations, common sense solutions are needed to ease the squeeze on hard working Missourians and that is exactly what we did by passing these bills. It is time for President Obama and liberal elites in Washington to follow our lead and pursue proven policies to fix the economy and give the American people some much needed relief.

Jim Evans' primary opponent joins his campaign

(From Democratic Seventh District Congressional candidate Jim Evans)

Jim Evans is delighted to announce that Genevieve Williams, his former opponent in the Democratic Primary, will be joining the Jim Evans for Congress team for the final forty days of the campaign.

She will be serving as a vital member of the campaign team as a Social Media Coordinator and special liaison.

Genevieve has been an active citizen in the Southwest Missouri area for many years and has been a valuable member of the communities of Neosho, Joplin, and Springfield as a teen and young adult.

She became known to many in the region through her work immediately after the Joplin tornado and throughout Joplin’s recovery, serving as a principal source of reliable information and support to residents of the area through various social media outlets. Her efforts have been recognized by federal, state and local agencies including the University of Missouri Extension and FEMA.

Immediately following her loss to Evans in the Democratic Primary, Ms. Williams served as a campaign advisor and manager for a Texas Congressional candidate.

Having returned to her Ozarks home, Genevieve’s expertise and dedication to civic life were immediately solicited by the Evans campaign. This was a natural development in that Jim had noted of her, in a release distributed after the primary, “I eagerly look forward to her support and assistance as we move forward together toward the general election.”

Today that desire has become a reality.

Common Core clashes highlight opening meetings


Hartzler: The threat of ICIL

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), who recently returned from a House Armed Services Committee trip to the Middle East, is urging citizens to be aware of the threat to our way of life posed by Islamic State terrorists. Hartzler delivered a presentation titled “ISIL: The Threat of Our Time” to an overflow crowd of citizens at a public forum in Harrisonville.

“During my recent visit to the Middle East, I gained a great amount of insight on how to address the terrorist threats that are jeopardizing security in the region and, ultimately, here in our homeland,” said Hartzler. “The Islamic State’s empasis for the moment is on creating a caliphate in the Middle East, but they also threaten our homeland because these terrorists hate the United States.”

“It is important for the American people to understand just how committed and brutal these individuals can be,” Hartzler told the audience. “These terrorists are going door to door in some areas, torturing and killing their opponents who don’t embrace a radical form of Islam.”

“Meeting this threat will be no easy task,” Hartzler added. “America needs a comprehensive strategy with a broad coalition, focusing on economic, political, and military solutions to this crisis. I voted for the initial plan to train and equip moderate Syrian forces, but have concerns, as do many Americans, about the viability of the plan and will be monitoring closely its implementation as we move forward. President Obama needs to lead this effort and show a commitment of will to see this through in order to be successful. We will see if that happens, but in the meantime, I fully stand behind our brave men and women in uniform who will be risking it all to stop the spread of this evil and to protect our way of life in America.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Huff totally in charge of teacher evaluation methods; board votes to give up approal

In an ironic turn of events, the Joplin R-8 Board of Education approved a resolution opposing Amendment 3 tonight because it would take away control from local boards of education, then later in the meeting, without a word of discussion, handed over all control of the teacher evaluation process to the C. J. Huff Administration.

Those who attended the meeting and those who watched it on Jet 14 or on the Turner Report never knew that was coming up for a vote because, like so many other important items, the change in board policy was voted on as part of the consent agenda.

In the past, teacher evaluation processes had to be approved by the board of education. Not any more. The changes, which were approved 7-0 by the board, now leave those processes Now it says "the superintendent or designee in consultation with the teaching staff will develop procedures and instruments for professional staff evaluation."

Unlike policy changes up for first reading, this one was not posted on the district website until today. Another policy that was approved and was discussed at an earlier meeting regarding staff conduct and including the employee dress code was supposed to have some changes made in it, but was not even posted on the district website.

While this change slipped through and is now part of board policy, other policies which would have put the hiring and firing of non-certified personnel completely in C. J. Huff's hands and allow him to set salaries for administrative staff and were scheduled to come up for a second reading, were not included on this month's agenda.

The consent agenda, as noted in an earlier Turner Report post, contained over half a million in spending, as well as first readings about policies covering the teaching of religion and discipline reporting and records.

Joplin R-8 Board opposes Amendment 3

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education voted 7-0 moments ago to oppose Amendment 3.

The board made its decision after receiving information from Superintendent C. J. Huff and Joplin NEA President Crystal Stokes.

School boards across the state have been passing resolutions opposing the amendment, which would strip teachers of their tenure rights and require that teacher evaluations be based on student scores on standardized tests.

Watch Joplin Board of Education meeting live at 7 p.m.

Cynthia Davis: If Sinquefield wants Amendment 3, let him try it in his district first

(In her latest column, former Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, expresses her concerns about Amendment 3.)

I can remember many times through the course of eight years when we debated bills and I stood at my microphone asking the members if we are a state legislature or a school board.  It always puzzled me when we would pass laws pertaining to how to run a school district.  Perhaps I am sensitized to this from having served nearly nine years in municipal government.  I vividly remember how offended we were over the threat of the state or national government putting mandates on our city.

In the case of Amendment 3, which you will see on the ballot in November, this amendment was not put on the ballot by our state legislators.  It was put on by a petition initiative.  

If the school districts aren't willing or competent enough to know how to manage their employees, why are we giving them more of the taxpayers' money?  Nevertheless, many school districts are below par and the state keeps giving them the same amount of funding, and in many cases, more funding each year.  

Legislators warn DESE: We're getting rid of Common Core; don't try to stop us

(From Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka)

House Speaker Tim Jones today joined Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, Senate Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, Senator Ed Emery, and Rep. Kurt Bahr in releasing the following joint statement regarding the Education Workgroups:

"HB1490 was designed to vest in the education work groups the power to shape recommendations for academic standards absent influence from bureaucrats and politicians. No entity has the power to influence the affairs of each group, whether our respective offices or DESE. Under the law, after DESE convened the initial meeting, the power shifts to the groups alone to guide themselves each month with the goal of delivering their best academic standards recommendations by October 1, 2015. There exists no authority in the statute for DESE to dictate the deliberations of these work groups, nor even to guide their deliberations after the initial organizing meetings held yesterday, unless invited to do so by individual work groups."

In addition, House Speaker Jones made the following individual comments regarding the workgroups:

“Our goal with the workgroups is to vest decision making authority in Missouri parents and teachers who have the best interests of our young people at heart. The people of this state have made it absolutely clear they oppose the Common Core standards and that they want Missouri citizens and educators, not government bureaucrats, making the decisions that will impact the educational future of our children. My hope is that DESE will respect the intent of the legislation we passed and the well-known position of the people to allow the workgroups to do their work free from external bureaucratic influences.”

Busing of middle schoolers to JHS ribbon-cutting scaled down

C. J. Huff's six-year streak of never taking the blame for anything that goes wrong will probably not come to an end as a result of this, but it looks like elementary students will not be the only ones who will not be bused to the high school Friday, October 3, for the ceremonial grand opening, speeches by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and of course, the cutting of the six-and-a-half=mile ribbon.

An East Middle School parent reports that students have now been told that only one bus will be taken to the high school and students who want to attend will have to write essays, with the winning writers being allowed to go see Joe Biden. (If that's the winning prize, I am not even going to ask what the losers get.) My guess is anybody who takes the time to write an essay will be a winner and the bus may still not be full.

The change of heart comes after teachers at all elementary and middle schools were told last week they and all students would be attending, so they would not miss out on the historic event. Reportedly, they are still going to see it, only now as it is livestreamed to their buildings.

The reversal of plans also comes after the administration was deluged with complaints from parents who were concerned about their children being outside for two hours, about the strong possibility that they would not be able to get back to school on time, and that all of these plans were being made without consulting or informing parents first.

Let's see how long it takes Huff to say that there was never any plan to bring all elementary and middle school students to the high school, it was "just something we talked about."

PSU grad C. J. Huff gives MSSU another slap in the face

For someone who has spent far more time during his six years in office tending to public relations instead of education, Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff seems to keep making one PR blunder after another.

Consider the infamous six-and-a-half-mile ribbon, the "might-as-well" spending, or the most recent fiasco, the initial decision, changed after a tidal wave of protest, to bus all elementary students to the October 3 cutting of that record-breaking ribbon.

And now C. J. Huff has done it again.

In whose universe, would Pittsburg State University be allowed to advertise on prime real estate at Junge Field, or wait is that at the Dewey Combs Complex at Junge Field or Soaring Passes Stadium?

This is not the first slap in the face to Missouri Southern State University that has occurred under Huff's watch.

Earlier this year, without telling the Board of Education (he doesn't even bother to wait for his rubber stamp any more), Huff arranged for a partnership with Western Governors University, whose chancellor is his former assistant superintendent Angie Besendorfer, which included reduced costs for courses. This despite the fact that Missouri Southern, which has been generous with its contributions to Huff's Bright Futures program, serving as a partner to both the high school  and East Middle School, also offers graduate and undergraduate level computer classes.

And then there was the $3 million grant the Joplin R-8 School District received from the federal Economic Development Administration for "workforce development programs" for Franklin Technical Center, which does many of its programs in conjunction with MSSU. At some point, R-8 officials hijacked that grant, and at this point, none of the money has been directed to any of the programs done with MSSU.

On the contrary, some of it was used to buy the jumbotron-type scoreboard that will be installed in the high school gymnasium later this year, something which the C. J. Huff Administration somehow convinced the federal government was going to be a boon for the workforce.

Now we will just have to wait and see if there will be an advertisement for Pittsburg State University, C. J. Huff's alma mater, front and center in the Soaring Dunks Gymnasium.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sinquefield-backed group gives $5,000+ to Ron Richard

Missourians for Excellence in Government, a political action committee almost totally financed by retired billionaire Rex Sinquefield, contributed $5,500 to Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, according to a 48-hour report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Granby, Neosho women named to educational standards committees

Speaker of the House Tim Jones has selected two Newton County women for the Missouri Educational Standards workgroups, which held their first meetings today.

According to a news release from the speaker, Jill Carter, Granby, and Caroline Perigo, Neosho, were selected.

The news release is printed below:

House Speaker Tim Jones today announced his selections to the new Missouri Educational Standards workgroups that were formed with the passage of HB 1490. Jones selected 16 parents and 11 education professionals to participate in the discussions the eight workgroups will have to determine new educational benchmarks for Missouri students.

HB 1490 was passed by the Missouri General Assembly during the 2014 regular session to reject the federal Common Core standards and begin a process of developing Missouri-based student achievement benchmarks. The bill created the workgroups to develop new standards to be put in place by the 2016 academic year. Under the bill, the work groups are be made up of teachers, parents and other experts who will work to develop standards for English, math, science and history. As Speaker of the House, Jones is empowered to nominate four individuals – two parents of current students and two education professionals – to each of the eight workgroups.

“Our best chance of giving our young people access to a world class education is by keeping the decisions regarding the standards we use on a local level. With the collaborative effort of Missouri parents and educators, we can develop learning standards that will better allow our young people to succeed academically, and professionally as adults,” said Jones, R-Eureka.

Jones added, “I am excited to name these outstanding individuals to the workgroups. I have every confidence they will be valuable contributors to a discussion that will determine the standards by which students will be measured in the future.”

Jones made the following nominations to the various workgroups:

English Language Arts (K-5)

Parents: Jill Carter of Granby and Stephanie Bailey of St. Louis

Education Professionals: Jennifer Hill of St. Louis and Martha Staggs of Paris

Mathematics (K-5)

Parents: Brad Noel of Jackson and Caroline Perigo of Neosho

Education Professional: Kimberly Bostic of Mehlville

Science (K-5)

Parents: Alex Salsman of Troy and Beverly Peters of Marble Hill

Education Professional: Elizabeth Chadbourne of Piedmont

Social Studies (K-5)

Parents: Tonya Long of Peculiar and Paul Ellison of Chilhowee

Education Professional: Tonya Watkins of Charleston

English Language Arts (6-12)

Parents: Heather Drury of Sikeston and Elizabeth Lauber of Kirkwood

Education Professionals: Nicholas Kremer of Columbia and Kasey Brycki of Dardenne Prairie

Mathematics (6-12)

Parents: Laura Martin of Osage Beach and Patrick Theobold of Marshfield

Education Professionals: Maggie Schmitz of Warsaw and Dr. Yunchen Cheng of Springfield

Science (6-12)

Parents: Kimberly Benz of Florissant and Toni Becker of Poplar Bluff

Education Professionals: Jason Frencken of Pine Grove and Claira Bennion of Camdenton

Social Studies (6-12)

Parents: Van Harvey of St. Charles and Julie Thomas of Lake Ozark

The workgroups are scheduled to hold their first meeting in Jefferson City today, Monday, Sept. 22.

Elementary students will not attend Joplin High School ribbon-cutting ceremony

Word has been handed down from the C. J. Huff Administration that elementary students will not be bused to Joplin High School Friday, October 3, for the grand opening celebration, which will include speeches by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, as well as the cutting of a six-and-a-half-mile ribbon.

The youngsters will still have to watch the ceremony. Apparently, it will be live streamed, enabling the kindergarten through fifth grade students to not have to miss out on history.

The decision was a complete turnaround from last week when elementary teachers were told they would be going to the high school.

The change in plans came after negative public reaction to having the elementary students have to stay at the event for what will likely turn out to be more than two hours (the time it takes to get everyone situated and then the event itself). Some parents were threatening to keep their children home that day.

Middle school students, according to preliminary plans, will still be attending, eating sack lunches at their schools and then leaving at 11 a.m.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Audio- C. J. Huff: How I wooed and won the heart of Anson Burlingame

Turner Report posts earlier this week included Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff explaining to the Young Professionals Network of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce how he manipulates the media and is willing to use his "captive audience" of students and staff to fight his critics. In this post, which I thought was particularly timely on the same day that the Joplin Globe published Anson Burlingame's column saying that Joplin is lucky to have C. J. Huff and praising everything about the superintendent, Huff tells the YPN how he won Burlingame's heart.

Joplin Globe column: Joplin is lucky to have C. J. Huff

Most of frequent Joplin Globe guest columnist Anson Burlingame's praise of C. J. Huff has taken place on his blog, but in today's Globe, Burlingame writes his most fervent love letter yet to the Joplin R-8 superintendent.

Burlingame begins his column this way:

I believe the Joplin School District and its board of education, led by Dr. C.J. Huff, superintendent of schools, have done a superb job to bring all schools back after the disastrous tornado in May 2011.

All of us in Joplin can celebrate that achievement on Oct. 3, when Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join the community for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

As well, beyond rebuilding, I support how they are currently dealing with other big issues related to public education in Joplin. By and large, they — the board and the administration — have my complete support and I also believe this city is very lucky to have a leader such as Huff at the helm of our schools.

As usual, Burlingame rips those who believe that Huff has brought disaster, both financially and ethically, to the school district:

You know where I stand on that issue. Detractors may fire when ready, to use an old Navy term. If you disagree, then tell me why I’m wrong with a rebuttal letter to The Joplin Globe.

Simply because the underground or semipublic opposition (many of them writing anonymously) to those institutions and to Huff has been so virulent, I call for a vote of confidence by the board in Huff and his administration. Those who oppose him and the administration or who believe Huff should be fired should say that, publicly, by voting no confidence.

Joplin R-8 officials planning to bus all students to ribbon cutting

It will be a logistical nightmare for employees, but Superintendent C. J. Huff wants every student and staff member in the Joplin R-8 School District to be a part of history on Friday, October 3, when Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speak at the grand opening of the new Joplin High School and of course, when the six-and-a-half-mile ribbon is cut, giving the district a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

That decision will create a nightmare for high school parking at the beginning of the day since, reportedly, a couple of parking lots will be closed off, forcing students to either park along the streets or walk to the school from the former Dillon's parking lot.

It also creates the necessity of at least one group of students, either elementary students or middle school students, to have to spend an extra hour at the high school since there are not enough buses to bring all students to the high school in one trip.

It also will require that sack lunches be provided for one of the groups. The district may also have to rent portable toilet units since some students are likely to be on the practice football field where the event is scheduled to take place for as long as an hour and a half.

The festivities are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., which will likely cause problems with the heavier noon hour traffic in the city.

With the vice president in Joplin, extra precautions will also be required to deal with Secret Service concerns.

And what if it rains?

Joplin R-8 Board set to spend half a million without discussion

If things go according to plan during Tuesday's 7 p.m. meeting of the Joplin R-8 Board of Education, more than half a million dollars will be spent without a single word of discussion.

Other items that will not be discussed include the second and final readings of board policy changes on staff conduct and evaluation of staff.

The items are included on the consent agenda, which is supposed to consist of routine items that do not need to be discussed by the board. Under the C. J. Huff Administration, until recently when questions were asked by board members Debbie Fort and Jim Kimbrough, the consent agenda has been used a clearing house for the spending of millions of dollars and the passage of sweeping changes to board policy with the public never hearing a word of discusssion.

This month's consent agenda includes $521,937.91 including the following:

-$18,667 for outside telephone lines for the fire alarm panels in the high school elevator

-$20,379.95 in Title I funds for laptops

-$17,232.98 for membership dues for the Southwest Center, which provides professional development training. This will come from special education, Title I, and Title II money.

-$19,358.85 for Engaging Schools (formerly Education for Social Responsibility) the consultants who helped the high school develop its transition classes. The money will be used to provide ongoing support and professional development for the program.

--$15,851- Lockers for Irving Elementary School

$88,200 Plumbing for the concession stand at the high school. According to the board documentation, "This approval is needed in order to continue construction of the athletic complex at the new JHS/FTC. Money will come from capital outlay

-$72,300 for a fire suppression package for the Columbia Elementary safe room

-$89,325 for a fire suppression package for the West Central Elementary safe room

-$20.621 for a painting and wall covering package for the West Central Elementary safe room

-95,179.71 for adult student textbooks for Franklin Tech

-$24,822.65 for fuel for district vehicles

-$42,000 for copy paper.

The consent agenda also includes a second and final reading of two policies, the text of which, at this point, is not included in the documentation posted on the board website on staff conduct and staff evaluation, plus a first reading for seven other policies, on subjects ranging from teaching about religion to discipline reporting and records.

CJ man arrested for Kansas sex crimes was teacher/coach

A Carl Junction man arrested Saturday on sex charges involving Kansas teens was a former teacher and coach in the Baxter Springs school system:

Larry Scott Madden was arrested just after midnight in Jasper County where he currently lives.
Madden is facing charges in cherokee county including 7 counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, 6 counts of indecent liberties with a child, one count of criminal sodomy and one count of indecent solicitation of a child. 

Madden once served as Baxter Springs high school baseball coach and was the owner of the Hit Zone, a batting cage type business.

Madden is being held without bond.

CJ man faces multiple sex charges

A report from KSN News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Agenda posted for Tuesday Joplin R-8 Board meeting

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Administration Building at 32nd and Duquesne. A work session is scheduled for 6 p.m.

  • A. Call to Order
    • 1. Roll Call
  • B. Pledge of Allegiance
  • C. District Showcase - Royal Heights
  • D. Approval of Agenda - Action
  • E. Reports
    • 1. Board President's Report
      • a. House Resolution - Saniya Ablatt
      • b. JHS 2015 National Merit Semifinalists
      • c. BOE Resolution - Amendment 3
      • d. October BOE Meeting Date
    • 2. Superintendent's Reports
      • a. Construction Updates
      • b. Joplin High School Calendar
      • c. Summer School Report
      • d. Student Achievement Report
  • F. Public Comments Regarding Agenda Items *
  • G. Consent Agenda - Action
    • 1. Approve Minutes - Action
    • 2. Employment - Action
    • 3. Policy Updates First Reading - Action
      • a. Policy IGAC - Teaching About Religion
      • b. Policy IL - Assessment Program
      • c. Policy JEA - Compulsory and Part-Time Attendance
      • d. Policy JEC - School Admisions
      • e. Policy JECA - Admissions of Students
      • f. JECB - Admission of Non-Resident Students
      • g. Policy JGF - Discipline Reporting and Records
    • 4. Policy Undates - Second and Final Reading - Action
      • a. Policy GBCB - Staff Conduct
      • b. Policy GCN - Evaluation of Professional Staff
    • 5. Title I Technology Kelsey Norman - Action
    • 6. 2014-15 Southwest Center for Educational Excellence Membership Dues - Action
    • 7. Ongoing Engaging Schools Transistions Consultant - Action
    • 8. Lockers for New Classes at Irving
    • 9. JHS/FTC Construction Items - Action
      • a. Change Management #215 - Bid Package #230 - HVAC
      • b. Change Management #177 - Bid Package #270 - Communications
    • 10. Columbia Safe Room Construction Items - Action
      • a. Amend Bid Package #21.01 - Fire Suppression
    • 11. West Central Safe Room Construction Items - Action
      • a. Amend Bid Package #09.03 - Painting
      • b. Amend Bid Package #21.01 - Fire Suppression
    • 12. Purchase of Adult Student Textbooks for Academic Year 2014-15 - Action
    • 13. Fuel for District Vehicles - Info
    • 14. Copy Paper Bid - Action
    • 15. Non-Resident Tuition - Action
    • 16. Financial Statements - Info.
    • 17. Health Insurance and Dental Care Insurance - Info.
  • H. Regular Agenda
    • 1. Joplin Schools Voluntary Benefits Program - Action
    • 2. Accounts Payable - Action
    • 3. Lease Purchase Costs of Issuance - Action
    • 4. Employee Health Plan Reinsurance - Action
    • 5. Joplin Schools Employee Health Plan Document
  • I. Discussion Items
    • 1. September Enrollment Report
  • J. Closed Session - RSMO.610.021 (1) Legal, (2) Real Estate, (3) Personnel, (12) Identifiable personnel records and (16) Auditor communications.