This blog features observations from Randy Turner, a former teacher, newspaper reporter and editor. Send news items or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't know what was most painful about watching the Board meeting--watching Sarah Stevens alternately grimace, wipe her nose, yawn, scratch her head, flip her hair, wiggle in her chair, or stare vacantly, as opposed to listening to her speak. Could the director of curriculum and instruction please get a grasp on basic grammar? Then, to top that off, if teachers had a dollar for every time she said they could do PD on their own time, they could top this year's increase in pay in about five minutes. Not to mention that she failed to point out that even though you can't compare apples to oranges when assessments change, you can compare your scores to the state's or to other district's. So, why hasn't Joplin kept up to the other districts? Because of the people you saw speaking tonight. They, and their leader, caused this mess. They certainly cannot be entrusted with cleaning it up. I would hope this realization hit the Board, also...
What materials have you provided your teachers, CJ? I haven't gotten a thing, and I am desperate for materials. But hey, if I could teach athletics, I'd have everything I need, and then some. You put your money in your "might as well" athletic facilities and left your teachers high and dry all over the district. But it sounded like you were really planning to increase the scrutiny and the accountability of those you screwed over. That'll work as well as the rest of your plans.
What was JD talking about with peer coaching? Where are the sanctimonious CLCs going to be? Who's going to watch the students while all of this peer coaching is going on if you're not pulling teachers from the classroom? The right hand and the left are not communicating very well.
There was an aligned curriculum until the tornado. Three years of unaligned curriculum did not bring this district down. It was successful until all of The Almighty Huff's plans, along with his gal pal Angie, went into place. It's been a steady fall since. Put the blame squarely where it belongs, and that's on the incompetence of the head leadership and his retinue of inexperienced but arrogant team. It was predicted there would be a small dip after the tornado but within three years scores would be back up. On the third year the schools took the biggest plunge of all. It's not the tornado. It's the plans and the idiots in charge.
I can't watch any more. It's too painful watching the directors trying to explain their failure with data. Basic is not an acceptable level of working ability. Quit acting like it is no big deal. Every administrator in that room needs fired. Tonight.
7:51-Sarah taught for all of two years before she backstabbed her way out of the classroom. She has less composure than the little children she taught, and I would venture less common sense. She thoroughly screwed up the curriculum adventure the last couple of years, and from what I hear, it was as bad at the high school as it was at the grade schools. Yeah, this will work. You betcha.
Sarah should look back, as well as the directors, and ask themselves what the district was doing for best practices when it was competitive with its neighboring districts, as well as districts comparable in demographics around the state. Obviously, Joplin did not keep up with those districts when changes were made, and it was the job of the Central Office staff to see to it that R8 was prepared for the changes. Put some practical people with real experience and a record to run on in that building. Our kids are counting on it.
Jason Cravens was pathetic. Perhaps he could make a slide correlating attendance to achievement; pre-adjustment of attendance records, that is.
Huh. Maybe they better just go back to butts in the seats and books in the hands. The current plan just ain't a workin one little ol bit, no siree bob.
Joplin R8 = epic fail
I want to see the independent studies, not those paid for by groups with political agendas or huge financial gains at stake, that show there is a direct correlation between the amount of time spent tracking every piece of data and monitoring every move a teacher makes with increased student achievement. Obviously the exact opposite is happening in Joplin. When statistics become more important than students and tracking teachers instead of trusting teachers is the norm, it creates an environment of mistrust and resentment. This is exactly what this administration in Joplin has accomplished. Instead of admitting mistakes and working to correct them, they continue to double down on their misguided efforts to control every aspect of the classroom instead of letting educators do their jobs. It is absolutely no surprise to me to see teachers fleeing the district and achievement scores dropping. The arrogance and incompetence of the entire administration is disheartening.
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