Monday, April 06, 2015

Joplin R-8 paying $100,000+ for educational consultant

Over the past seven months, the Joplin R-8 School District has paid nearly $100,000 to an educational consultant who specializes in Common Core and in "transforming" school districts...and another $8,000 to $12,000 is being added every month.

Paul Bloomberg and the Core Collaborative have been visible in the school district since September, working with teachers, not only on Common Core, but also on "visible learning" a concept which fits the administration's push to have students take charge of their own learning, with teachers acting as facilitators rather than teachers.

The district's dealings with the Core Collaborative were approved by the Board of Education at its August 19, 2014, meeting as part of the consent agenda. As with many things the board has approved as part of the consent agenda, it turned out to cost far more than what it said in the original document.

The document said "a discounted cost for the Core Collaborative to provide 12 days of training is $31,260, which includes all travel costs (airfare, hotel, rental car, and meals). We are being billed for 10 days of consultant training and are getting two days training free."

The proposal was submitted by Curriculum Director Sarah Stevens and initialed by Superintendent C. J. Huff and Executive Director of Elementary Education Jennifer Doshier.

Apparently, the curriculum director and her colleagues were so impressed with Bloomberg and company they just had to bring him here and pull teachers out of their classrooms so he could train them.

Not only did they bring the training to Joplin, but they have also ordered Common Core materials from Corwin Press, which is connected with Bloomberg and visible learning.

At the December 16 board meeting, another request came from Stevens, again initialed by Huff and Doshier, asking for another $64,680 for Bloomberg and the Core Collaborative. This was on the board's consent agenda.

In the documentation for the request, Stevens explains it in this fashion:

Dr. Bloomberg's work this far has been well received and certain areas are asking for more time to collaborate with him. The work will focus on the "formative process" outlined in the professional development plan as well as Visible Learning work around self-regulated learning.

While the request stipulates that the amount will not exceed $64,680, the cost has already exceeded the total of that amount and the earlier $31,260, with three more months to go.

Teachers who have talked to the Turner Report said that if "certain areas are asking for more time to collaborate" with Bloomberg, it has not been them. Stevens has been acting as a cheerleader for the consultant since the Core Collaborative started and has, in fact, been promoting the program heavily to other area school districts.

It does seem strange that a school district that has a curriculum director, just hired an assistant for that director, and has teaching/learning coaches in every school, needs to pay more than $100,000 for a consulting firm.


Dr. Benjamin Dover said...

Hire me. I only charge 75k.

Anonymous said...

CJ is much too important to concern himself with petty things like spending our money.

Anonymous said...

The story of@JoplinSchools amazing transformation #tearjerker #joplineaglepride #hardwork #stucentered #SuccessStory

Here is a recent event with these people. $150.00 a chair to drink their koolaid.

The Core Collaborative Student-Centered Learning Conference
The Core Collaborative
Friday, March 13, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM (CDT)
Joplin, MO

Thank you for joining us on March 13th, 2015 in Joplin, Mo. for The Core Collaborative Student-Centered Learning Conference.

When & Where
Joplin High School
2104 Indiana Avenue
Joplin, MO 64804
Friday, March 13, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM (CDT)

On Core Collaborative's twitter about this event:

Core Collaborative

The story of@JoplinSchools amazing transformation #tearjerker #joplineaglepride #hardwork #stucentered #SuccessStory

Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of this $100,000 for one wasteful thing after another. Meanwhile, CJ can't seem to afford $30.00 for a gallon of paint to make the flagpole in front of Columbia Elementary look decent. Good luck getting anyone to vote for another bond issue -ever. Unabated spending for a couple of schools while two of the oldest elementary schools get nothing is just incredible.

Anonymous said...

The schools attending that little soiree were so offended that one left after just a couple of hours and another left at lunch. That left the Joplin TLCs sitting with Bloomberg and nothing to do. Bloomberg is a pompous ass and a verbal bully. I'm sure they knew they had wasted their money.

Anonymous said...

I got curious about this newest miracle in the field of education and stumbled upon some interesting information. The district has been using Bloomberg since last spring, and contracted him for this year. Some departments in Joplin had him inflicted upon them as early as August. But here's the rub: the Core Collaborative wasn't incorporated until December 0f 2014. Now, to whom were the earliest checks made, and how did they contract a business that didn't yet exist? There was apparently no bidding done, either. But don't let them tell you that this windbag has something that no other corporation has. Everything he does is just warmed over nonsense from every other dog and pony show that has come through town since NCLB.

So, why and how did the district contract a business that doesn't exist, how do they know he's successful if there is no track record, why is Sarah Stevens selling this, and who is making a kickback out of the deal? It would be worth contacting the Secretary of State of California to find out who sits on the Board of Directors. This fee is over the top.

Anonymous said...

Think what could have been done that would really have benefited the district. Teachers? Support staff? Books...

For our kids

Anonymous said...



More like #circlejerkers or #foolingoursleves

Anonymous said...

Is this guy friends with the Wally BeJolly group?
These people don't use and follow through with any of the stuff they bring in. They even had some things donated or presented at a discounted cost after the tornado but all of that might as well have been before the tornado since it seems to have just blown away.
Stevens loves to find something to be excited about, get Doshier to go along and then pound everyone over the head with it.