Sunday, May 24, 2015

Huff Administration looking to extend six-figure contract with Common Core consulting firm

One month after succeeding with a dog-and-pony show  that convinced the Joplin R-8 Board of Education that a $300,000 investment in a practice standardized testing regimen was a good idea, the C. J. Huff Administration plans to use the same tactics to extend the $100,000 contract of the Common Core consultant it has been using.

Last month, if you recall, principals and carefully selected teachers made the case for a testing system, which for the first time will spread the standardized test prep regimen all the way down to kindergarten.

An e-mail from Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction Sarah Stevens to R-8 principals, offers suggestions on what those attending Tuesday night's board meeting should say and laments that there was probably not enough time to be able to shoot video of children talking about what a difference the ideas of the Core Collaborative and visible or self-regulated learning have made in their education:


I will be taking the Core Collaborative contract to the board on Tuesday, May 26.
I am asking for a year long contract up to 30 days to include the days principals have asked for, departments have requested, and to finish helping with the bsip plans we have started and the work of self regulated learning. I will be also be including a couple of days for special ed iep work.
This is the same amount of days we used this year between three consultants with the Core Collaborative.

I would like a short blurb from you stating how the work we have embarked on this year with the core collaborative and visible learning has helped, guided, or changed the way your building is working together, performing, etc. If you feel inclined, include what you hope to gain from continuing this focus and support.

Please do not use the verbiage of Visible Learning since that technically was with Corwin, even though Paul (consultant Paul Bloomberg who heads the Core Collaborative) tied a lot of what we were doing all together to make it all fit. I will bring Visible Learning for Teachers to a different board meeting if JPDT votes to have it happen this summer. 

I am hoping to provide a presentation to avoid the interviews and length of the last action item, but your visible support at the board meeting is always appreciated. 

If you have teachers that have really taken hold of learning intentions, success criteria, feedback, impact (data) teams, etc. Please ask them to send me an email or quick video explaining. Even better would be to have the students speak (but that is short notice so I understand if that can't happen). 

I have several videos of students speaking on their learning, so if you have some great ones with the work you have been doing or want to brag on your school, now is the time!

If you don't agree to having Dr. Bloomberg or his consultants back I need to know that as well so I can clearly say who is in support of it. Otherwise, I will speak as a whole for all of us.

The only teacher/sub days that I foresee is some Middle School Comm Arts follow up possible, Social Studies at the highschool has requested to work with him, and if you as a principal are buying some of his time to work with leadership teams. The rest of his time will be impact teams which will be embedded into your school day, pd days, or afterschool sessions. I have the dates already reserved and if it is approved will share them on June 1 and 2 in your leadership meetings.

Thank you for reading this very long email.

Documentation is due by Wednesday so if you could please shoot me an email or video and have teachers shoot me and email by then I would appreciate it.

If any teachers are planning on being at the meeting, please let me know that as well.

Thank you,


The cost for the consulting firm is $103,950, according to the board documentation. The proposal is signed off on by Stevens, Executive Director of Elementary Instruction Jennifer Doshier, and C. J. Huff.


Anonymous said...

Hey, if CJ has proven anything over the past seven years, it's that there is no problem he can't solve with his brains and our money.

Mo problems = mo money.

Anonymous said...

First there was a part-time asst. superintendent of education in Joplin. Then that job became full-time, and later a part-time PD/assessment person was added. Then that job became full-time. Now there are two directors, a curriculum person, and now a full-time assistant to the curriculum person because she is not qualified for her job, requiring the hiring of someone who knows curriculum. Supposedly. Wouldn't it have been easier to have the current inept curriculum replaced by someone qualified? And so, with all of these supposedly college-educated, experienced (ha) administrators of education, they need a consultant that gets over a 100 grand a year? This is outrageous. Fire them all and get one person who can handle the job, two tops. And send the consultant packing.

Anonymous said...

So, she wants to avoid the interviews like she had to suffer through in order to get that assessment. Those pesky Board members. Who can blame her? Don't they know that she's a member of the Huff administration? They don't have to ask for permission. They just say "sign here."

Cheeky, isn't she?

Anonymous said...

How many of the "coaches" have been put into these made up positions? Bessie told everyone that the coaches and directors would be a way to save money because they wouldn't cost as much superintendents since they weren't PHDs.
What is going to happen with the coaches this year? I heard their numbers were being cut. Any details on how many and where they're going? What positions have been created for them?

Anonymous said...

If R8 has highly qualified people in administration, why do they need to spend all this money on consulting firms? The money for the test crap is already too much and now this.
How many people besides teachers are leaving R8? I know I'm sick of giving them my money so they can waste it on this kind of garbage and ruin a district that was decent.

Anonymous said...

Cravens and Doshier each make over a hundred grand, I would guess. Stevens? Probably as much as a building principal or more (80-90 grand?). The salary for the new person wasn't given, but since that person was a TLC and unlikely to take a pay cut to do Sarah's job for her, I would guess 65-70 grand at least. Add Bloomberg, who is the world's biggest asshat, at 100,000, plus the subs needed to inflict him on staff, and you have spent a small fortune for things that never are directly "for the children." Add Sarah's assessment program at 300 grand that the Board stuck the patrons and teachers and kindergarteners with, and it adds up quickly. How many teachers might have been paid with that assessment money? Books for our kids? Might as well take our hard earned money and light a match to it. I lost a lot of hope when they put that assessment in Sarah's hands. They better not screw up with Bloomberg. Enough already.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know how much R8 has spent on consultants in the last 6-7 years and compare that to the scores. Apparently, just from what we know about scores and district performance from reading the Turner Report, consultants aren't the wisest investment. Teachers are always the wisest place to invest your educational dollar. Get good teachers, give them what they say they need to be successful, and then get out of their way. Completely opposite of "The Joplin Way" of doing school.

Anonymous said...

There has been a sudden uptick of primary teachers leaving the district before their jobs change into computer-generated test teachers, thanks to Sarah, Bloomberg, and the new BoE. They still have not said how the accountability for this assessment program will be equitable for all teachers across the board, especially since only the core teachers will be trained on it. Where was the NEA when that happened?

I used to think there was hope for change. I no longer have such strong hopes. It would have been so easy to table that decision, just like they could, but probably won't, say no to this one.

Anonymous said...

They waste so freaking much money. They can only do that because they aren't busting it as much to earn those tax dollars as the rest of us folks. It makes me very angry. Was it this month or last that they spent $30,000 on advertising? What the hell does a school district need that much advertising for? What are they selling to justify that? And coincidentally, it was the same group that Anne Sharp used to promote her. Hmm...then it was 300 grand for testing and now 103 grand for a pompous fool. When is enough really enough? About now would be a nice time to stop wasting my money, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Do they feel no shame at all? Always exploiting children to push their agenda. How many kids can truly say that one initiative or another has advanced their learning? Or do they just feel special for being singled out and recite their script? I hope that Sarah can learn to use data, rather than students, to propel her agenda. Of course, when you have no data to use in your favor, that becomes rather difficult, doesn't it? Shameful administration, top to bottom.

Anonymous said...

The Board has already wasted 300 grand on assessments that Miss Sarah, their "curriculum director" with two years of teaching behind her, requested. Now they are going to burn another 100 grand on this latest guru, following the 100 grand they burned this year. If there a Guinness record for the largest amount of money wasted by a school board? We might win this one, unlike the ribbon contest.

Anonymous said...

I want to resign from the school district and I don't even work for them.

Anonymous said...

What brains? Anyone can spend money

Anonymous said...

Everyone else does too except the drains on the budget.