The district had already paid $103,000 to Core Collaborative for the 2014-2015 school year, and Curriculum Director Sarah Stevens made a jargon-filled plea for another year, saying that the district was just getting started with Collaborative head Paul Bloomberg's work on visible learning. "It's still new to us," she said, and she stressed how important it was to have "outside people come" to Joplin and work with teachers and principals.
It was noted that Stevens is going to be presenting at a workshop being put on by Core Collaborative, in which she was going to tell about Joplin's first year experience with the group and what it expected to accomplish during the second year.
Board President Jeff Koch asked Stevens if she would be able to provide the training. Stevens said that while professional development "is my passion," she had too much to do to be able to do that.
Koch, Debbie Fort, and Jennifer Martucci voted against renewing the contract with Core Collaborative, while Mike Landis and Lynda Banwart voted to retain the consulting firm.
Randy Steele was absent.
The vote against Core Collaborative came despite Stevens' efforts to use the same tactics she used last month when she convinced the board to spend $300,000 over a three-year period for a new testing regimen, which will expand the district's practice standardized tests to kindergarten through second grade.
Stevens sent the following e-mail to building principals:
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.