Monday, June 08, 2015

Bob Steere calls out the Joplin Globe, Burlingame

One of the many things that irritates me the most about the Joplin Globe is the way it treats its guest columnists.

In recent days, it has run guest columns by Anson Burlingame and Bob Steere about the ongoing problems in the Joplin R-8 School District. Both are simply listed as living in Joplin. Whether that is done to put them on equal footing with the readers or for some other reason, I do not know.

Whatever the reasoning, it is a disservice to readers who do not know either man.

Burlingame is a self-appointed expert on education who has inflicted himself upon the reading public and upon Joplin R-8 educators, Steere is a highly respected retired Missouri Southern State University professor, who was involved in the education of prospective teachers for more than a generation.

While Burlingame talks continually of having read one book, The Bell Curve, about education, Steere has written books about education.

In his column, Steere called out the Globe on its editorial praising departing Superintendent C. J. Huff:

It was informative for the Globe to review the superintendent's specific successes, but why not mention his job-related specifics that caused his retirement? Maybe the editorial was meant to be an obituary.

Steere also questioned the Globe editorial's assertion that Huff had hired excellent administrators, noting the following:

Surely the Globe did not do its own reporting to justify its "excellent" rating based on the superintendent approving the hiring of a top administrator to oversee the education of the district's elementary students and then allowing her to attend five out-of-state conferences and in-state conferences- at a cost of almost $5,000 of taxpayers' money- to enable her for the position.

Steere then politely ripped into Burlingame's column that ran the same day as that editorial. Steere questioned how Burlingame could refer to Jeff Koch, Debbie Fort, and Jennifer Martucci as a cabal, "but those in support of the superintendent, Michael Landis, Randy Steele, and Lynda Banwart, are not a secret clique and are the only ones remaining to 'do their best for the public education system.' "

Steere challenged the Globe on its seeming rush to attack, Koch, Fort, and Martucci, especially when Koch and Martucci have been on the board for less than two months:

So dear readers, do not be overly discouraged by our board's problems. The problems will come to pass, and our district will become one of distinction. Join me in supporting our new board.

It doesn't say much for the Joplin Globe when it puts its own creation, Burlingame, on the same level as Bob Steere. Fortunately, most people can recognize a well-considered, intelligent column when they read it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having guest columnists writing about our schools who are not educators. There are many parents and other taxpayers who can offer worthwhile views. There are students who can provide different points of view.

That the Globe continues to run one column on education after another by a man whose knowledge of public education appears to be limited to reading The Bell Curve and staring deeply into C. J. Huff's eyes, is just another reason why so many people have found that a daily newspaper is not the necessity they once thought it was.


Anonymous said...

Certainly not THIS "news"paper.

Anonymous said...

I truly appreciated Bob Steere's commentary on the situation at hand. His knowledge of education and students is very valued at this time. What would it take to get this man on the school board? He is more than qualified and we need his common sense approach to learning and leading.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Turner, for posting this. I admire Bob Steere's commentary, but since I refuse to pick up the Globe now I hadn't had the opportunity to read his latest. He's a good man.

Anonymous said...


I agree! Steere would make a great Board member. I wish he would put his name in the hat.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Steere. We worked hard to get our new Board members elected. They haven't had an opportunity to even show what they are made of yet because the Board members we wanted out are going to be obstructionists to the bitter end. They have a lot to hide and will happily destroy education in Joplin to cover it up. So, for those who are shaming them and listening to the Globe's unfounded histrionics, stop and look at the evidence of who brought the problems to R8 and hold them accountable. Let the new members get back to the business of running our school system, not the Globe and its accomplices in JPC and CART.

Anonymous said...

So what's up with the new Globe story about trying to swear in Kimbrough today?

Anonymous said...

Glad you are reporting on the scandal that went down today with the new board. Turner report is a joke with an agenda.

Anonymous said...

Scandal? That may be how the globe will report it. It sounds like they had a legal opinion that all they need is a majority of the board and thats what they had. Maybe its not a scandal but a legal opinion and not by R8 attorney Rouse. Mike Landis resignation to force the county commision to name new board members was a political move. So was this. I would guess a few attorneys have looked at the boards options and this was one of them. Since all the old Huff supporters are favoring the County commision approach it makes one skeptical.

Anonymous said...

Burlingame? What about Caldwell as the expert on world affairs? This paper is such a piece of trash.

Anonymous said...

Scandal? Sounds like you called the media! Looking for more sensationalism?

Anonymous said...

So Turner Report should report on a Globe story? Without investigating the "scandal" first? Because the Globe has been so credible?
Move along, troll. You can get your news from the Globe.

Anonymous said...

Great letter by Dr. Steere. I wish he'd apply for a board seat. With Mr. Kimbrough and Dr. Steere added, you'd have the makings of a BOE that is responsive to the educational needs of our children. I wouldn't have seen this letter either since I dropped the Globe during the Bruce Speck mess. I can't understand why anyone would pay their astronomical subscription rate for such drivel, and yes, I'm over 50 and retired.

Anonymous said...

^^^Don't feed the troll^^^