Monday, June 22, 2015

Sarah Stevens: Teacher morale will suffer if expensive consultant not retained

Teacher morale will suffer if an expensive Common Core consultant is not brought back for next year, a report prepared by Curriculum Director Sarah Stevens says, as she begs the board to reconsider its 3-2 vote at the last meeting not to rehire Core Collaborative for the 2015-2016 school year.

And this time, she is not trying to sell the board on a $103,000 contract. Out of the goodness of his heart, Core Collaborative founder Paul Bloomberg is giving the district a discounted price of $87,150, which R-8 taxpayers will realize is nearly $10,000 less than the going price for changing the color of bleacher seats.

Of course, the fact that Bloomberg, fellow Core Collaborative official Barb Pitchford, and Stevens are scheduled to make a presentation at a national conference next month on the success they have had in the Joplin school system gives them added incentive to want a deal since it would seem a bit foolish to talk about your success with a school district that did not want you back.

In her reasons for wanting the board to reconsider its action, Stevens says not only will morale suffer but the district would be forced to pull teachers out of classes more often, teachers would have to take time with after-school professional development or book studies (which would have teachers getting paid rather than consultants), they might have to contract with other vendors which would cost more money (apparently, our curriculum instructor is unable to cope without resorting to outside vendors), and teachers would have to be sent all over the United States to get training which might not be passed on to the rest of the faculty.

The proposal was prepared by Stevens, and okayed by Superintendent C. J. Huff and Executive Director of Elementary Education Jennifer Doshier.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

This dumb ass needs fired! She is nothing but an u educated trouble maker within the district and needs to follow suit with Huff!

Anonymous said...

She is so clueless as to what our (teachers) morale is! We need to be using the people and the resources we already have in place. There are still many excellent teachers and administrators in our district...albeit that number is dwindling. Why is their knowledge and real world experience being ignored? Possibly because they truly DO have the experience and education required to do their jobs (unlike Sarah Stevens herself). NEWS FLASH!!! Until Joplin employees receive a DECENT raise, scores and morale will continue on this downward spiral. STOP spending money on ALL of this unnecessary, and ineffective, professional development crap and start putting teachers and students first. PLEASE!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I started to laugh, but then after this morning's outcome with the judge I have little sense of humor left. I don't wish to waste it on this load of crap. The ONLY grasp of hope we had was when Bloomberg was voted down last spring. That bullying idiot is a horrendous waste of money. Teachers will suffer no loss of morale from telling Bloomberg goodbye at all. Our loss of morale comes from the pathetic raise we are getting coupled with the aspect of another year of direction from the likes of Banwart and her new pals on the Board. That is dragging morale down to a whole new low.

Some suggestions for Sarah if she wants to raise morale:
1. Leave us alone. We have degrees just like you have and many of us have way more experience. Your PD is awful and it is getting us nowhere.
2. Stop changing curriculum. It's ridiculous. No one can remember which one we're supposed to use. Your constant meddling is causing chaos.
3. Resign from your job. You don't know what you are doing or you wouldn't need Bloomberg and an assistant. Your job is not that difficult. Go back to the classroom and try teaching for a long enough period of time to gain the experience necessary to do your job.
4. Get us the materials we request. We know what we need. We know this because at least a handful of us have done this long enough to understand what it takes for students to really learn. It isn't perpetual testing, presenters, and nonstop micromanaging. It's competent teachers paid well with what they need at hand.

Joplin students are going to lose yet another year. Joplin parents, where are you? You voiced your opinion at the voting booth last April, and your voice has been silenced. Now is the time to speak up more loudly than ever.

Anonymous said...

Send to training around the United States?? There are plenty of training programs close to home (which to be fair, is technically still "around the United States", though not the impression they are trying to get across). There are numerous workshops offered at the SW Center in Webb City, not to mention all of the opportunities in Springfield. In addition, you can bring many speakers in for professional development at a minimum cost (some agencies do not charge at all). Many districts are utilizing the expertise of their own experienced teachers. Perhaps Joplin needs to consult with other districts on how they are handling these issues.

Anonymous said...

Morale will go up when Stevens and all the other Huffers are gone.
And for the record, he isn't really gone.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the curriculum director DIRECT the PD for the district? Why can't she offer the materials needed for each building to use that will help them with their building plans? Wouldn't it be better to purchase books that the teachers can use to meet their needs? Aren't the coaches supposed to work with their principals to do all that?

Anonymous said...

11:45,
Maybe we could bring back the experienced, knowledgeable people who have left and pay them to do the PD sessions.

Anonymous said...

All I know of Sarah is the presentation she gave. I don't particularly know what she said, just a lot of jargon. It was priceless when Dr Fort brought up her speaking engagement. I wanted her to ask more questions. That whole thing just didn't pass the sniff test. While I suppose she technically wasn't doing anything illegal, it just seemed shady that the school is paying for her to go, then oops!!! She didn't bother to mention she was going to be a speaker. (Paid speaker??) I would bet her supervisor knew she was speaking.

My point is, I suspect when it's all said and done there may not be actual illegal activities found. It will be more of the type things Randy writes about.; Unqualified, overpaid people in positions of power, behind the scenes manipulation, hostile work environment, shady transactions, that type of stuff.

It's been my experience that people such as Huff, Landis and all the others are very skilled at what they do. VERY SKILLED. They know the rules and how to work around them. They know the right words to say to the people they need to impress/sway. They are so skilled that if someone challenges them they can make it seem the challenger is nit picking or being petty. They know how to present half truths and leave out anything that will not promote their agenda. The way they think is not like the rest of us. That's why once they get a foothold on power it's almost impossible to get rid of them. They are experts at what they do. They are like politicians on a smaller playing field. It's time to just suck it up until election time.

If Martucci, Fort and Koch aren't careful the next few months, they will end up looking like the bad guys. They are at a disadvantage because they don't think like politicians. They're not experienced in deception and manipulation. They're just trying to get in there and do the right thing. I believe they can learn the art of politics, they need to be patient. They need to choose their battles. Don't battle everything that comes up. Don't always vote the same way and be accused of being a voting bloc. Develope a strategy. They can still get in there and ultimately do the right thing. They just need to learn how to do it like the pros do. Beat them at their own game. I have studied how my boss (just like Huff) does things for many years now. It became a lot easier once I figured out her game and how to play it.

Anonymous said...

This proposal was brought to the BOE and the vote was no. How is it possible that it is again on the agenda for reconsideration? Because the $ has been lowered, is it considered a "new" action?

Anonymous said...

APPLAUSE TO 12:27pm. Well said. Ahh the hidden agendas of so many. I am ashamed of this school district admin along with the BOE and the Commissioners and now a judge. Not too mention all those on those elite committees. Would bet their kids go to TJ or College Heights, or McAuley...

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of money at stake in this "consulting" deal, and the salesmen aren't going to let a vote by the board impact their livelihood. According to Paul Bloomberg's husband, Corwin Press named Bloomberg one of it's top sales persons in May (Twitter @costaltony, May 12) I wonder what had Sarah Stevens so fired up on June 1. She tweeted a lot that day (at stevens3).

Dusty Roads said...

Bloomberg promised Stevens if she could get it passed he would take her to Del Rio for one of those giant burritos.

Anonymous said...

I have never commented on this blog before. But as a teacher in Joplin with considerable
experience seeing what information is being represented to the board has me very upset.
I don't know if board members read these comments or not, but once, JUST ONCE, I would
love it if the BOE actually took the time to ASK Joplin teachers what lowers morale instead of
relying solely on the word of an under-qualified, overpaid curriculum director who obviously
is pushing an agenda that is for her own benefit. The majority of Joplin teachers are totally misrepresented
at these board meetings. I am tired of watching the meetings each month and hearing the bologna
that people like Sarah Stevens and her "hand picked" teacher representatives try to cram down the BOE throats.
Seriously, I have waited hopefully for things to change. If this passes, this very well could be
the last year I spend teaching in Joplin schools. Do not use MY MORALE as a means of passing
an expensive program that is not wanted. Board members, a vote FOR core collaborative is a vote AGAINST
what teachers truly want! If teachers' morale really matters, vote NO!

Anonymous said...

As of today, morale is as low as it can get, thanks to Lynda Banwart. Sending Bloomberg and Sarah down the road might perk up staff a tiny bit. It won't help pay for milk and bread, but it would make our jobs less hellacious.

Anonymous said...

I don't think teacher morale can get any lower. We have been brow beaten, threatened with our job and put thru the ringer so many times we are dizzy. Yes, I am a Joplin teacher, but sadly must post as Anon for fear of losing my job. Treat us like the educated professionals we are...give us a decent raise and some latitude to judge what is best for our students.

Anonymous said...

Randy, do you have access to the full proposal, and if so, can you post it? I'm curious what positive reasons are given for hiring Bloomberg. Other than the apparent loss of millions of dollars and the ridiculous claim about morale, the consequences of not hiring them sound more like benefits to me.

Randy said...

This link should take you to the full proposal: https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=236&AID=37198&MID=1902

Anonymous said...

Even at the "discount" price of $87,150 it is still going to cost almost $1500 per hour (30 days x 2 hrs per day) for this clown and his entourage.