Friday, July 24, 2015

R-8 spends nearly $3,000 to send four officials to Visible Learning Conference

When Joplin R-8 Director of Curriculum, Learning, and Assessment Sarah Stevens helped fired consultants Paul Bloomberg and Barb Pitchford of Core Collaborative put on a workshop on how successful their program was here, the school district was well represented.

The workshop was held at the annual Visible Learning Conference in San Antonio, Texas, and Stevens was joined by Executive Director of Elementary Education Jennifer Doshier, Executive Director of Secondary Education Jason Cravens, and Executive Director of Special Services Mark Barlass, according to expense reimbursements scheduled to be approved by the R-8 Board of Education when it meets Tuesday night.

The expense reimbursements were $115 apiece, but the district officials were booked into the Visible Learning Conference months ago, long before new board of education members Jeff Koch, Jennifer Martucci, and Gary Nodler and holdover Debbie Fort sent Core Collaborative and its $100,000+ annual price tag packing.

The bills approved at the February Board of Education meeting show $2,396 was approved for the conference.

The conference may not be the last we hear of Core Collaborative. Despite the board rejecting Core Collaborative twice, Stevens recently e-mailed teachers asking for them to share what they have learned through the consulting firm.

Even if the district is truly finished with Core Collaborative, Bloomberg's influence will live on, primarily through the $300,000 testing regimen he recommended to Stevens and the executive directors and which the Board of Education approved.

It is also likely that the district will continue to buy educational materials from Corwin Press, a company that employs Bloomberg as a consultant and which sponsored the Visible Learning Conference.
Find out the behind-the-scenes story of the rise and fall of former Superintendent C. J. Huff, former City Manager Mark Rohr, and former master developer David Wallace, as well as the lowdown on the events and actions that have led to an FBI investigation of Joplin City Councilman Mike Woolston in Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud: Greed, Corruption, and the Joplin Tornado, available in paperback and e-book formats.


Anonymous said...

Corwin publishes lots of professional books. Some pretty good ones. What I don't get is why Stevens and her team of coaches (plus the new assistant) can't do the PD.

Anonymous said...

Corwin materials and Core Collaborative are not the same thing. Core Collaborative takes material from Corwin and other groups and passes it off as original. It's a giant scam. Any teacher or administrator who cannot improve without a consultant is in the wrong business. This PD proved a major annoyance to a lot of teachers and a waste of time in general. Joplin used to do quite well as a district without having its hands held by opportunists like Bloomberg. Perhaps those who went on this little trip should just pick up the tab and call it lesson learned. It'll be the best learning anyone ever did via Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...


If Sarah or anyone at Central Office knew how to do PD, we would never have needed Bloomberg at all. You have to teach long enough to at least be tenured before you can say you have enough experience in the classroom to lead someone else. There are too many people up there whose jobs were given to them in exchange for doing favors instead of based on their competence. So all they can do is try to buy their PD from the latest fool they've seen at one conference or another.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I forgot--one of the keys to being able to teach effectively is having a trusting relationship with your students. That sure doesn't exist with Stevens or her brood. Everyone will be better off reading a book or some articles and discussing those with a friend. Maybe they can find a place online to be able to share their thoughts anonymously so they won't get fired.

Anonymous said...

Is it weird to think that professional development should be more about teachers sharing best practices and successful lesson plans than about sifting through data and discussing the latest, greatest book by the next author looking to get rich from peddling his or her "new" system?