Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why are Webb City, Carl Junction schools so far ahead of Joplin?

If you go the 41-minute mark of the accompanying video (Jet HD's coverage of Thursday's night Joplin R-8 Board of Education meeting), you will hear HR Director Ron Lankford, former superintendent of the Webb City R-7 School District, answer the question that is posed in the headline of this post.

In his concise explanation, Lankford uses statistics dating back four decades and detailing the growth that has taken place in Webb City and Carl Junction, while Joplin has had a corresponding decrease, not even taking into consideration the effects of the May 22, 2011 tornado.

While everything Lankford says make sense and offers a reasonable explanation of the conditions that have enabled Joplin's neighboring school districts to move ahead, there is more to it than that.

What cannot be explained, and Lankford was not asked to explain it, is how Joplin was able to close that gap considerably in the years before the arrival of C. J. Huff. In fact, Lankford's explanation provides clear evidence that what was happening in Joplin before the Jeff Flowers/Mike Landis/Randy Steele/Anne Sharp boards of education  did their level best to destroy it was truly remarkable.

I will be writing more about that later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a difference in leadership in the 21st century. Joplin has a reputation of fully planning out bond issues, where Webb City plans and spends exactly what the bond says. It goes before Huff. I was an employee of Dr. Lankford, and proud of it. Not only is he a number guy, he is a people person- loving on students and teachers alike.