Monday, December 17, 2018
Joplin R-8 Board to act on $16,500 proposal to have Springfield firm talk and listen to people
In the real world, where people don't use phrases like "human-centered design research," it means Joplin R-8 officials are asking the Board of Education to spend $16,500 of taxpayer money to talk to people and find out how things are going.
The proposal is scheduled to be discussed during the 7 p.m. Tuesday board meeting at the Memorial Education Center.
This would not be the first time the Springfield-based Opinion Research Specialists has worked wtih the district.
In 2015, Interim Superintendent Norm Ridder, who had worked with the company when he was Springfield Public Schools superintendent, recommended the board hire Opinion Research Specialists to survey the community, faculty and students about the perception of the district and school climate.
Ridder said much of the cost of the $55,000 survey, which came only a few months after the end of the controversial tenure of former Superintendent C. J. Huff, could be funded through grants.
Documentation supplied to the board for Tuesday's meeting indicates that did not happen.
The district paid the company $75,000 for its work in 2015 and follow-up work in 2016.
The proposal calls for Opinion Research Specialists to interview up to 20 Joplin R-8 employees and up to 15 Joplin citizens to find out how they perceive the district and up to 35 staff, parents and students to find out what they think about Joplin High School.
In addition to those in-person interviews, the proposal includes a phone survey.
"The district has a significant investment in building a positive climate and culture through a robust and relevant strategic plan. Attending to stakeholder voice through human-centered design as a periodic checkup for student, parent, community and staff feedback can be a crucial school improvement component."
In other words, Moss thinks it is important that the district talk to people and see how things are going.
And if you can do some human-centered design while you're at it, so much the better.