Monday, September 01, 2014

National Weather Service video: Briefing on severe weather forecast for Joplin area

Strong to severe thunderstorms expected today for Joplin area

(From the National Weather Service)

KSZ073-097-101-MOZ055>058-066>071-077>083-088>098-101>106-021515-
BOURBON-CRAWFORD-CHEROKEE-BENTON-MORGAN-MILLER-MARIES-VERNON-
ST. CLAIR-HICKORY-CAMDEN-PULASKI-PHELPS-BARTON-CEDAR-POLK-DALLAS-
LACLEDE-TEXAS-DENT-JASPER-DADE-GREENE-WEBSTER-WRIGHT-NEWTON-
LAWRENCE-CHRISTIAN-DOUGLAS-HOWELL-SHANNON-MCDONALD-BARRY-STONE-
TANEY-OZARK-OREGON-
1010 AM CDT MON SEP 1 2014

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF THE MISSOURI
OZARKS AND EXTREME SOUTHEAST KANSAS.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

WEATHER HAZARDS EXPECTED...

  LIMITED TORNADO RISK.
  ELEVATED HAIL RISK.
  ELEVATED THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE RISK.
  LIMITED FLOODING RISK.
  SIGNIFICANT LIGHTNING RISK.
  LIMITED EXCESSIVE HEAT RISK.

DISCUSSION...

  A FEW THUNDERSTORMS WILL LINGER THIS MORNING WITH THE
  POSSIBILITY OF LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND FREQUENT LIGHTNING.

  ANOTHER ROUND OF STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP
  LATE THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE EVENING HOURS ACROSS SOUTHEASTERN
  KANSAS INTO SOUTHWESTERN AND CENTRAL MISSOURI. INITIALLY A FEW
  SUPERCELLS MAY DEVELOP BEFORE TRANSITIONING INTO A LINE OF
  STORMS LATE THIS EVENING AND OVERNIGHT.

  THE MAIN THREAT WITH THESE STORMS WILL BE DAMAGING WIND GUSTS
  UP TO 70 MPH...LARGE HAIL UP TO THE SIZE OF GOLF BALLS...
  FREQUENT LIGHTNING...AND LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL. THERE WILL BE
  A VERY LIMITED THREAT OF AN ISOLATED TORNADO OR TWO ACROSS
  SOUTHEASTERN KANSAS AND SOUTHWESTERN MISSOURI DURING THE EARLY
  EVENING HOURS.

  WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF TRAINING OF STORMS AND HEAVY RAINFALL
  RATES...THERE WILL BE A LOCALIZED FLASH FLOODING THREAT LATER
  TODAY AND TONIGHT.

  HEAT INDEX VALUES MAY APPROACH THE MIDDLE TO UPPER 90S THIS
  AFTERNOON.

  IF YOU HAVE OUTDOOR PLANS ON THIS LABOR DAY...MONITOR WEATHER
  CONDITIONS CLOSELY AND BE PREPARED TO SEEK SAFE SHELTER WHEN
  STORMS APPROACH.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY.

  A SLOW MOVING FRONT WILL BRING A GOOD CHANCE FOR PERIODIC
  THUNDERSTORMS TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY.

  AREAS OF HEAVY RAINFALL WITH A RISK FOR LOCALIZED FLASH
  FLOODING WILL BE POSSIBLE TUESDAY.

  AFTERNOON HEAT INDEX VALUES IN THE MID 90S WILL BE POSSIBLE ON
  A DAILY AFTERNOON BASIS WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.

  ANOTHER FRONT WILL BRING A CHANCE FOR THUNDERSTORMS FRIDAY AND
  SATURDAY.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

More about why Joplin MAP scores continue to fall

In a post this morning, I posed questions that people need to be asking about the MAP results and I have received some thoughtful responses, both via e-mail and in blog comments.

The following comment, which is also posted in the comment section of the earlier post, offers some thoughts that I felt need to be addressed. I do so at the end of the comment:

Joplin has similar rates of free and reduced lunch (poverty) as other area districts, although about 10% higher than WC.

 Other districts pull teachers many days a year for professional development and team planning/curriculum writing. 

Other districts used Acuity last year. Other districts require classroom teachers to handle the vast majority of discipline in the classroom. Other districts have high turnover rates. Other districts have technology and teacher-created curriculum taking the place of text books. Other districts have jumped on every buzz-worthy edu trend. Other districts have much higher test scores. Why? Joplin isn't that different from other area districts. So, why the huge difference in measurable achievement?

 That's what Turner needs to investigate and report on. We need a detailed comparison to find out the truth. What are the variables? The sad thing is teachers will be blamed for this. Huff is never going to say he is to blame. That's why Turner needs to do some deep digging to find something parents can take to the media. 

Show the public how Joplin is different. Is it the number of years of experience? Show us that there is a connection in other districts. Is it class size? Show us the comparison. Is it poverty? Show us. Is it the number of students with IEPs or kids speaking other languages? Show us.

 If you can't find any differences, then it's either the teachers, the students, the Admin, or a combination. Report the facts, otherwise people will react emotionally and blame Huff or the teachers, and I don't want teachers blamed. When the evidence isn't stated, it's impossible to make an informed decision.

 I like the topics you report Turner, but I want you to do more. I want you to spell it out so that I (and others) can't try to find a different possibility. Write the article "This is Why It's Huff's Fault" and show evidence that the high achieving districts don't also do the same things you've mentioned in this post.

At times, I forget that not everyone has had first hand experience in dealing with what is going on in the Joplin R-8 School District.

I have not only personally dealt with the situation in Joplin, but have kept in touch with teachers in the district, as well as teachers who teach in other districts, teachers who came to Joplin from other districts and teachers who have left Joplin to work in other districts.

I invite any teachers or parents to add information, but this is how I address each of the points made by the reader.

-As far as the poverty situation, I only mentioned it because the Joplin schools that did not score well are generally the ones where the families have the highest poverty level and I am sure that holds true in other districts with multiple schools, as well. It was not intended as an excuse, but an explanation.

-Other districts are moving toward having teachers handle more discipline in the classroom. That is true. However, when students do cross the line, in other districts, there is more support, on the whole, for teachers from the building principals. Some of the schools in Joplin have developed bad reputationx for allowing the unruly children to govern the educational process. Webb City, for example, has always had a reputation for strong discipline. Joplin does not have that reputation and that factor has been cited to me by some of those who have elected to place their children in Webb City, Thomas Jefferson, College Heights, or other schools.

-Other schools use Acuity and unfortunately, some form of it will be used in the future by every school in Missouri since DESE decided to pay millions in taxpayer money to buy the materials. Joplin is the only area school that I have heard of that has tried to build curriculum around it. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks (besides the incredible cost) of having so many people in upper administration is that they all have to make up work to feel useful and mining all of this data apparently makes them feel important. (Actually, they are not the ones who mine it, they have the teachers do it. All they do is look it over and decide which schools are doing it the way they want it done.) Other districts use Acuity as a tool. Joplin uses it as a weapon against the teachers. And it has not worked. Scores have gone down ever since Acuity was implemented in the Joplin R-8 School District. During that time, taxpayers have paid more than a quarter of a million dollars for something that has not worked.

-As for other districts having high teacher turnover rates, tell me locally where this has been taking place. That sounds like the same argument the board of education was making when this issue first came up. Yes, those numbers occur frequently in inner city schools and there will always be turnover, but when 300 teachers leave a district in three years, when nearly all of the principals have been replaced from a district that had been making strong gains before C. J. Huff arrived and scores have decreased each year since then, there is a vacuum in leadership. Those who could have helped Huff and Angie Besendorfer put the district back on track were shoved out the door and replaced with people who do not question anything that is put before them.

-Other districts have technology and teacher-created curriculum, you say, and that is true. I am totally in favor of both. I used technology in my classroom on an everyday basis. Teacher-created curriculum, however, is an entirely different thing from teacher-created lesson plans. In Joplin, meeting after meeting is held to create curriculum and yet for the most part the district has little or no curriculum to show for it and new teachers are not given anything but state general learning expectations (GLEs) or more recently, Common Core. For new teachers, this has been a problem, one that has often been handled by working with veteran teachers. For new teachers who are increasingly surrounded by other new teachers, this becomes a serious situation.

-Teachers in other school districts are shocked when they learn of the number of days Joplin teachers are pulled out of the classroom and about the incredible amount of money the district spends on substitute teachers. As you point out, teachers at other schools are pulled out of school for these kinds of meetings, but you will not see teachers being taken out of the classroom four to 12 weeks during a school year to attend meetings, especially not teachers in tested areas.

- As for other districts adopting new educational; trends, I am sorry to say that has always been a problem in education. Each new trend that comes along will revolutionize schools.. I remember a 1981 interview I did with the superintendent at East Newton Dalton Ham, who thought mastery learning was the greatest thing to ever hit education. By the time I entered the classroom 18 years later, mastery learning had been gone for more than a decade, though like all educational trends, it returns every few years under different names. 

My previous post was an analysis of the MAP scores combined with things I know from working in the Joplin R-8 School District, talking with people who have worked there and some who still work there, and by talking with teachers from other districts.

I have a great admiration for the people who teach in the Joplin R-8 School District. I have provided enough documented evidence for the past 16 months that anyone who has been reading should know where the problems lie and it is not with the teachers, nor is it with the students. Scores did not start sinking year after year until C. J. Huff and Angie Besendorfer arrived.

That is evidence enough. And this started three years before the Joplin Tornado, so please do not use that as an excuse.




Questions that need to be asked about MAP results

Some have described me as hypocritical for making such a big deal out of local schools' MAP scores when I have criticized the overemphasis on poorly written standardized tests time after time in the past.

I have not changed my views on those tests and remain staunchly opposed to the idea that the tests should be used to evaluate teachers.

That being said, the MAP and other standardized tests, though overemphasized, do provide a considerable amount of useful information and raise questions that need to be answered, especially in the Joplin R-8 School District.

Acuity Tests

For instance, the C. J. Huff/Angie Besendorfer regime invested nearly $50,000 a year in Acuity tests. These were practice tests devised by the company that makes the MAP tests, and at one point they were given eight times a year, taking several weeks out of the school calendar that could have been used for instruction.

Not only were the tests given that often, but soon they were creating practice tests for the practice tests and those who did not do well on those were given extra work, often doing the same kinds of standardized test practice.

I participated in numerous meetings in which district officials pushed the idea of having curriculum revolve around those tests.

Math and communication arts teachers were frequently pulled out of class so they could grade Acuity tests or put the data from those into the computer. Other times, we were pulled out of class and forced to interpret what this data meant and how we could use it to improve our test scores.

And during all of those meetings, the students were "learning" from substitute teachers.

What were the results of this madness?

MAP scores have gone down in the district ever since Acuity was implemented, or for that matter ever since C. J. Huff and Angie Besendorfer arrived in Joplin.

We were told at the beginning of this that scores would go down initially, but we would soon see dramatic increases.. When that did not take place, the spin changed, and the tests became "unfair" and not indicative of how our schools were doing.

No matter that every other school in Missouri was having to deal with MAP, Joplin was the only one around complaining that it was not fair.

Teachers Pulled from Classrooms

Each year when test results were issued, administration came down harder on teachers, indicating that only teachers, and not administration, played a part in creating low test scores. More professional development, if it could truly be called that, centered around ways to improve students' test-taking techniques, ways to game the testing system, and of course, how to use data that was almost impossible to interpret in any rational way.

Teachers were constantly being pulled out of classrooms. I was teaching a tested area, but one year I was pulled out of class 16 days for professional development. I thought that was bad until I learned during my final year of teaching that our highly successful eighth grade math teacher at East Middle School had been pulled out more than 20 days and there was still time to go before the tests were given.

That would seem to be an issue that should be discussed in a board of education campaign and indeed, successful candidate Dr. Debbie Fort brought it up during the candidate forum, noting she had a teacher pulled out of her classroom (she was principal at Irving Elementary) for 60 days. That was the only mention. No one ever held the board or the administration's feet to the fire about why this was being done.

There have been times when half of the teaching staff has been pulled out of district buildings and one thing teachers learn quickly- when that many teachers are gone, not only will less learning take place in the rooms with substitutes, no matter how good the lesson plan that is left for them, but it also has an effect on the other teachers. The more substitute teachers you have, the more behavioral problems you have.

And with all of these people going to meetings, being fed, often having their way paid on seminars or trips, plus the cost of paying substitute teachers, you are throwing away thousands of dollars with no positive return.

Students need teachers in order for their educational experience to be successful. For some reason, that idea has never taken hold with the Huff/Besendorfer administration.

The Poor Treatment of Teachers

You also have a problem when you have approximately 300 teachers who have left the school district in the past three years, many of them among the best teachers the district had to offer.

With the administration's current emphasis on allowing students to find their way with teachers standing by as guides and telling them to Google for whatever information they need, teachers are not being allowed to teach. Especially at the elementary level, it is reaching the point where everything teachers do is being carefully scripted so that administration has more control. That approach has not benefited the students. It has also driven many excellent teachers out of the district.

Teachers have also been negatively affected by the lack of discipline at the schools. Principals are under orders to keep referrals down so that state statistics will show just how wonderful the behavior is at the Joplin Schools, so they begin coming up with different levels of referrals. As I have noted before, in my last year at East, we were required to have eight classroom referrals for students before they could be sent to the principal or assistant principal. Even then, there was often no discipline administered, just talks and promises that things would get better.

We were told that after the eight classroom referrals that we should send the students to the office with each additional referral. That stopped when we were told not to send them down so that we could give the principal's talk or offer of one lunchroom detention an opportunity to work.

Teachers are also provided with lists of actions that should result in students being sent to the office and actions that should be handled in the classroom. Many of the actions that are now considered to be classroom would have resulted in an automatic trip to the principal just a few years ago.

What happens when you have this lack of discipline is that younger teachers are afraid to send students to the office and behavior takes place that hurts the learning process. It also increases the chances that these younger teachers are going to get out of teaching...or get out of Joplin.

It also is unfair to the majority of the students who are there to learn and cannot understand why their classmates are being allowed to get away with so much.

The Poverty Situation
While educational "reformers" piously insist that it is not true, poverty does play a role in learning. If the children's families do not have money, do not have books in the home, do not have access to internet, it does make a difference.

It does not mean that the students do not learn or are not capable of learning. Far from it.

But any time you are examining standardized test results, it will become obvious that students from schools where there is more poverty are nearly always going to have lower scores. That is obvious in Joplin's results and it has been that way since long before C. J. Huff and Angie Besendorfer arrived. The Bright Futures program,when you remove its local excesses and get down to its core, has had a positive effect, but the idea of providing a stable educational environment inside the schools seems to be something that has been foreign to the Huff Administration.

Only three principals remain from the group that served Joplin when C. J. Huff arrived. Many of those who were shown the door were top-notch principals and were replaced by lower-level yes men and yes woman, some with little or no organizational abilityand no ability at all to inspire, but who would never question any edict from upper administration, even in a respectful manner.

The same revolving door, as noted earlier, has applied to teachers. It is important to have new, eager teachers in schools at the beginning of each year, but it is just as important to have veteran teachers, often just as eager, to show them the way, to help them get through the pitfalls of that inaugural year, and to provide a stable environment for children who desperately need it.

During the years of the Huff Administration, everything has been about each new program that has been started, all with the implied and often-stated message that the people in Joplin were never worried about education until C. J. Huff arrived and led us out of the darkness.

Stability is the best thing that C. J. Huff could have done for our schools, especially for those in the poverty-stricken areas of Joplin. The only stability that has existed in the Joplin R-8 School District since he arrived from Eldon is that he is going to be the center of everything and everyone else is disposable. When you have that kind of attitude, the ones who are the most damaged are the ones he always says he is doing everything for- the kids.

Questions That Need to be Asked

When readers are examining the MAP results and how they affect Joplin, there are questions that need to be asked and no one, especially the media, has been asking them.

1. Why are scores in Carl Junction and Webb City so high compared to Joplin? Is it a matter of people choosing to locate in those communities just to be in those school systems? Does it involve lesser poverty than you see in Joplin? 

2. How many Joplin parents are opting to move their children to other schools? We have seen the publicized instance of former R-8 Board of Education member Dawn Sticklen who moved her child from Joplin to Webb City and then resigned form the board. Many of my former students are now in Carl Junction, Webb City, Carthage, and Neosho, and these are students who were still attending Joplin schools after the tornado. I also have seen many of my former students transferring to Thomas Jefferson and College Heights and more than before are home schooling. Why are parents pulling their students out of Joplin schools? Is it discipline, is it education, is it the excesses of the Huff Administration? There is still the question of if Joplin's 21st Century learning is not negatively impacting students by removing lecturing and nearly all teacher-led lessons, when those are going to be the type of classes they will have most often if they continue to colleges or universities.

3. If we begin paying and evaluating teachers based on student scores on standardized tests, as Amendment 3 calls for, are we going to end up unfairly punishing teachers who work in areas with higher poverty and are we going to have a harder time finding teachers who are willing to teach in those schools, or continue teaching there when jobs in other districts open. Are we condemning the students in the poverty areas to having inexperienced teachers year after year after year?

MAP results are worth examining and the most important thing they do is to enable us to raise these questions. Hopefully, as time goes on, we will be able to answer some of them and use those answers to improve education in Joplin and the surrounding area.

The first thing we have to do, however, is ask the questions, and eliminate business as usual.




Saturday, August 30, 2014

MAP scores provided for Joplin, Jasper County elementary schools

The following MAP scores show the percentage of students who scored proficient or above on the annual MAP tests:

Third Grade Communication Arts
Districts
Webb City 64.0
Carl Junction 53.2
Carthage 34.4
Joplin 30.8
Jasper 26.6
Sarcoxie 26.4
Avilla 10.6

Fourth Grade Communication Arts
Districts
Webb City 58.1
Carl Junction 48.5
Carthage 45.8
Jasper 45.2
Avilla 42.8
Sarcoxie 41.5
Joplin 41.1

Fifth Grade Communication Arts
Districts
Jasper 65.7
Carl Junction 51.0
Webb City 50.3
Sarcoxie 50.0
Avilla 47.7
Joplin 43.5
Carthage 42.7

Third Grade Math
Districts
Webb City 72.1
Carl Junction 65.7\
Carthage 46.7
Sarcoxie 41.5
Joplin 34.9
Jasper 26.7
Avilla 10.5

Fourth Grade Math
Districts
Webb City 58.1
Carthage 42.7
Sarcoxie 42.5
Carl Junction 38.4
Avilla 38.1
Joplin 34.7
Jasper 32.2

Fifth Grade Math
Districts
Jasper 68.8
Webb City 58.3
Carl Junction 56.8
Sarcoxie 44.2
Joplin 43.9
Carthage 42.8
Avilla 41.2

Third Grade Communication Arts
Buildings
Webb City Harry S Truman 69.6
Webb City Eugene Field 66.7
Joplin Kelsey Norman 64.6
Webb City Mark Twain 61.3
Carthage Steadley 57.4
Joplin Stapleton 56.8
Carl Junction 53.2
Webb City- Carterville Elementary 52.2
Carthage Mark Twain 49.2
Joplin Columbia 48.6
Carthage Pleasant Valley 39.4
Joplin Royal Heights 34.8
Carthage Columbian 30.9
Carthage Fairview 30.7
Joplin Cecil Floyd 27.6
Jasper 26.6
Sarcoxie 26.4
Joplin Soaring Heights 26.2
Joplin Eastmorland 24.5
Joplin West Central 24.3
Joplin McKinley 19.6
Joplin Irving 18.8
Avilla 10.6
Joplin Jefferson 3.7

Fourth Grade Communication Arts
Buildings
Webb City Harry S Truman 66.1
Joplin Stapleton 60.6
Carthage Steadley 59.8
Webb City Carterville Elementary 57.1
Webb City Mark Twain 56.5
Joplin West Central 54.6
Carthage Mark Twain 52.1
Carthage Pleasant Valley 52.0
Joplin Kelsey Norman 50.0
Carl Junction 48.5
Webb City Eugene Field (between 45.8 and 50.5)
Jasper 45.2
Joplin Eastmorland 45.1
Joplin Soaring Heights 44.7
Joplin Columbia 43.2
Avilla 42.8
Sarcoxie 41.5
Joplin Irving 41.0
Joplin Cecil Floyd 37.8
Carthage Columbian between 37.3 and 42.7
Joplin Royal Heights 33.3
Carthage Fairview 28.1
Joplin McKinley 22.9
Joplin Jefferson 21.1

Fifth Grade Communication Arts
Buildings
Joplin Kelsey Norman 67.5
Joplin Stapleton 66.7
Jasper 65.7
Carl Junction 51.0
Webb City Middle School 50.3
Sarcoxie 50.0
Avilla 47.0
Joplin Columbia 44.2
Joplin Irving 43.0
Carthage Middle School 42.7
Joplin West Central 39.1
Joplin Cecil Floyd 37.8
Joplin Eastmorland 37.5
Joplin Royal Heights 31.7
Joplin Soaring Heights 31.1
Joplin McKinley 26.6

Third Grade Math
Buildings
Webb City Harry S Truman 78.3
Webb City Mark Twain 70.4
Webb City Eugene Field 69.7
Webb City Carterville 68.1
Joplin Kelsey Norman 67.6
Carthage Pleasant Valley 66.7
Carthage Mark Twain 57.2
Joplin Stapleton 56.8
Joplin Royal Heights 45.6
Joplin Columbia 43.3
Sarcoxie 41.5
Carthage Steadley 41.1
Joplin Soaring Heights 38.3
Carthage Columbian 36.2
Joplin Cecil Floyd 30.6
Joplin McKinley 29.4
Joplin Eastmorland 28.9
Jasper 26.7
Carthage Fairview 25.0
Joplin Irving 18.8
Joplin West Central between 13.5 and 18.9
Avilla 10.5
Joplin Jefferson 7.4

Fourth Grade Math
Buildings
Webb City Harry S Truman 66.1
Joplin Stapleton 60.6
Webb City Carterville 57.1
Carthage Pleasant Valley 56.0
Carthage Steadley 55.5
Webb City Mark Twain 55.3
Joplin Kelsey Norman 52.3
Webb City Eugene Field between 45.5 and 50.5
Carthage Mark Twain 43.8
Sarcoxie 42.5
Joplin Soaring Heights 40.7
Avilla 38.1
Joplin Columbia 37.5
Joplin Eastmorland 35.3
Carthage Fairview 34.6
Joplin Royal Heights 33.3
Jasper 32.2
Joplin Cecil Floyd 30.5
Carthage Columbian between 28.9 and 33.3
Joplin Irving 28.9
Joplin West Central between 22.7 and 26.8
Joplin Jefferson 10.6
Joplin McKinley 2.8

Fifth Grade Math
Buildings
Joplin Stapleton 74.3
Joplin Kelsey Norman 71.4
Jasper 68.8
Webb City Middle School 58.3
Carl Junction 56.8
Joplin Columbia 51.2
Joplin Cecil Floyd 45.1
Sarcoxie 44.2
Carthage Middle School 42.8
Joplin Royal Heights 41.4
Avilla 41.2
Joplin Eastmorland 39.7
Joplin Irving 35.2
Joplin Jefferson 32.6
Joplin Soaring Heights 31.1
Joplin McKinley 17.2
Joplin West Central 8.7

(Note: The schools that do not have an exact figure listed are ones that had two categories that had percentages small enough that they were not listed, so I used the possible range of scores it could be.)

Joplin High School MAP scores lowest in Jasper, Newton counties

The percentage of students who scored proficient or above on the 2014 MAP tests are recorded below for high schools in Jasper and Newton counties:

English 1
Jasper 75.0
Seneca 69.5
Carl Junction 68.3
East Newton 61.2
Webb City 60.9
Diamond 59.1
Carthage 58.2
Neosho 57.0
Joplin 51.3
Sarcoxie 50.9

English 2
Webb City 81.6
Carl Junction 77.3
Jasper 75.7
Seneca 74.6
East Newton 72.1
Sarcoxie 70.6
Carthage 69.0
Neosho 66.3
Diamond 66.0
Joplin 62.8

Algebra I
Webb City 72.3
East Newton 62.6
Carl Junction 57.9
Jasper 50.0
Carthage 45.7
Neosho 41.3
Diamond 40.3
Seneca 38.9
Sarcoxie 32.5
Joplin 27.1

Algebra II
(no listing for Webb City)
East Newton 100.0
Jasper 92.3
Neosho 54.4
Joplin 52.4
Carl Junction 49.1
Carthage 46.3
Seneca 40.8
Diamond 40.3
Sarcoxie 35.4


C. J. Huff: We will try to improve math and science scores

A report from KODE's Gretchen Bolander

Wallace-Bajjali: We still want to use Coca-Cola building as post office

The post office has no interest in it, but Wallace-Bajjali continues to insist in this report from KSN's Felicia Lawrence that it is negotiating with the Postal Service, but looking at other things, too.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cleaver: It was not Fallujah, but Ferguson

In his latest EC from DC report, Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver writes about the situation in Ferguson.

The images that assaulted our senses, night after night, recently from Ferguson, Missouri, created waves of concern in Americans from coast to coast, regardless of race, religion, or political party.

So many questions, emotions, and deep-seated resentments have erupted since the shooting death of Michael Brown.

At the request of several ministers and community leaders in Ferguson, I traveled there to offer any assistance I could, to lessen tensions before another tragedy occurred. I also joined several Missouri lawmakers in sitting down with Attorney General Eric Holder. I was pleased by his visit, his promise of a fair and thorough investigation, and his commitment to those victimized during the protests.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (right) meets with Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (center) and Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II, in his office at the Pentagon | DoD photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Hurt

I, along with my colleague Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), also urgently requested a meeting with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. We sat down in The Pentagon with him the next evening, to discuss our grave concerns about the militarization of local law enforcement agencies.

Under what is known as the 1033 Program, surplus Department of Defense equipment is distributed to various police departments throughout the country. I voiced my strong objections, and those of many constituents from both parties in Missouri’s Fifth District, to parts of 1033. I am not advocating for the termination of the 1033 Program altogether, but believe a vigorous review is necessary. I am encouraged by the President's promise to do just that.

If there is any good to come of this tragedy, perhaps it is that we will act forcefully and quickly to ensure public safety, and preserve our constitutional rights, including the right to assemble and peacefully protest, without the unacceptable threat of an overbearing police response that targets law-abiding citizens with military weapons and technology.

Carl Junction, Webb City schools top 6-8 MAP scores

Sixth Grade Communication Arts
Scoring Proficient or Above Average

1. Jasper 79.2
2. Webb City 63.5
3. Carl Junction 52.8
4.Carthage 44.0
5. Joplin 41.9
6. Avilla 40.0
7. Sarcoxie 37.1
(Joplin South scored at 48.2, Joplin East 39.1 and Joplin North 37.3)

Seventh Grade Communication Arts
1.Carl Junction 63.1
2. Webb City 60.3
3. Avilla 56.5
4. Joplin 55.7
5. Carthage 52.2
6.Jasper 51.3
7.Sarcoxie 46.2
(Joplin South scored 56.7, East 56.0, and North 54.0)

Eighth Grade Communication Arts
1. Webb City 60.4
2. Carl Junction 55.5
3. Avilla 50.0
4. Joplin 48.0
5. Jasper 46.9
6. Carthage 44.0
7. Sarcoxie 31.3
(South 53.9, North 51.9, East 35.3)

Sixth Grade Math
1. Jasper 83.4
2. Webb City 63.5
3.Carl Junction 57.9
4. Sarcoxie 52.9
5. Carthage 52.5
6. Joplin 45.1
7. Avilla 40.0
(South 52.0, North 43.9, East 37.3)

Seventh Grade Math
1. Carl Junction 66.9
2. Webb City 64.5
3. Jasper 56.7
4. Carthage 56.0
5. Joplin 53.6
6. Avilla 34.8
7. Sarcoxie 32.9
(South 56.4, North 52.3, East 44.2)

Eighth Grade Math
1.  Webb City 64.9
2. Carl Junction 55.5
3. Joplin  48.0
4. Carthage 41.2
5. Jasper 40.6
6. Avilla 33.4
7. Sarcoxie 30.8
(North 52.3, South 44. East 29.7)

Eighth Grade Science
1. Webb City 61.2
1. Carl Junction 61.2
3. Joplin 50.2
4. Avilla 45.8
5. Carthage 45.7
6. Jasper 43.8
7. Sarcoxie 34.6
(South 53.4, North 53.2, East 44.2)