Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Teacher crisis in Joplin Schools: Nearly 100 leaving district

(From June 26, 2013) You didn't hear about it on the tightly scripted televised Jopiin R-8 Board of Education meeting Tuesday night on Jet 14, but teachers are leaving right and left from the Joplin School District.

A large number left following the 2011-2012 school year and administration blamed it on the May 22, 2011, Joplin Tornado.

it appears this time that the forces that have driven approximately 100 teachers out of the Joplin R-8 School District can be attributed to a man-made disaster, one of the administration's own making.

In addition to some that have been driven out of the school district (and you can count me in that number) others have left of their own volition and others are reportedly trying to get out of their contracts to escape a work atmosphere that has become increasingly oppressive.

Sources have told The Turner Report that the situation has reached a point where administrators are having to hire nearly anyone who applies, regardless of qualifications, because most teachers who were seeking employment have already found it, or because many qualified teachers are steering clear of the Joplin R-8 School District.

A member of an area board of education told The Turner Report his school had thought it was going to lose an excellent teacher who had applied to the Joplin District and had been offered a contract. The teacher lives in Joplin and had been driving a considerable distance to the rural school where she was teaching. The board member said the teacher declined the contract offer because of what she had been told about the working conditions in the school district.

The news that 100 have either been forced out of the R-8 District or have fled comes at a particularly bad time, since the R-8 Board of Education on Tuesday night approved an improvement plan which states "The Joplin School District shall become the employer of choice through the recruitment and retention of high quality staff."

The plan includes this nugget:

"Joplin Schools will retain a highly qualified staff through a competitive total compensation package and high morale."

That high morale can be determined, the plan indicates, though satisfaction surveys of teachers that show that "the Joplin Schools will have a culture of high expectations, appreciation, and mutual respect that results in high morale and Eagle pride as evidenced by an 80 percent or better employee satisfaction rating on the annual staff survey."

What the board was not told in this plan that it unanimously approved Tuesday night is that teachers are afraid to answer the survey questions honestly because they are taken on computers and teachers are fully aware of administration's tendency to spy on employees.

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