This is a letter reporting on the state of the Springfield R-12 Public School System. It is failing!
The [Missouri Assessment Program] test scores for the new Fremont Elementary, featuring open classrooms, are at the very bottom of all SPS elementary schools in math (9.4 percent proficiency, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education). By comparison, York Elementary, an old two-story building also with very high free and reduced lunch numbers, was sixth (at 56 percent) among all SPS elementaries – whatever their poverty rates. Likewise, Pershing Middle School, an old building, was top in math (48 percent proficient or advanced) while the new Westport was at the bottom of middle schools in student proficiency (14.2 percent).
The No. 1 root cause for failure is the superintendent. A further look at the superintendent’s failure is how he mismanages your tax dollars:
• $620,000 of original architect’s plans for Fremont were trashed;
• $350,000 paid to consultants MGT for framing the failed 2017 bond proposal;
• $450,000 for architect’s studies for the current bond proposal; and
• $430,000 for land acquisition for relocation of Boyd before the bond vote.
The total of the expenditures is $1.85 million. Not one brick to show for it.
Voting “no” means [John] Jungmann must go.
Recent news coverage [by the Springfield News-Leader] has drawn attention to pornography popping up on Chromebooks. They are a teaching tool, just as chalkboards once were, but chalkboards were never exposing kids to X-rated lessons.
Voting “no” keeps from adding one more tax increase on top of a recent one-half-cent sales tax for the jail, potential 20-year extension of the one-quarter-cent sales tax for city infrastructure and potential extended three-quarter cent sales tax for the police/fire pension fund. And, after the upcoming election, property reassessment letters will be issued with likely increases in valuations.
Voting “no” will save Portland Elementary from the bulldozer. The Portland site, at nine acres, has enough land to build a new Jarrett without closing Portland. That would save millions of dollars.
Everyone wants what is best for the kids. Teaching kids is more than buildings. Buildings do not teach. Teachers teach.
—Carl E. Herd, of Springfield, a retired SPS math teacher
Local developer plans renovations after investing $5 million in foreclosed property acquisitions.
How do you develop your company's core values? Mark Struckhoff and Michele Delcoure, both with Council of Churches discuss how they did it and the importance of why you should. Ask the Experts is a monthly series in cooperation with Springfield Business Journal. This is sponsored content.
As employees are more mobile and have a desire to work from home, Haden Long owner of Ellecor, explains office spaces are trending towards a more home-like feel. Things like shared work spaces, office pets, and cozy furnishings allow employees to be selective about where they work and become more effective as a result.
Every industry has to navigate trend shifts, but Scott Shotts of Missouri Spirits describes the changes in beverage industry as anarchy. Tried-and-true spirits rules are being ignored. Learn how the local distillery balances following the trends for product development with taking risks.
Kevin Wyas, founder of ECRI, started his first business at the age of 19, ran the business for 16 years before selling it. He recognizes the benefits of starting a business so young when he had relatively little to lose. "The stress and the uncertainty of this would be crippling," he says for somebody accustomed to a regular paycheck.
ighty percent of questions are common across industries, so you don't need industry-specific experience to do effective market research according to Debra Kassarjian, independent consultant and owner of DKInsights. As a matter of fact, she thinks there is a great deal to be gained from exchanging ideas outside of your industry.
Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, says the biggest leap they took in the first year was to purchase a vehicle. That major financial investment, however, allowed them to provide their outdoor guide services at a price point they felt was more appropriate.
Springfield Diner owner Ömer Önder sits down with a restaurant consultant who starts challenging the menu offerings."No bashful food." The blunt conversation is the launching off point to determine how the Mediterranean influence will affect the young restaurant's offerings in the future. Made to Order is an ongoing sbjLive documentary series in collaboration with Springfield Business Journal tracking the rebranding of a local restaurant.
Haden Long, owner of Ellecor, opened a retail home decor business five years ago in a traditional retail space. When the interior design side of the business took off, she decided to renovate a 100-year old bungalow to better show off product samples and installations.
Scott Shotts, partner with Missouri Spirits, says when they started in 2011 there were approximately 300 distilleries in the U.S. and now there are more than 3,000 so competition has grown significantly. Diversification of their business model has helped them succeed.
Matthew Blystone of Theta Float Spa had the financial means to start the unique business, but used crowdsourcing for pre-orders to determine market interest in addition to gathering a nice cash reserve before opening.