Category Archives: PGCPS Board member weighs in on Head Start allegations and Cover up.

The Day Former PGCPS Executive Cornered With Corruption Walked Away.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Schools director Dr. Shawn Joseph (Former PGCPS Executive) ordered his staff not to answer NewsChannel 5’s questions about his hiring practices, planning instead to attack the station’s reporting after a story aired.

That’s according to emails obtained under the Tennessee Public Records Act.

Joseph’s directive came after NewsChannel 5 Investigates questioned the hiring of two individuals with connections to the new schools director.

As previously reported, one of those hires, Kathleen Dawson, was named an executive lead principal to supervise other principals – even though she has never worked a full year as a lead principal in any school. Another hire, Tamika Tasby, was put in charge of professional development for teachers even though she has no classroom experience.

On November 10, in anticipation of that news report, NewsChannel 5 submitted specific questions to the district about the hiring of the two women.

According to the emails, the district’s senior communications director, Janel Lacy, forwarded that request to Joseph and other members of his leadership team.

“I believe it’s in our best interest to respond, since he’s likely to go forward with a story regardless,” Lacy wrote. “The story will be much worse without a response from us.”

Joseph’s chief of staff, Jana Carlisle, responded that same day: “Dr. J is disinclined to engage.”

The next day, Lacy again pushed Joseph’s team to respond to NewsChannel 5’s questions.

“I think at the very least we need to answer whether the positions were posted or not,” she emailed. “If they weren’t posted – and legally didn’t have to be posted – then let’s own that and the decisions to hire them…. Better to address it head on.”

Lacy prepared a draft statement in which Joseph would say he felt “confident that time will show we have the right people in the right places – and that we are moving at a rapid pace to give our students higher quality instruction in every school.”

Joseph responded: “No, I do not like it.”

“I don’t want us to respond,” he continued. “If he does a story, we will follow up with a very direct statement towards his conduct…period.”

JOSEPH: “I DON’T WANT US TO RESPOND” (p. 1)

http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3226375-Shawn-Joseph-Emails.html#document/p1/a329264
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It’s not clear what Joseph intended, but the district ignored NewsChannel 5’s questions and never gave any explanation about why no statement was issued.

Since there was no response to our questions, NewsChannel 5 Investigates filed a public records request for the emails in an effort to determine Joseph’s thinking and understand his refusal to respond.

That attitude followed an earlier on-camera interview in which Joseph had become agitated about questions about his use of district employees as chauffeurs.

Ironically, in a separate exchange, emails show that Metro Council member Russ Pulley told the district’s lobbyist that “taxpayers should be more concerned about the money we are spending answering these open record requests from Phil Williams.”

That comment came after NewsChannel 5 Investigates raised questions about spending by the district under Joseph’s leadership.

Pulley shared his response to a constituent about Joseph’s spending. He told the constituent, “I agree the optics of this or [sic] not the greatest, but the reality is we can do a much better job of finding waste other than this.”

But, then, in an email to the district lobbyist, Pulley showed no concern over “the optics.”

“Please let Dr. Joseph know that he has my full and complete support,” Pulley wrote. “And I also have absolutely no problem with how he conducts his business.”

via NewsChannel 5

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Shawn Joseph was the Prince George’s district’s deputy superintendent of the teaching and learning division and oversaw numerous departments, including the early education department that oversaw the Head Start grant in which the federal government revoke a $6.4 million due to teachers mistreating students.

The notice of the revocation, sent to the PGCPS district on Aug. 12, 2016 found that teachers used corporal punishment on children, as well as humiliated them in the county’s Head Start program in the Maryland district, according to a Washington Post report.

Shawn Joseph was not listed in the report or in the notice of revocation. He officially began the Metro Schools job on July 1, 2016 in Nashville. However, emails shared later shown that, Mr. Shawn Joseph was made aware of the issues but failed to act.

The first incident of child neglect was first reported in December 2015, according to the report, and the revocation document says that a 3-year-old boy at a Prince George’s early learning school was forced to mop his urine in wet clothes.

The teacher sent a photo of the student mopping the urine to the parent, the report says. It adds that a family services worker likely discouraged the parent from filing a complaint, which was eventually filed in mid-January 2016.

The deficiencies in reporting the incident of neglect were shown to be corrected in April 2016 during a follow-up visit, according to the report. And Shawn Joseph said the investigation was handled by human resources personnel.

But further incidents occurred on June 10 2016 and June 15, 2016 according to the report, and led to the eventual revocation of the federal Head Start grant. It said efforts to ensure staff followed the standards of conduct training outlined by administrators weren’t effective.

Other issues were also found including during that time where a student left the school’s campus and walked home unnoticed by employees. Staff did not know the child’s whereabouts for more than an hour. Rather than address the issues, Prince George’s County public schools personnel together with others engaged in cover ups rather than address the issues properly.

Just like Tennessee Metro School District under Shawn Joseph,  Prince George’s County Public Schools is run in similar version in which appointments are made based on family or friends without proper regard to their qualifications to positions of authority.

Read more >>>BOE political cronyism-nepotism refresher

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PGCPS Board member weighs in on Head Start allegations and Cover up.

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Edward Burroughs III said it’s absurd and he isn’t backing down from his previous claim that there is possibly a cover up.

CAPITOL HEIGHTS, MD (WUSA9) – After the Department of Health and Human Services announced its decision to suspend federal funding for the Head Start program in Prince George’s County, many were outraged.

One member of the county’s Board of Education, Edward Burroughs, called for an external investigation into a possible cover up within the system.

“I want to know who knew what when. How long has this been occurring, what are the other instances,” Burroughs said. “And I’m not confident that we have the level of integrity necessary to do this investigation in house.”

Burroughs contended that members of the board were not informed of the investigation, but now the chair, vice chair, and another board member are pushing back on his claims.

RELATED: Child abuse alleged in Prince George’s Head Start program, federal funding suspended

In a statement, Chair Dr. Segun Eubanks and Vice Chair Carolyn Boston said, “it is categorically false to imply or state there were attempts by the Administration or other board members to mislead the entire body.”

The two also said in the statement that all board members learned about the investigation and the accusations at a Board of Education meeting on April 15.

Additionally, they said everyone had access to meeting minutes from the Head Start Program Policy Council which talked about the pending federal review.

None of the board members are listed as attending the meeting, but Wallace said everyone could see the information because it was “posted publicly on our board docs notification system.”

Wallace said while he wasn’t at the meeting, he accessed the documents and read it from the online system.

Burroughs said it’s absurd and he isn’t backing down from his previous claim that there is possibly a cover up.

He said no one directly addressed the board, and the minutes from policy council meeting did not include adequate information.

“They’re alleging that the board found out in April. Did the board mandate weekly reports on the issue? Did the board mandate that we fix these issues and did we monitor it?” Burroughs said. “The answer is no. Because we didn’t know about it.”

via WUSA9

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Department of Health and Human Services announced its decision to suspend federal funding for the Head Start program in Prince George’s County due to ongoing misconduct involving the county staff

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