Tag Archives: Critic Sees ‘Cronyism’ In former PGCPS Executives in Nashville Tennessee Hiring Fiasco.

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)

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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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Critic Sees ‘Cronyism’ In former PGCPS Executives in Nashville Tennessee Hiring Fiasco.

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How PGCPS Executives transferred Cronyism in Nashville Tennessee and hired their friends pretending to be the best in the nation only to get caught. The Tennessee Nashville Metro Schools Hiring fiasco is facilitated by illicit affair and corruption.

Phil Williams a reporter in Nashville Tennessee pulled no punches when he launched an extensive coverage against the former Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Executives and now Nashville Metro School’s  “corrupt political elite.” They  appear to be embezzling funds from the district without any mercy.

Nashville parents and local bloggers have singled out the “scandalous” Dr. Shawn Joseph transaction in which long time friends and close members and friends controversially received thousands of dollars in suspect pay. Others are engaged in a culture of pay to play within the same district using the Nashville Metro as a flat form for an illegal agenda to do Business.

“We’re headed for a predator state where a powerful, corrupt and demagogic elite of political hyenas are increasingly using the state money to get rich,” said one parent after reading about the story in the blogs.

Just like the “hyena and her daughters” eat first in nature, the “School chief and his family eat first” in Nashville Tennessee. The same scenario is playing out in Prince George’s County were they learned this trade and advanced to the next level only to get caught. Remember our story early this year ….Mr. Bodyguard Hyena and why his escort is unfair through a jungle.

>>>Read more

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Shawn Joseph is overcome with emotion and cries while in PGCPS.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Has Metro’s new director of schools hired some of the nation’s best — or just his best friends?

That’s the question being raised by critics of Dr. Shawn Joseph’s hiring practices.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered that one of the common factors behind a lot of those hires is that they’ve previously worked with him in Maryland or Delaware — or they’ve got connections to members of his inner circle.

“We have to hire and attract the best people in the country,” Joseph insisted in a recent interview.

One of those people — Kathleen Dawson — serves as an executive lead principal, helping to supervise other principals.

We pulled her application and it claims that, in her last job as an executive principal, Dawson was “responsible for leading the turnaround” of a troubled high school, increasing the graduation rate by 4 percent, while decreasing the dropout rate by almost 1 percent.

Local education blogger T.C. Weber found that laughable.

“This was good for a chuckle,” he remarked. “Kathleen has done everything but hire all the janitors, build the school, train all the parents.”

Weber is a Metro Schools parent whose blog is followed by a lot of district employees.

He noted that a simple Google search shows that Dawson took the job in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in July 2014.

By November, there were reports of trouble inside the school.

By January, Dawson had called it quits.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked, “Realistically, there’s no way she could have accomplished that?”

“No, no, no,” he insisted.

In fact, we discovered that, while Dawson’s resume shows plenty of experience as an assistant principal, she’s never worked a full year as the lead principal at any school in her career.

“My conclusion when I look at that,” Weber said, “is that she is overseeing a whole bunch of principals that are a lot more qualified than she is.”

But Joseph recently told NewsChannel 5 Investigates, “I feel real good about who we have.”

He defended the fact that, when he wanted the best chief academic officer in the country, he hired a longtime colleague from Maryland, Monique Felder.

The best chief of schools he could find: another colleague, Sito Narcisse.

The best executive officer for diversity: Narcisse’s then-fiance, now wife, Maritza Gonzalez.

The best executive officer for priority schools: another colleague, Mo Carrasco.

Two other executive lead principals — Karen Desouza Gallman and Linda Iverson — are also from Maryland.

“If I know extraordinary people,” Joseph said, “then I think it’s great for me to do what I can do to recruit them.”

We asked, “Is it possible that there were extraordinary people already here that you overlooked?”

“No, not for the positions that I hired for,” he answered.

WEB EXTRA: Joseph discusses Central Office size

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Weber’s reaction: “Well, he would have had to talk to people to know that.”

The education blogger noted that, in the case of Kathleen Dawson’s position supervising other principals, there were plenty of options in a district that’s been honored in recent years for its innovative programs.

“At the high school level across the board we have some rock stars,” he said. “Down in the middle schools, we have some rock stars. We have some quality principals. That’s one strong point we have.”

He also pointed to Joseph’s hiring of another former colleague, Tamika Tasby, to head professional development programs used to train teachers across the district.

Her resume shows that, until just five years ago, Tasby was in sales.

“A lot of teachers that I talk to get angry about that one,” Weber said.

Why?

“Because she has absolutely no classroom experience and absolutely no experience in developing professional development.”

Joseph, however, has been unapologetic.

“For the initial start, I thought in this instance and this time the people that I chose are pretty extraordinary — and I’m very proud of the work they are doing.”

While Joseph insisted he’s just being the change agent that the School Board hired him to be, Weber has another word for what he sees.

“I think it’s safe to say that cronyism would be the right word.”

NewsChannel 5 Investigates reached out to the school district four days ago, asking for comment about these specific hires.

We wanted to know if anyone else was given a chance to interview — and we wanted to know why district leaders think the two women we highlighted were so qualified for these jobs.

So far, Dr. Joseph and his team have ignored our request for comment.

Meanwhile, we obtained an email in which Doctor Joseph’s longtime mentor cautioned him about hiring so many outsiders.

That came after Joseph hired an outsider as his chief of staff. That meant that three of the four people on his leadership team were from out of state. The only Metro Schools veteran was former interim director Chris Henson.

“Chief looks good and well rounded. BUT she is another outsider,” Joseph’s former boss, Jerry Weast cautioned.

“Be careful and try to find someone besides Henson who is local. He will attract conversation since people know him…. I am advising you you must have someone you trust and is a local — that is until you become the local.”

 

Joseph told NewsChannel 5 Investigates that he just doesn’t agree with Weast’s concerns.

Read more >>> A Look at How PGCPS Executives transferred Corruption to Tennessee.

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