NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph had a rocky relationship with parents and teachers before he resigned under fire in April.

The school director reports to the school board, but what if that power structure changed?

News4 asked the leading candidates for mayor “Should the director of Nashville schools report directly to the mayor?”

Carol Swain said yes.

“I believe the director of schools should report to the mayor because there has to be some accountability,” Swain said. “We’ve had problems in the past. The school board has a budget of almost a billion dollars and we know that we have some of the worst performing schools in the state.”

David Briley said no.

“I do think the mayor needs to get more involved in forcing the board to be more proactive, managing the system more efficiently and more focused on getting better student outcomes for folks,” said Briley.

John Ray Clemmons said no.

“What we need is a strong partnership between the mayor’s office and MNPS leadership,” said Clemmons. “We need to be working together to achieve a mutual vision to improve Metro public schools.”

John Cooper said no.

“Each member of the school board represents 9,500 children and their parents and those children and those school board members deserve a voice in who is the superintendent of schools,” said Cooper. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Nancy Amons is an award-winning member of the News4 Investigates team. She has been breaking stories in Middle Tennessee for more than 20 years.

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