Metro school board member criticizes superintendent in scathing evaluation

Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph (Source: MNPS)

A Metro school board member openly criticized the schools' leader in a scathing review, and she's not the only one with major concerns.

The News4 I-Team's Lindsay Bramson obtained other evaluations of Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Dr. Shawn Joseph, revealing a school board bitterly divided over his leadership.

One school board member even refers to Joseph as "vindictive."

But does that mean he should step down?

"I am concerned about Dr. Joseph, but I don't have the authority to ask Dr. Joseph to step down," Metro School Board's Vice Chairwoman Jill Speering told Bramson. "I think he's inexperienced and I have some major concerns."

Speering isn't holding back about the director of Metro Schools.

“Dr. Joseph is vindictive. Dr. Joseph's staff is vindictive," Speering told News4. "If you don't agree [or] if you have a different opinion, you get a poor evaluation or you get fired or you get [re]placed or you get demoted."PDFs: MNPS 2018 Summative Director Evaluation - Aggregated | MNPS 2018 Summative Director Evaluation - Disaggregated by Board MemberThe News4 I-Team obtained other evaluation of Joseph's performance by school board members, which are part of his first review since taking over as superintendent two years ago.

In Speering’s evaluation, she often says she’s not satisfied, writing that dozens of teachers and principals have left because of Joseph.

More concerning, Speering says, is his spending -- something echoed by another board member, Amy Frogge, in her evaluation, which calls out Joseph for "a great deal of overspending and a lack of vision."

“I just think we need to look deeply into these issues to find out what’s happened," Speering said. “Is he not being truthful or is it incompetence? Either way, it's unacceptable."

So what do all the board members think of Dr. Joseph? We read all the evaluations and found while two are highly critical, the other seven are positive.

For example, Will Pinkston's review gives the superintendent either a "meets expectations" or "exceeds expectations" rating in several different categories.

It’s a board split on the performance of Dr. Joseph.

“I have hoped and prayed things would get better," Speering told Bramson. "I have not seen them get any better."

The News4 I-Team requested an interview with Dr. Joseph about the evaluations. A spokeswoman said he was out of town on vacation and was unable to get a hold of him.

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