Diane Ravitch, the former Assistant Secretary of Education and education historian, believes that the Nashville School Board should terminate the contract of Dr. Shawn Joseph just three months into his tenure.
If you need a refresher, Diane Ravitch is an anti-reformer who teaches at New York University. Although never being a K-12 teacher herself, she is a hero to many teachers around the country because of her anti-testing, anti-accountably, and anti-charter school stances.
She regularly blogs about the happenings in Nashville. In the latest blog post, she uses a post from Nashville blogger T.C. Weber, who has been featured on this blog, as proof to call for the termination of Dr. Joseph’s contract:
If the elected board can’t straighten out this mess and revise Dr. Joseph’s contract to assure that he works for the board–the board does not work for him–then it’s time to cut their losses and terminate his contract. Don’t accept excuses for his wasteful spending, his ill-advised hires, his importing of the same aides involved in the scandal in Prince George’s County. If he won’t comply, say goodbye. It’s imperative to admit it when you have made a mistake. Cut your losses sooner rather than later.
Diane Ravitch is close allies of Nashville school board members and many anti-reformers in Nashville. School Board Members Amy Frogge and Will Pinkston have regularly posted articles from Ravitch and have been featured on Ravitch’s national blog. Frogge has previously said that Ravitch “simply speaks the truth.”
Here is Amy Frogge with Ravitch at an event in Nashville in 2014 that was put on by TREE (Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence—TC Weber is recording secretary of TREE), an anti-school reform organization. TREE has also put on other events where Pinkston and Frogge have attended.
It’s time we ask Pinkston & Frogge if they agree with Ravitch’s call for Joseph’s contract termination. We need to know.
Another education blogger who has been featured on this blog, Mary Holden, commented that she believes that “the board needs to admit its mistake and make it right. Now. Before it’s too late.”
While Weber doesn’t think Joseph’s contract should be terminated, he does believe other staff members should be fired because their “hirings are morally wrong.”
Do others believe that Joseph should be terminated? Vesia Hawkins, education blogger and former school board administer, believes this is just the start. On Twitter, she says, “The witch hunt to our Nashville’s first African American director of school after only 3 months on the job has gone national.”
Hawkins goes on to remind everyone that Nashville came together to hire Joseph. “The city identified the man they wanted in a director. Remember the committee? What about the community meetings? The many welcome mats?”
Those welcome mats are long gone.
I think it’s time to ask our school board members and education leaders if they think Joseph and his staff should be fired three months in. Are these the opinions of extreme bloggers or are these the represented opinions of the anti-reform crowd in Nashville? We need to know.
Three months in, are people already starting to work against our Director of Schools? This has happened before…I hope it’s not happening again.
I knew this day would come, but I didn’t think it would be so soon into Joseph’s contract when the calls for firing would start up. Nashville came together to hire an amazing new leader, so let’s give him time to show us what he can do.
But there is another person who “liked” the Diane Ravitch blog post calling for the termination of Joseph…Dr. Jay Steele. Maybe he is hoping for a second chance to become Director of Schools.
For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport.