The Metro School Board voted to end the contract of Metro Schools Director Dr. Shawn Joseph at a meeting on Tuesday evening.
They voted to give the embattled director a payout of $261,000, in addition to his regular pay until July 1st.
Joseph is expected to be out of office by April 12 at the end of this week. He was not in attendance at the Board meeting.
“Dr. Joseph is a good man, he’s not perfect,” said board member Will Pinkston. “He has been held to an impossibly high double standard.”
The board voted 5-3, a majority decision, but it was far from a consensus agreement among members.
“There has been an epic failure to protect our school’s limited resources since every day this director invites more liability,” said board member, Amy Frogge.
“Dr. Joseph did not realize that he had every ability to come in this district and do very well,” added member Fran Bush. “He failed to do that. you can laugh and chuckle, it does not bother me.”
Dr. Adrienne Battle has been appointed interim Schools Director. She has been serving as Community Superintendent for Metro Schools.
The Board made the decision in front of a packed house. Parents and observers lined up to comment about the board’s action. Many expressed frustration with school performance and concern for their children.
Dr. Battle made a brief comment on the future transition.
“Our focus goes back to and remains on our students at all times,” she said. “Our students are our priority, so we’ll be focused there.”
A news release from the school system says the buyout of the director’s contract was reached by mutual agreement.
They released this statement from Dr. Shawn Joseph:
“It has been my honor to serve as Director of Schools in Nashville. I believe much has been accomplished despite the pervasive challenges I encountered when arriving, and I am so proud of the tremendous work of the thousands of teachers and staff members who have helped to move the needle for our children,” Joseph said.
“It is my hope that this momentum will continue to build. My life’s mission is to ensure equity and excellence for all children, and I will continue to be a vocal and action-oriented advocate for every child, family and employee in the school system.”