The Metro Nashville School Board was hurried into picking a new school director and doing it fast. The number of candidates were few, the search was hurried, and the choice of Dr. Shawn Joseph is turning into a major embarrassment. Dr. Joseph, it turns out, is embroiled in a major controversy in his previous district, but apparently no one had time to check that out.

Public school parent and blogger T.C. Weber tells the whole sordid story here.

Nashville just went through a bitter election contest in which voters made clear that they want good public schools, not privatization. The school board can’t afford to squander the public’s confidence by letting the new director run roughshod over the elected board. The board is in charge; Dr. Joseph works for them. They are his employer.

Nashville didn’t want a corporate reformer, but made the mistake of hiring an autocratic, power-hungry, tone-deaf bureaucrat.

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.

Fire whatever search service you used. There are others who can identify superintendents who have served with honor and integrity. Take the time to do it right.