Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dr. Joseph plays the race card in response to criticism over no bid handouts to cronies

by Rod Williams - At Tuesday night's School Board meeting, Dr. Shawn Joseph played the race card and said criticism of his administration of Metro Schools was the same product of the factors that led to the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the treatment of other African-American men.  "What we know is fear is a mind killer," said Dr. Joseph as pictures of Martin and others were shown on monitors around the board room.

At the heart of the recent controversy was recently uncovered evidence by NewsChannel 5 Investigates about companies that got no-bid contracts under Joseph's administration and how his administration misled the board about key details. His primary critic was School Board member Amy Frogge. School Board Chair Sharon Gentry defended Joseph.

For an understanding of the mood at the School Board, here is a description of what happened as reported on the blog Dad Gone Wild:

After the board opened the floor for comments on the recently completed audit/investigation by the Metro Government audit department, board member Amy Frogge read in a dispassionate voice a long list on transgressions that included several instances of laws being broken and board policy not adhered to. All of the charges included extensive supporting documentation.

At the end of her speech, comments from fellow board members focused not on fixing the problems of financial fidelity, but rather how the board could avoid continuing to be viewed as dysfunctional. There was little concern expressed about addressing an apparent inability to follow procedure and protecting taxpayer investment. Instead, the impetus was clearly on cleaning up the board’s image so that they could procure more of that taxpayer money.
I have been  impressed by School Board member Amy Frogge  in  her effort to expose corruption and mismanagement at Metro Schools.  Ms Frogge has not been one of my favorite school board members.  I am in favor of charter schools and Ms Frogge has been a consistent critic. However, Ms Frogge has risen in my esteem due to her persistence in opposing cronyism and mismanagement on the part of the current school administration. 

For more on this story see the followng from News Channel 5: Contract questions continue to haunt Metro School Board, Analysis: MNPS audit leaves unanswered questions,
 and MNPS official failed to disclose consulting fees from vendor group. For anyone who wishes to stay informed about Metro School issues, I would recommend following the blog Dad Gone Wild. It is a consistent good source of information and analysis.

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