One of the most frequently voiced objections to school choice is that the free market lacks the “accountability” that governs public education. Public schools are constantly monitored by district administrators, state officials, federal officials, school board members, and throngs of other people tasked with making sure that the schools follow all the rules and regulations governing them. That level of bureaucratic oversight does not exist in the free market, and critics fear choice-based education will be plagued by corruption, poor-quality schools, and failure. In case you are new to the game, back in July, Prince George’s county Public Schools (PGCPS) Executives led by Dr. Shawn Joseph left the county for greener pastures in Tennessee. Specifically, Nashville got a new Director of Schools, and while there was a sigh of relief that he wasn’t of the reformer ilk, he’s raised plenty of other red flags since he started work there which amounts to transfer of corruption from PGCPS. This is so because, these are the same issues we complained about long ago within the Prince George’s County schools. Recently, This past week, even more started to pop up. According to blogger Dad Gone wild, you cannot simply bottle up the truth. >>>Read more here.
Due to blogging posts in Nashville Tennessee, Phil Williams, an investigative local journalist with Channel 5 News, has begun asking many of the same questions that the bloggers had been asking in the last few months. In an attempt to preempt the potential damage, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) released a series of communications. The first was under the guise of a“fact checking” sheet. Everybody loves a fact checker these days, but the problem is, this one didn’t counter any facts. Instead, it confirmed that the Chiefs were driving luxury vehicles and commanding much larger salaries than last year. Salaries that were not designated in the budget that was approved just a few months ago. Here’s another hint: justifications that involve how special you are as opposed to everybody else will usually fall on deaf ears.
According to the information received from Nashville School District, Each of the chiefs are also supplied an automobile. In this case, a Chevy Tahoe. A vehicle with a price tag similar to the salary of an MNPS teacher with 7 years of experience and a Master’s degree. District officials, when questioned, claimed that these vehicles were previously used by other administrators in the past. Which would beg the question of who was using them because the previous director drove a Ford Edge and his Number 2 used his own car except on rare occasion. It is also extremely fortuitous that we had 5 Tahoes already in the fleet given that the “Chief” positions are all new positions. Any keen observer will say this opens a lot of questions about their fleet management. It appears as though some of these Chiefs may have returned their Tahoes to the fleet. If true anyone can reading this can ask, why did they wait until people raised a fuss?
Here is a chart of current salaries for the new Chiefs from PGCPS and Montgomery County (the 4th Chief began her job after my FOIA request) and the Executive Officers, all of whom are making significantly more than their predecessors:
|CHIEF – ACADEMIC OFFICER||7/1/16||185,000.00|
|CHIEF – FINANCIAL OFFICER||7/1/02||185,000.00|
|CHIEF – SCHOOLS||7/1/16||185,000.00|
|EXEC OFCR – SUPPORT SERVICES||8/26/92||159,120.00|
|EXEC DIR – TALENT STRATEGY||1/22/13||155,000.00|
|EXEC OFCR – CHARTER SCHOOLS||7/1/16||155,000.00|
|EXEC OFCR – EQUITY & DIVERSITY||7/1/16||155,000.00|
|EXEC OFCR – HS||7/21/04||155,000.00|
|EXEC OFCR – LEADERSHIP DEVELOP||6/1/10||155,000.00|
|EXEC OFCR – MS||8/9/99||155,000.00|
|EXEC OFCR – PRE-K & ES||7/15/13||155,000.00|
|EXEC OFCR – PRIORITY SCHOOLS||7/1/16||155,000.00|
Each of the chiefs are also supplied an automobile. In this case, a Chevy Tahoe. (similar to the ones pictured below). A vehicle with a price tag similar to the salary of an MNPS teacher with 7 years of experience and a Master’s degree. District officials, when questioned, claimed that these vehicles were previously used by other administrators in the past. Which would beg the question of who was using them because according to the records supplied by bloggers there, the previous director drove a Ford Edge and his Number 2 used his own car except on rare occasion. It is also extremely fortuitous that they had 5 Tahoes already in the fleet given that the “Chief” positions are all new positions. Any keen observer would say this opens a lot of questions about their fleet management. It appears as though some of these Chiefs may have returned their Tahoes to the fleet. If true they need to ask, why did they wait until people raised a fuss?
In looking at the two charts above, anyone can see there is not a lot of shrinkage happening. In fact the opposite of what the board in that District had been calling for seems to have happened. As any keen observer can see the news reporters in Nashville are not arguing for justification, and shrinking central office may have been the wrong directive, but where is the money coming from? And why is it necessary to pull people from outside of the district to fill those new positions? Did they not have nobody competent enough who was working previously in Nashville? Because that’s the impression being given. It seems like no one in Nashville is good enough, and that is ridiculous considering that there was some exceptional work taking place before Joseph was hired. Pre-K, the Academies, English Language instruction, budget presentation, all were winning national accolades that are now going unrecognized by the current administration in Nashville according to bloggers in that District.
Each of the chiefs are also supplied an automobile a Chevy Tahoe at the cost of $55,000 as shown above.
From PGCPS to Metro Nashville Public Schools.