Report: Nashville Schools Director Shawn Joseph Gave Favored Company No-Bid Contract

A software company got a no-bid $1.8 million contract, courtesy of the Metro Nashville Public Schools and, more specifically, Director of Schools Shawn Joseph, according to NewsChannel 5 of Nashville.

Joseph, according to the report, had already done business with this company, the Utah-based Performance Matters, in the past.

In doing so, the school system violated state purchasing laws, according to NewsChannel 5.

“Our exclusive investigation also uncovered evidence that, in doing so, Joseph and his team repeatedly misled members of the Metro School Board about key aspects of the deals,” the station went on to say.

Metro Schools told NewsChannel 5 they made mistakes “in good faith.”

Performance Matters markets student assessment software. The goal is to allow educators to track student progress and professional development software to monitor training that teachers must complete, the station said.

“Joseph, who took control over the Nashville school system in July 2016, had appeared in a slickly produced video that touted how Performance Matters’ student assessment software had been utilized in his previous job in Prince George’s County, Maryland,” NewsChannel 5 reported.

“A complimentary quote from Joseph was included in the company’s promotions. He had even been the keynote speaker at a Performance Matters conference in 2014.”

But six weeks after he started as director of Metro Schools, the station discovered Joseph hosted a Performance Matters’ salesman in the district offices.

“A month later, chief academic officer Dr. Monique Felder directed MNPS staff to get to work on a contract with the company for its Unify student assessment platform, according to emails obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates under the Tennessee Public Records Act,” the station said.

Internal emails the station obtained revealed veteran employees were unsure what Performance Matters’ Unify platform could offer that the school system’s own data warehouse did not already have, the station said.

“Emails reveal frustrations that Joseph and his team had seemingly not taken the time to learn what MNPS’ existing system could do before they turned to Performance Matters,” the station reported.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Shawn Joseph” by Tennessee State University.









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4 Thoughts to “Report: Nashville Schools Director Shawn Joseph Gave Favored Company No-Bid Contract”

  1. Horatio Bunce

    When Haslam and Huffman gave the statewide no-bid testing contract to PARCC, there were no consequences. So why wouldn’t Joseph expect he could do the same?

  2. Steve Allen

    Why is it that the majority of fiscal irresponsibility (illegal activity) takes place in the liberal stronghold of Nashville? The ex-mayor of Nashville comes to mind immediately. There needs to be much harsher penalties for these crimes. This is just another example of the immorality of liberalism. Also, it’s too bad that so many honest democrats continue to have their party cast in such a negative light due to the disgusting behavior of the liberal/progressive/socialists that are working overtime to destroy our Nation.

  3. Chitown Cap

    ICEBURG DEAD AHEAD!!! Wake up Nashville, wake up Tennessee, there are red flags everywhere. I’ve seen what happens when the left thinks our tax dollars is theirs to spend as they so choose. The city of Chicago is $42 billion dollars in the hole, they have about $9.5 billion In assets, each tax payer is on the hook for $36,000.00, that’s just the city of Chicago, there are surrounding suburbs with the same fiscal stress. The state of Illinois is in even worse shape, sooner or later they’ll be looking for a bailout of which you and I will have to pay for, if you all don’t wake up soon we will end up in the same boat, smarten up Nashville, smarten up Tennesseans, it’s time to hold everyone accountable, corrupt people need to be removed from office and be held accountable for their actions!!!

  4. Rick

    School systems in today’s world are difficult to operate and manage to say the least . You bring someone in like this who is giving you the middle index finger from day one and saying I will do what I want, try to get rid of me and I will bring a lawsuit against the system. . How many times can he do this and get away with it before someone wakes up. If we had a mayor with leadership qualities (and we do not) this school superintendent would be gone. HE SHOULD BE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY. WHAT AN EMBARRASEMENT!