It is maybe because of this swift rise that he has such disdain for teachers. You see he only spent two years in a classroom (in New York and NC, 2 years, 2 different schools) before he decided he had learned all that he could and that his talents would better be served elsewhere. People who want to be teachers are alien to him, he can't understand that they would rather get their satisfaction from helping children than bossing people around and setting policy. I can make the case that he thinks people who don't want to charge to the top of the heap are somehow inferior.
I have detailed how he has repeatedly been disrespectful to professional teachers here but I would like to draw your attention to an op-ed he wrote in the Times Union. He went on and on talking about the various accomplishments of the district, some of which I believe were dubious.
This is the thing though he never mentioned the teaching staff once. Graduation rates, check, more students taking advanced classes check, his leadership saving Christmas, check. But he never mentioned the people doing the actual educating as if all these supposed improvements came from the sheer force of his will, well that and Teach for America because he did write:
We have also created a pipeline of stronger teachers through partnerships with Teach for America and a Jacksonville Teacher Residency program where STEM undergraduates are recruited to earn their master’s degree and commit to serving at least three years in a Quality Education for All school.
Well thank God we have those Teach for America teachers, something like 2.5 percent of all the teachers in Duval because without them, if we just had those blech people who went to school to learn how to teach and had spent a career in our classrooms to rely on, then we would have had to cancel Christmas after all.
There are over 8,000 professional teachers in our classrooms and under 200 TFA teachers yet the first group doesn't get a mention and the second group gets his praise. It doesn't matter that TFA does the exact opposite of what know to be best for our children putting poorly trained non education grads in our toughest classrooms and it doesn't matter that we know they exacerbate the teacher turnover rate either and the reason is because they are following Vitti's carer plan.
You see TFA
Vitti knows TFA has exacerbated the teacher turnover problem too and he plans to change that by moving them into leadership positions, and yes that does nothing to stem the teacher turnover problem but what do you expect from somebody who wants to work in education but not with kids, who dislikes teachers. You see he is fine with that, he respects that, that's who he wants running our schools because 27 year old principals are just fine to somebody who became superintendent when he was 35. To him teaching experience is trumped by a drive to run the entire show. A passion for power trumps a passion for children.
But what Vitti doesn't understand, Gary Chartrand, Jeb Bush, Arne Duncan and others don't and probably never will understand because it is just not in their DNA is that we will never reach our potential, we will never succeed as long as they marginalize and disrespect teachers, you know the ones doing the actual teaching. Furthermore there will not be enough Teach for America teachers when we hit the tipping point and they have disrespected enough people out of the profession, which they basically think anybody can do anyways.
Teachers don't become teachers to get rich, most don't care about politics, few want to run the show, though I think our real hope lies with recruiting those reluctant leaders, all they want to do is make a difference in the lives of children and I believe that in the eyes of our super makes them inferior. His words at the very least back me up.