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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Times Union changes headline, covers for superintendent Vitti

This morning’s Times Union article about Vitti’s evaluation said, If Superintendent Nikolai Vitti attended the schools he oversees, he’d be considered a B student, based on an evaluation Tuesday by School Board members.

Yesterday however when the article was first put up it said, If Superintendent Nikolai Vitti attended the schools he oversees, he’d be considered a C student, based on an evaluation Tuesday by School Board members.

Like many teachers are coerced to do, the Times Union engaged in a little overnight grade inflation.

Why does the Times Union feel the need to cover for this guy? I am sure somebody at the district saw the initial post and called to complain. I bet they started with, technically a 2.73 is a B. As if a 2.73 is anything to be proud about especially with conflagration that went on with his grades. Sure you are probably saying, 2.7 is in the B minus range but come on look at how he got there, which I bet took some massaging to do.

The Times Union did not, and why didn’t they sheesh, print or link all the categories and the board members individual scores but from the ones they did I am blown away. Safety improvements, um like cutting over a hundred security guards and teacher morale both got scores of 2.6. That’s the board or a good segment of them being willfully ignorant.

It boils down to Vitti did really well, in the “we like you, we really, really like you” categories from the board but did abysmally in the results category. Qualitatively he did well, quantitatively he was abysmal.

And inexplicably the board is talking contract extension already? How about we get some real success before that happens?

It’s a shame the Times Union felt the need to change the title because overall the article was pretty fair (but where are the links???). The fact they felt they needed to do so though is very telling. 

 Here is a link to the Princeton grade converter:

Though if you multiplied his 2.73 by 25 you get a 68.25 which tells a different and I believe more accurate story.


  1. I have the opposite problem...they don't like me, they really don't like me. But my scores are always great. Admins really get it wrong. Teachers with the highest admin eval scores get poor student growth scores. Because if you give them all good grades and never make the students or their parents mad, then you're not doing your job. But the admins will love you, because they don't get complaints and you're moving them across that graduation stage.

  2. I noticed the same switch. But I have a different hypothesis. I don't think the T-U gives a hoot about what DCPS thinks, but the power players in town didn't like the headline and paragraph that said Vitti would be a C student. I think It is people like JPEF who call the T-U and lean on them for a different slant. Whoever runs the T-U is tight with that crowd.

    Now it also occurs to me that the people with clout in Jax are slowly taking over the School Board. Fischer, Shine, Smith ... they're close to a majority. One more, and we'll follow Detroit and New Orleans into charter land.

  3. Vitti is a C student. We all know the kind. They aren't that smart but they work really hard. Have you heard his grammar? It's atrocious.