Thursday, March 5, 2015
Superintendent Vitti’s no good terrible very bad leadership. (rough draft)
You know I don’t blame him for last year’s historic drop in school grades. I don’t even blame him for the projected even worse drop that is about to occur, though I wonder if the race to extend his contract is because something really bad is about to drop.
Though if school grades are the barometer of success then the superintendent has been a failure. Now I think the system we have is a disaster but Shine, Fischer and Smith-Juarez, three of the four board members who pushed his extension don’t. Their whole belief system is built on the A-F grading system. That means they just don’t care how our schools do as long as their man is here to run them.
I also don’t give him credit for the millions of dollar he has brought in from the city’s elite. First that money was in the works before he arrived, now would a super who cares more about our teachers been able to bring it home? I don’t know though I suspect a competent super or even Vitti could have gotten the money without sacrificing democracy which is what the QEA does or bowing down to rich community members who have close ties to the privatization movement.
But you know what we can blame him for? Many of his leadership choices which haven’t made much sense and saw people who browbeat and belittle teachers advance. Others have been woefully unqualified for their positions owing their advancement just to personal loyalty to him.
We can blame him for teacher morale which is rock bottom. A lot of that is due to the school leaders he has hired who like him were allowed to bring their sycophants with them. Sure the pressures are tough and the pay is poor but you will find teachers at schools with good principals who are thriving despite those circumstance. What Vitti and his business cronies don’t get is 40 million over three years is nice, but a motivated happy teacher force is worth exponentially more per year.
Then we can blame the fiasco of extending his contract on him too. I would like to point out it took the district 9 months to negotiate with teachers who went without a contract since last July 1, while extending the supers contract, took a month and happened some nine months before they had too.
The board has already said he will be held harmless for this year’s school grades and apparently last years too. As the top educator shouldn’t he have insisted that all of the district’s teachers will be held harmless as well? I mean if it is good enough for him shouldn’t he be insisting it is good for the people he is leading?
But he doesn’t think like that. He was a teacher for two years and thinks people that want to be teachers are somehow inferior, and look how he has bonded with the city’s elite rather than rank and file teachers as evidence of that. He thinks we’ll just get some more Teach for America hobbyists in there to get the job done.
There are a lot of things we can blame Vitti for I just don’t think the most obvious is one is one of them.