Why is Superintendent Vitti punishing staff for doing their jobs?
Last summer when school grades came out it was a disaster. Duval’s school grades plummeted at an unprecedented rate. The school board then extended the super’s contract and did so some nine months before they had to.
If the super’s job is to raise school grades then he has arguably been a failure.
That’s why it is really amazing that he has disciplined two staff member for doing their jobs.
The first is Oscar Harris an assistant principal at Westside High School who was suspended for 30 days for breaking up a brutal fight. The way I see it Mr. Harris, 52 years old, put himself on the line to protect other students and staff and instead of being thanked he was hung out to dry. Should Mr. Harris have let the kids beat each other into a pulp?
Then there is Cheryle Ferlita, the former district academic services director over reading language arts for grades three through five. Her job was to help reading coaches and teachers prepare their children for the state tests and she was demoted to reading coach and her grievous sin was doing her job. She passed on a reading prompt that was similar to one that was on the test. Did the district want something different?
Teacher morale is rock bottom and I am sure staff being punished for doing their job is not helping things. Time and time again the super has also said denigrating things about the district’s staff now he has taken to punishing them for doing their job.
The super has powerful friends in the city. The business community and the elites love him but should that be enough? I mean isn’t his job to improve things, and he might not get it but punishing people to success is not going to get the job done.