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Subtle will soon be nonexistent in the Transformation schools (rough draft)

Words have power and for Duval County Public Schools which often makes huge deals out of incredibly small improvements to say the changes at the transformation schools have been subtle I can't help but think the changes they have made have been monumental failures.

A few weeks ago when the FSA scores came out Vitti said standing pat was actually an improvement and then earlier this year they made quite the fanfare over a Gallup poll which said students felt more engaged, the percentage increase was in the two percent range.  

http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2014/12/math-experts-finds-district-response-to.html
http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2015/06/superintendent-vitti-could-spin-into.html

So to call what is happening at the schools SUBTLE!?! Oy vey.

Look I have no doubt things have improved at those schools to a degree and I have long advocated getting our best teachers in front of our neediest students, I just think bribing teachers and using VAM scores to determine who are best teachers were poor decisions. This is all compounded by the district inexplicably saying on one hand we need our best and on the other hand saying anybody can be a teacher and supplementing them with hundreds of Teach for America scabs, teachers.

The truth though is this is a gimmick. what's going to happen in two years when the money turns off. How many of those teachers are going to stay when they can go to other higher performing schools and get other bonuses? The answer is probably not many. The truth is we can't keep doing gimmicks that may or may not lead to short term gains and instead we need long term systemic solutions. The paper should have written district spends fifty million dollars to get right back where they started, that is what subtle really means.

To read an article about the transformation schools click the link: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2015-07-22/story/transformation-schools-show-subtle-improvements-after-first-year 

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