He (Vitti) is too shortsighted, first of all. Kids need a solid foundation before they can go onto algebra, and many need extra time in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade to firm up that base of mathematical knowledge. He is assuming that all sixth graders come in on level, which is absurd.
The situation parallels the drops in reading scores in middle school. Things get way harder, and the foundation is different for every child. Instead of blame, he should first ensure that every child is prepared for middle school math before they even get there.
In my 9 years of teaching, I have never had a student be readily able to calculate a GPA, so I, an English teacher, taught the concept. Many struggle with multiplication and division without a calculator. When I went to school, it was considered advanced to take algebra in the 8th grade. Why the push?
Why is it so hard to believe that students learn at different paces, and that is okay? He, and other superintendents, just want to look good. That's why.