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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vitti wants to double down on a failed curriculum

Superintendent Vitti likes to say that teachers overwhelming picked Engage NY as a curriculum but the truth is this is Vitti’s baby.  Teachers wanted a blended curriculum where they chose from what the district already had which would be supplemented by Engage NY and no teacher chose the level of micromanagement that the district has employed.

From inappropriate subject matter, to a lack of proper resources Engage NY has proven a failure.
The school board knows it too, from the Times Union: 

Several board members questioned his recommendation, some saying they are less inclined to trust the district’s process for selecting instructional materials after their experience with the elementary materials from EngageNY.
Despite concerns from the board, parents and teachers, Vitti wants to double down and bring Engage NY to middle and high school as well.
Also from the Times Union:
Meanwhile, Vitti recommended Tuesday that the School Board buy a new middle school English Language Arts curriculum called Paths to College and Career for use next school year. It would cost the district $1.9 million, he said. Paths comes from Expeditionary Learning, a New York nonprofit which contributed to EngageNY’s curricula.
What does he see that nobody else does? Does he see dollars signs from a future job or is it hubris that prevents him from admitting his mistake.
Here is the thing that he obviously doesn’t get, I believe Engage NY s a disaster as does every teacher I have talked to, everyone but say we are wrong and it’s great, it doesn’t matter, if the super cannot get the buy in from his staff, his bosses and his community then it will never work, but instead of finding something that will he wants more.

We are in trouble and it’s not just the curriculum, it is our leadership too.


  1. I spoke with a professor today who acknowledged that the freshman have basic writing skills. They all follow a scripted format, which they learned in school. At least they know that she said, but if she has to read one more essay on prom she will scream. She said the key to writing is to find something you enjoy and write about that, she must be talking about diversity in education. As a thirty year veteran, she has noticed improvements in their skills over the years, but not lately. What happens when middle school isn't enough and the push to relieve teachers of their stress by also adopting a scripted curriculum moves into high school? What will the robots, as she called them, being churning out then.

  2. Vitti is incapable of admitting error. And ever since his contract was renewed, his ego is bigger and he is more brazen. It wasn't a mandate, it was bribery! Thanks again, BECKY!

  3. So it would seem we have a limited time (February) to make some LOUD NOISE! DCPS teachers can't do it...we fear for our jobs. We need help! Parents, reach out to your child's teacher(s). Ask them how they feel about this curriculum. I KNOW 83% WILL NOT find this curriculum effective (when was that survey taken?) nor will they tell you it is preparing your child for upcoming assessments. Then, parents, CONTACT your school board rep.....someone needs to listen for the sake of our students.