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Friday, April 14, 2017

Superintendent Vitt, even on the way out the door shows he just doesn't get it.

In the last few weeks he referred to teachers as easily replaceable widgets and interviewed for the superintendent position in Detroit. Then once again this week he showed that he just doesn't get it.

WJCT did a piece about his concern over teaching vacancies, and it would have been nice had they mentioned he was at least partly responsible for so many. They didn't but they did show how little Vitti appreciates teachers and what they do.

From WJCT:

 “We know that the number of teachers that would be coming into our district right now, if all things stay the same, would be less than it was the year before,” Vitti said.

Vitti said that could mean using reading and math coaches as full-fledged teachers.

Wow, that might work if all our teacher vacancies were in math and reading, unfortunately they are not.

In the same piece he said:

Another strategy to keep teachers is to promote them into a master teacher role, coaching peers “so that our strongest teachers stay in the profession and don’t leave for other districts or other professions because they’re not growing professionally,” Vitti said.
He said one area where the district struggles according to the research group, National Council on Teacher Quality, is lack of career advancement. But the group also ranked Duval high in other areas like compensation and student support.
Teacher recruitment studies show programs like paid residencies, apprenticeships and a work environment where teachers feel valued and appreciated rank high.
Vitti said the district is improving in school culture according to district surveys.
Um he referenced the National Council of Teacher Quality, an astro turf group with scant credibility which consistently attacks teachers. What, Betsy DeVos or Jeb Bush weren't available? 

Then they ranked us high on salary and student support??? Are they high? Oh boy, teachers ask yourselves would you rank us high in those categories? Did he fill out their survey? I ask because we all now how he fills out surveys. Remember when he gave himself 47 out of 50 highly effectives after a few months on the job.  

Furthermore District surveys cannot be taken seriously. He can reference them all he wants but nobody is buying it

Now the idea of a master teacher is a good one, a suggestion made in this blog over and over throughout the years but when he says teachers crave advancement, he belittles all the people to whom teaching is the career. He doesn't get it, he seems to think that people who just want to stay in the classroom are stupid for doing so. Do some teachers want to go to admin? Sure but you know what most want? A decent salary, realistic expectations and support. Duval county is 0-3 in those categories. 

Finally I want to dissect the following sentence to show how ridiculous it is and how little he says can be taken seriously. Teacher recruitment studies show programs like paid residencies, apprenticeships and a work environment where teachers feel valued and appreciated rank high.

Teachers want to have paid apprenticeships and residencies? Um what? Are they recruiting professional teachers or college freshmen?  And yes teachers want to work in environments where they feel valued and appreciated and because Duval does not have that type of environment is why we find ourselves where we are.

Teaching is a hard gig and if the super was one for more than a cup of coffee he might know that.


  1. Well said. I was also thinking as I read his comments that he is completely out of touch with the district he supposedly leads. #1 what teacher has time to do yet another job? We spend hours of our own time trying to create a classroom environment that does not mirror our own working environment. In order to do this we have to reimagine a crappy curriculum he and Davis had to have. #2 maybe some of us would like to be respected for the work we do now on a day to day basis which is the most important work in the world; we educate children. We don't want to be among the mindless yes men and women who work for him in the district office. We don't want to be bullied on a daily basis like school based administrators. #3 If he, or any of his I-robots had worked in a classroom long enough or recently they would understand that we enjoy our jobs or we wouldn't stay for decades. Who knows maybe one day they will all be fired or non-reappointed and they will be reassigned and have to teach again which will remind them of what is really imporatant in our professsion. The children!

  2. Too many from the outside of education controlling the inside and who does know.

  3. When wi we get to see the TNTP surveys for our own schools? They came out in February last year. Usually, people can see the results of the surveys they filled out. What are they hiding?