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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Superintendent Vitti hires bully to be area chief, district takes step backwards

There is one thing you can say about Iranetta Wright the principal at Jackson high school, she apparently knows where the bodies are buried and that is th eonly reasonable explanation for why a second superintendent has seen fit to promote her. Sadly saying things like leadership and results would be a stretch. Despite this Vitti recently promoted her to area chief. Lets examine this bully masquerading as an administrator’s recent career.

In 2008 she arrived at Jackson high school and promptly took it to the bottom. At one point the school was ranked 404 out of 404. Somehow she survived F after F that would have sent other principals into retirement or to Assistant Principal land at a middle school. Yes the school did eventually improve but only after half the student body left and the district partnered with numerous other organizations and started to address the outside school needs of those few students who remained.  

Why then did Vitti promote her? Maybe it was her autocratic leadership style. A former teacher said; she would talk to the staff in a fashion that if we would talk to the kids that way we would get fired. Her motivation techniques consisted of threats and intimidation. Much of the veteran staff she inherited has moved onto other positions in the district or has left the teaching field all together replaced by “easily moldable” rookies who often don’t know that they shouldn’t be talked down to and forced to work sixty hours a week.

Let’s compare her to another principal that the district forced out.

A quick review of Jackson's data would indicate serious problems with her leadership.
The students obviously get that something is wrong with Jackson's leadership. In 2009-2010, there were nearly 1200 students. Enrollment as of 6/11/12 was a little over 700 students.

1200-700=500 students GONE

With regards to academic performance, the school has not made a lot of progress since she first became principal of the school. 

In 2007, Reading proficiency was 18%. In 2012, it has only increased by 1 percentage point to 19%.
In 2007, Writing proficiency was 80%. In 2012, it has only increased by 2 percentage points. 

Some are going to argue that she has been able to increase the number of students making gains. And gains are great. However, we need to create a culture of moving our students to proficiency. Iranetta cannot get these kids proficient and the sad truth is when you get rid of some of your worse performers scores are going to go up.

Another argument some might make is the improbability of real improvement happening at the high school level.

Well, let's look at Ribault High School which has had more F grades than any other school in Northeast Florida before Dr. Young arrived in 2009. 

Reading proficiency was 18% when he arrived. In 2012, the Reading proficiency has increased by 13 percentage points to 31% (highest in school's history).

Writing proficiency was 75%. In 2012, the Writing proficiency increased by 5 percentage points to 80%.

What Iranetta had not been able to do in her almost 6 years before the district started to make super human efforts at Jackson and almost half the student body left, Young was able to do 3 years. Oh and Young was loved and respected by his staff while Wright is feared.

Another difference is Wright just got a promotion and Young is no longer in the district.

Here is the thing even if you love wright shouldn't she prove she can turn a school around without superhuman initiatives before she is put in charge of a whole bunch of schools? What exactly has she done to merit this promotion? As far as I can tell, nothing.

Is Wright the best candidate that Vitti could come up with, a bully masquerading as an administrator with a dubious track record of success?  If so then Duval is worse off than I thought it was.

For shame Superintendent Vitti, you can do better and you are going to have to if you want the district to.


  1. You are kidding right? This woman is going to be an Area Chief? I no longer believe in Dr. Vitti's leadership.

  2. So many things I want to say and could but we should not be surprised one to love the original thinking of DCPS

  3. What!!!??? I thought so much more of Dr. Vitti's leadership. I guess I was wrong.

  4. This is the most asinine decision that Dr. Vitti could possibly make. I'm going to ensure that this link gets posted on a more visible forum (Facebook) as that is where many of the impacted community members get much of their information.

    I am an alumnus of Andrew Jackson and have become anti-Tiger during the time that Iranetta has been in administration at the school. My opinion is that she is much more that a bully; she is a narcissistic malefactor! I had several not-so-professional and personal encounters with her. She's so hell-bent on doing things the Wright way, that the "right" way is completely absconded. Though this may be an opinionated post, I can't find any positive information documented of her success at Lakeshore nor Andrew Jackson. Only those that have succumbed to her bullying practices have anything positive to say about her.

    I witnessed a mass exodus of highly esteemed coaches and teachers while Iranetta was at Andrew Jackson. Wright preaches that "As adults, we must agree to disagree and move on". She literally meant, if you disagree with her, you have to move on. Anyone that courageously conveyed his/her opinions that went against the grain of Iranetta's thought pattern, found themselves seeking employment elsewhere.

    I'm sure that I could collaborate with a few parents, teachers and administrators to write a best-seller on Ms. Iranetta No-So-Right Wright.

    Dr. Vitti definitely needs to rethink this decision. I'm on board with whatever it takes to veto the bull. People definitely need to stop complaining and stand up for what is not Wright!

  5. This is saddening! She inhuman and I honestly don't believe she's an advocate for anything other then her ego! What ever happened to becoming an educator because you care about the welfare of our kids, instead of the welfare of your bank account!

  6. Well said. Keep those comments coming.

  7. amen,amen, amen. I have witnessed her distain for staff.And have experienced bullying tactics.Can't parent's protest ?

  8. The DCSB needs a bully. The worst schools are full of students that don't care and most teachers can expect no support from school admins that are afraid to be tough, demanding, and accept nothing less than maximum effort from all parties. If you not willing make demands and take a stand for performance, then get out and stop the cycle of rewarding losers.

  9. I have first hand knowledge that she is the worst kind of bully. She will suck the life out of brand new college graduates and sent them screaming into anything but a career in academia. Her brand of discipline is anything BUT constructive and her demeanor is deplorable. She has been heard to say that she is the "black Barbie" of the DCPS system. Vitti needs to get a clue-horrible decision!

  10. DCSB needs a bully? Are you serious? First of all, bullying is never an effective tactic on ANY level. Please GOOGLE the ABSTRACTS on "The Effects of Bullying" and explain how that is anything more than counterproductive and demoralizing. There is a difference in having fortitude and being a tormenter. I had a friend who was very upset about the fact that there were less than 100 graduates to march in the ceremony for AJHS c/o 2013 and there were limitations and restrictions placed on ticket distribution. Can you believe that tickets were required for infants that were not occupying seats? How do you turn away a parents/relatives for not having a ticket for an infant. Please tell me how this is conducive to educational support/growth. When calls were made to the school board to complain about this incident, there was a nonchalant apology, with promise that this will not occur again next year. There is no correction in place. I don't know who Iranetta has "stink" on at the Duval County School Board, but it has to be pretty substantial for her to consistently be rewarded for bad behavior. Come on people! I think that it is very unfortunate that DCSB doesn't care to hear the voice of the community.

    What Duval County needs is an educated ADVOCATE for the children; someone that has empathize with the members of the community. There are socioeconomical factors that need to be considered when taking an approach to rectify the declining status of certain area schools. When you think that you are above the people that you have to identify with, then there is limited opportunity to make a positive impact. Speaking Swahili to a Cambodian audience is going to yield marginal results.

  11. Can you write about the graduation? I would love to put something on the blog about it.

  12. Joey Wise is starting to look really good right about now!

  13. And Larry Dennis will be another area chief. I don't know who is worse, Dennis or Wright. They're both bullies.

  14. I worked at Andrew Jackson from 2009-2011. It was the worst experience of my life. This woman is a tyrant, a narcissist, a megalomanic. I had fifteen years of teaching in parochial and private schools and had NEVER seen anything like it. Staff turnover was over 50% both years I was there. I got out at her request and started a tutoring business where I actually get to teach. Grades were inflated, people appeared on Channel 4 about this woman. Such a sad state of affairs Duval County has come to.