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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Love him or hate him, Vitti gets it out there (rough draft)

Remember when Superintendent Pratt Dannals traveled the district holding budget meetings? You know the ones where he said the district was broke justifying his firing of people (mostly bottom of the ladder employees), stopping teachers from getting there step raises, privatizing maintenance and custodian services and stopping programs like magnet school transportation and middle school sports. It was only later when we found 125 million in the couch cushions that we realized that he had kind of lied to us the whole time.

I don’t think any of the old board members will admit it but it was shortly after this revelation came out that they decided to head in another direction, a direction that brought superintendent Vitti to town.

I have to tell you I like some of the things he has and haven’t care for others but high on the positive list is his willingness to engage the public, even rabble rousers like me. I get the sincere impression that he might not agree with what I or what others are saying but he is at the very least going to give us the opportunity to say it. Furthermore he’s not going to keep us in the dark and mislead us, which was something, the last administration with their “all is well” message frequently did. Everybody knew we were in trouble and that light at the end of the tunnel was another train heading back at us.

So I don’t know what the future will bring but if past is prologue then superintendent Vitti won’t have any hesitation in telling us and that light now seems a little more like sunshine.


  1. Chris, this is the first disappointing blog I’ve read from you. No, I firmly disagree with your conclusion and, no, I neither hate nor love Vitti; in fact, I was in favor of his hiring.
    But, and here it is, I KNOW of a great teacher who was cut and NOT due to performance, but landed a plum job in another district. I KNOW of a really poor, new teacher who was kept because her pal was an administrator. I KNOW of a great assistant administrator who was passed over for a principal opportunity and went to another district. I KNOW three of the new regional chiefs and am wondering why on earth you selected these individuals over the many talented and positive-approach leaders we have in Duval? I KNOW there were major questionable actions during state testing and those who reported those actions are now gone (translation: cheating was reported and those who reported it lost their jobs). Under NO circumstances should we have seen the kind of management movement that we did. Under NO circumstances, Ms. Couch and Dr. Vitti, should the school grades be tweaked to cover the limited performance. Those of us who come from other regions of the country are appalled at the insipid management of this oversized district. It is the management and leadership that need to change. St. Johns is highly performing because they have their act together. NO excuses for them. If you haven’t peeked in at what they do, then start. But playing musical administrators with Duval management is NOT the way to achieve success.

  2. Vitti is a good hearer but he is not a good listener, if he were he would not be selling our schools and students to multi millionaires.

  3. Vitti is just more of the same as far as I'm concerned. Climate still sucks. Fear rules. He is firing teachers left and right for minor offenses and promoting the people who created the climate of fear.