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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Discipline did not improve in Jacksonville’s schools, ignoring discipline did.

In a previous blog Greg Sampson outlined all the steps that Superintendent Vitti has made to improve discipline, which begs the question why did he need to do them all if discipline was so great. The answer is it wasn’t.  

The Times Union reported that discipline had improved greatly over the last six years, well friends that’s because the old superintendent used accounting tricks and the threat of reprisals to principals that trickled down to teachers if it didn’t. Discipline did not improve, teachers, many of who have left the system, instead were forced to ignore bad behavior which would have led to consequences in bygone eras.

We had to know we were in trouble when principals started to be evaluated on how many referrals were written and suspensions given at their schools, something Vitti has stopped doing.

Assistant principals became experts at losing and not processing referrals, discipline became a joke as children acted without fear of consequences in many of schools.

I know he is gone but why does the Times Union continue to cover for Ed Pratt Dannals, he and the last board dug a very deep hole for Vitti and the city.


  1. Chris, why do you speak of this in past tense? There are still reprisals for not ignoring discipline issues. And teachers are no longer allowed to look at a student's discipline file. That's Vitti. A.P.'s continue to have the right to "not process" which they frequently exercise. I read Vitti's letter to the judge; it was filled with lies.

  2. Yup, teachers are looked at as needing classroom management professional development if kids are late every period, won't sit down, won't shut up, won't do the work...just won't. We have to document the heck out of everything; the students don't have to do a thing except misbehave all of the time. Teachers feel like lawyers who have the burden of proof; unless we document EVERY word and action for EVERY time and date, no one is willing to take action. It all just depends who the administrator is. Sometimes, students just don't belong in the classroom if they cannot be quiet long enough for the teacher to actually teach. Beyond that, it takes years to develop good classroom management, which I think would help with the discipline issues. During my first three years, my management was hit or miss. The first year was awful, the second year was awesome, but the third year was half and half. Only during my fourth year did I begin to hit my stride; however, few teachers nowadays even stay that long.