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Monday, November 18, 2013

Reader: Vitti and the school board need to get into the schools!

From a reader, 

Dr Vitti and school board members, I am only in touch with high schools and upper level teachers on a daily basis for which I have my opinion about the job your doing., all of you have only one prayer of making any noticeable improvement in our high schools. GET YOUR FANNY IN A CAR AND GO TO AN URBAN HIGH SCHOOL. GO INSIDE AND ASK FOR THE TRUTH AND CIRCUMSTANCES THAT EXIST EVERY DAY. 

Dr Vitti , there is nobody that goes to any meeting that you or any of the folks you brought up from Miami that are even giving you a shred of truth about whats happening on a daily basis in our high schools. By your early firing and cleaning house down at the district, aint nobody gonna tell you or any of the mafia a single word, but what they think you want to hear. Believe it.... if you want the truth, the real truth about the screwing the teachers , principals and administrators believe you have put on them, go ask for the truth with the promise of no repercussion for their honesty. I believe the only chance that our high schools have is if you get in touch with the truth about the bad calls you and the district have made and make an honest effort to undo the blunders that have been made.

 # 1 you have not added any security to First Coast High, In fact the one dean of discipline position you did add was to replace FOUR administrators and FOUR security guard positions. One for 8 is not an upgrade. In fact, it only took students a couple of weeks to realize that they can do as they please, and the adults are completely outnumbered on that campus. 

#2 Yes, you did add an official ISSP Teacher, but so what? We already had an adult who supervised the ISSP room. It was a security or paraprofessional, not a much higher-paid teacher. For the same money, we would be much better off with 2 or 3 security guards. 

#3 Not only did you strip us of 4 administrators, you sent us one of your dethroned royals from the ivory tower that doesn't want to be here to begin with and followed that up with a curriculum principal that's never been a curriculum principal or any kind of principal for that matter. And the list goes on and on. 

I really believe that the only chance you have of not making yourself continue to look like a fool on a daily basis is to act and act quickly. Be self effacing about what you have done so far and fix it. We need more teachers, for overcrowded classrooms, we need experienced security, we need more and experienced administrators and we need a discipline policy with teeth in it. We have got to have something to be able to retake control of our schools from the thugs, thieves and kids that are here to roam the halls and grounds because we have no one to help corral em. 

And lastly, if all of this seems too far fetched to swallow, send your wife out to any high school in Jacksonville to substitute for a week at a time at each of them. I believe when she got a hold of your ear, you would solve our problems by sundown the next day.....Dr Vitti you are on your way to adding your name to a growing list of those that came in and had a chance to make a real difference and instead left us worse off than ever, not to mention what you are doing to your own future possibilities as one that could be remembered as a renowned superintendent. Please don't screw it up any worse. Please clean up the mess you've made. You have a multimillion dollar mop, use it, silly!


  1. Thanks for continued great posts, Chris! Hope Vitti reads this ...

  2. This is so relevant! I work at another Jax urban school, and the same issues occur. Vitti just does not want to see the truth.

  3. So there is a someone in Jacksonville that sees the king has no clothes. God bless you. please lead us out of darkness, come forward oh noble knight and slay the dragon the district has unleashed upon us.

  4. Oh my gosh! This is so true. I work at First Coast too, and this is EXACTLY how it is there. Any given period, there are students skipping at will. Administrators and security try to do what they can, but there are just so many students and not nearly enough adults to control the discipline issues. Just like this post says, it didn't take the kids long to figure out things are not like last year. Last year we had 7 security guards and 7 administrators, and they were really on top of it. This year they are all outmatched - just too many kids and not enough adults to handle it. The kids know this, and they are over the top disrespectful. Most of my fellow teachers have basically given up writing referrals because either the teacher gets fussed at for writing them or barely anything happens to the kid. Many teachers are discouraged,and those that have been there a few years, long enough to remember what a good school First Coast can be, are really sad to see what has happened to it. All in the name of saving a few dollars. Security guards are one of the most effective investments we can make for the money. I don't get why anyone would think a school with 2400 students needs the same amount of personnel, security, test chairman, administrator, etc. that a school with 400 or 500 or even 1000. That makes no sense at all. I want to know who the writer of this post is. I think he/she should run for school board!!! They'd get my vote!

  5. Chris, THANK YOU for posting something that really relates to what teachers in the trenches are truly dealing with each and every day. The treatment teachers and substitutes have to endure at some of these schools is beyond description. All this testing and talk about school grades is laughable. How can you teach them when you can't even get them in the classroom, with their phone put away, mouth shut, brain focused? It's a complete waste of time and money to test and discuss all these professional development strategies and common core, blah, blah, blah, until we first get them in a room where everyone has a seat, no one is allowed to act out, and mutual respect and cooperation is demanded. At my high school, we are STILL adding courses and changing schedules because we were given one measly teaching position at a time until we could balance all the classes. Even though we begged and begged for the right number of teachers that the simple math said we'd need to balance, we were only given less than 1/4 of what we asked for, then one more... (change schedules)... then ok... 2 more.... (change schedules again)... then 1 more... (change schedules yet again)... you get the idea. And yes, we are still adding and changing schedules. Why not give us what you know we need from the get-go. Why make us beg? And change schedules half a dozen times. Then we have to deal with the irate parents and poor confused students. Yet testing must go on in the midst of all of this, and heaven help us if our scores drop. They will want to know why. Really? Are you kidding?

    The post was dead on. Want to really see the effects of your decisions. Send one of your spies out to sub for a few days, not to Stanton or Fletcher, but to First Coast. Send someone who will come back and tell you the truth. You will be SHOCKED! Otherwise, all you're going to get is a dog & pony show when you pre-announce your visit or send the district coaches out. For some reason, everyone wants to make a good impression and cover up all of the real issues. Thank goodness, someone finally said it. We have REAL ISSUES in most of our high schools. SOS!

  6. Speaking of Miami-there is a lot of "smoke and mirrors" going on down here as well. There are some schools where the internal bullying is so out of control, irreplaceable "core" veterans are leaving in droves. The administrative staff at one large urban high school is run by dithering, "good ole boy" male principal and a Napoleon wanna be female AP who never, ever taught in a real 30+ students classroom, just small ESE classes (over 15 years ago). She cooks the books, places people out of field, and runs off capable people who have been put in untenable circumstances. She is mean and nasty and gets delight out of terrorizing fearful teachers. the sad thing is that the district is aware of the problem and has done nothing to help so my only conclusion is either they agree with these tactics and think it's a good thing or they WANT the school to fail so they can close it. It is a huge facility in a prime location so I'm suspecting the latter.

  7. Completely agree. Whoever wrote this post nailed it.

  8. Agree, the Dean of Discipline replaces 3 or 4 who used to discipline. Climate surveys have revealed for years that the biggest complaint of teachers and STUDENTS has been discipline. That's why there was no climate survey last year.