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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Why is Vitti trying to reinvent the wheel.

The bridge for over age students, discipline enhancements, a return of the arts and a shuffling of leadership are all great ideas that Vitti brought to the district and all ideas that are half done at best. Now Vitti wants to reinvent the wheel and have open enrollment for the entire district.

An intriguing idea and I understand attractive to some but I believe it will cause more problems than it solves. First it is a bit of a red herring as entrance into magnet schools won’t change and most of the best schools (re do well on standardized tests) are already at capacity. Furthermore it has the potential to lay waste to some neighborhood schools and make others that are already underutilized become even more fallow. Also what’s to stop schools from recruiting athletes or the brightest or most talented students creating even more have and have not schools. With Magnets we already have a two-tiered system in the county and this I imagine would exacerbate this problem.

Furthermore we can look at recent history to know this won’t work. Students taking opportunity scholarships did not improve when they moved to their new schools and often those schools suffered.

I have a novel idea and that’s let us fix the problems in our schools instead of reinventing the wheel. Put in more programs that plays to kids strengths, provide wrap around services to our neediest children and put our best teachers, not Teach for America hobbysts, in their classrooms. If Duval provides the best product then kids leaving for charters and private schools will return especially after their families realize those schools aren’t nearly as good as they are being sold as. 

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

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