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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Juxtaposition of Superintendent Vitti and he had a good thought too.

In years past when the district would announce a new marketing initiative I would roll my eyes and groan. You see what we needed to do was support our teachers, make sure our schools were disciplined and provide wrap around services to our most vulnerable children, not to just change the message and hope for the best.

Sadly we still need those things more than ever but now we have also let the wolves in the door too. Until just recently Jacksonville only had a few charter schools which didn't make much of a dent and a board made up of varying degrees of ineffective individuals. Now charter schools have exploded in Jacksonville and the district is losing thousands and thousands of students plus we have several board members who would actively like to dismantle our schools.  

To counter this the district is proposing a new marketing initiative where we push back against charter schools who as a group grossly under perform in Jacksonville with the hope that the children who have left return. In short a campaign to let people know that despite their warts public schools are by far the best things going, A marketing campaign like this is way overdue because charter schools aren't above, misleading and over selling.

Here is where the juxtaposition comes in. Vitti arguably owes getting his job to Gary Chartrand and possibly keeping it to the QEA initiative, Well Chartrand and the QEA board are all about charter schools and replacing public schools with them. Now Vitti wants to say "no more" and push back?

If he is being sincere he is putting himself in a precarious position. Or then again is he attempting to play both sides?  The QEA board took a big  loss when district 4 rebuffed their candidate Darryl Willie and reelected Paula Wright. Furthermore I believe as more and more charters fail and the public becomes aware of their business practices then the public will grow even more wary of them

Then there is the possibility he is just giving lip service to the supporters of public schools too. The new marketing initiative amounts to less than a drop in a bucket and he has talked about pushing back before while then approving one new charter school after another whether we needed them or not.

All three are distinct possibilities but to be honest if I was a betting man I would go with the latter. 

Time will tell and things may become more clear at the districts next school choice expo, which in the past has invited charter schools to participate,

From the Times Union:

In prior years, Duval schools have opened the district’s annual school enrollment fair to charter schools. The School Choice Expo last spring drew 15,000 parents to school booths for information and to enroll.

Vitti suggested the board consider limiting the expo to district-only schools.

“That should be our marketing tool,” he said.

Board members did not comment.

Some of the board members are probably waiting for their marching orders to come in, but the real question is Vitti?

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