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Friday, January 23, 2015

Systemic problems in Duval County Public Schools

From a reader:

Unfortunately this (the problems with the roll out of Edgenuity) is symptomatic of a much deeper problem, which is the managerial style of the Chief of Academic Services.

He has insisted that academic directors route all communication with principals through him. That means directors send him essential information schools need to know, but since that is too much for one person, communications from directors to principals sit for weeks on his desk waiting for his attention.

Decisions are held up until the last minute, which leaves schools scrambling to comply. People are left out of the loop so they cannot perform their functions of improving what happens at the school. One wonders if the problems at the top are merely growing pains or simply the manifestation of the good ol' boy/girl network that has plagued this district for decades.

As the big cheeses try to out maneuver each other, squeeze out lower levels for their own people, the schools and the students suffer.

One wonders if Dr. Vitti is in charge anymore or whether a palace coup has taken place. NV is himself known for sudden, unanticipated decisions that roil communities and their schools. Remember open enrollment? The conceit is that they can turn the organization on a dime. The problem is DCPS is huge. The captain of the Exxon Valdez thought the same, but when they woke him up 20 minutes before his oil tanker hit the reef, it was already too late. The ship's momentum carried it into the worst environmental disaster of our lifetime.

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