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Monday, March 16, 2015

It takes six figures to be an education leader in Duval County

The Times Union did a piece asking "education leaders" (sic) what they wanted from the new (or old) mayor. They interviewed Nikolai Vitti superintendent of schools, John Heymann of the Jacksonville Children's Commission and Trey Csar of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. These three white men have a couple things in common.

They all have a close connection to Gary Chartrand the local millionaire who is in favor of privatization, Csar and arguably Vitti owe their jobs to him and he contributed to Heymanns run for school board, they all make six figures, all are transplants to Jacksonville and none have taught one day in a Duval county public school. I am beginning to wonder what the Times Union's criteria for choosing who an education leaders is.

Like or dislike him the superintendent is the top teacher in the district, a little ironic that he only taught for two years, at two different schools in two different states. However he is the face of DCPS a face he likes to get out there.

The other two Csar and Heymann are also involved in education too and to discount that would be disingenuous, furthermore they are undoubtedly leaders of their respective organizations, however when it come to education leadership they don't really come to mind. I think of people in the PTA, the Union and teachers, they are where the action is. I believe education leaders actually have to be educating not just peripherally involved in the field.

That's the thing, teachers, the ones actually doing the educating are constantly marginalized and under represented when talking about education and the Times Union is one of the biggest culprits around.

Why is it so inconceivable to the-powers-that-be and even the Times Union to consult with teachers about what they think would improve education?

To read the Times Union piece, click the link:


  1. They are....." an errand boys sent by grocery collect a bill"

  2. I seriously don't get it. Just ask any teacher...we are the true leaders. All Vitti does is bring down morale. During the Eddy Awards, he encouraged teachers to go back and be leaders in our schools. Um, we already do that. Unfortunately, he makes all of the rules with little to no buy-in from teachers, but he wants us to lead? We'll lead, but I don't think he wants our type of leadership. He wants minions to enact his policies, not people who think for themselves.

  3. Thinking for yourself is the worst thing you can do at Duval schools. That means we teach submission and compliance. We are told by our own union to comply.

  4. When you read the articles drafted by some of these Times Union journalists you often wonder,"What college did they attend!". I read some of their articles and then declare, "What knuckle-a-head!"