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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Superintendent Vitti, thinks our math and science teachers suck.

I am paraphrasing a bit but not much:
From the Times Union: Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti mentioned the role quality teachers play in STEM education.
"I see very few children enter pre-k not excited about math and science concepts because it's part of the natural curiosity that comes with the scientific method. Asking questions, a hypothesis, challenging that hypothesis. Children actually think like that," Vitti said. "What ends up happening is we do not have, at scale, math and science teachers that understand the content in a deep level and know how to present it in a fun, interactive, hands-on way."

Superintendent Vitti routinely knocks our teachers, I have written about it over and over. It’s got to the point where it can’t just be repeated cases of foot-in-mouth but must be how he actually feels about educators. Since he was only a teacher for two years and believes so heavily in Teach for America it is apparent that he really has just a scant idea of what teachers actually do or go through.

Maybe teachers would be better if they had consistent support from the district, smaller classes especially those that have our most vulnerable children and behavioral supports. If they had those things they might be able to show their deep content knowledge and be able present science in a fun interactive hands-on way. The superintendent puts teachers in no-win situations and blames them when they fail.

Maybe teachers would do a better job if they weren’t constantly marginalized and belittled by their superintendent but instead supported by him.


  1. A science teacher at my school told me that he and others in his PLC were yelled at by an A.P. for not doing more labs and didn't care that they didn't have the materials or space to do the labs. I remember when students dissected frogs in middle school. That was a long time ago. Now it'd be crazy to put a scalpel in the hands of our students. They know they could stab somebody and only get a warning that if they stab somebody 4 times, they'll get 2 more warnings, then a detention.

    On the other hand, I know a hell of a lot of biology teachers who don't accept the theory of evolution and that is unacceptable. They should teach chemistry or physical science, so that their ignorance will not be so visible.

  2. Vitti only taught two years? How do you know this, his "official bios" aren't very clear about his classroom experience...

    1. Vitti taught for two years at two different schools in two different states and then was a dean of boys for two more, before he started his march to world domination.

  3. You are exactly correct about the discipline in this county. The students are in control.

  4. Vitti assigned Dwight Jones as Executive Director of Math and Science. A simple Florida Certification search will show he does not have a certification in either of these subjects. His certification is a catch all to teach middle school. He has done very little research or professional learning on Effective Science Education. Upon his arrival to DCPS, he dismantled the three High school inquiry programs DCPS was seen as a leader in the state and nationally. Mr. Jones has been the demise of science education in Duval Schools.

  5. Bullying and unprofessional principals have ran teachers like me who did teach science in a fun and engaging way away...who actually inspired a love for science in students, even at a Title I school, with successful assessment data as well

  6. The really interesting thing is that Dr. Vitti stated that Elementary Math has been a shining spot for DCPS. However, he allowed Mason Davis to get rid of the Director of Elementary Math who got DCPS back on track. The mess in Middle School math is because we were teaching arithmetic instead of math at the elementary school level in the five years before that director was appointed, which was shortly after Dr. Vitti became Superintendent. Now today Dr. Vitti was talking about holding teachers to a high standard with regard to how they treat students - well how about the fact that Mason Davis had his license censured for three summers for his maltreatment of an ESE student. Why was he allowed to hire Mason Davis as the DCPS Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Mason Davis would be fired by Dr. Vitti based upon recent issues!!!