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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Librarians push back against Vitti and the district

The following comments are form a few local librarians that have experienced firsthand Vitti's library policy.

The shuttering of media centers and the lack of at-home textbooks for student use are my two biggest complaints with Vitti. Every year, he ties our hands even more when it comes to instruction. As a Language Arts teacher, I incorporate research that requires more than just Googling a topic. Without access to databases at the school level, I have to figure out a way around this through the JPL system, or FSCJ for dual enrolled students. The fact that he stated in the FTU articles that Language Arts teachers are still utilizing the media center for research is a flat-out lie. We CAN'T use a media center if we don't have one! Even if the media center was online would help, but ours isn't. The entire media center fell apart when our media specialist left. And he had no right putting principals in the position of deciding whether to have a media specialist or a testing coordinator. Now he makes the principals look like the bad guys. Students can't even utilize the media center during lunch sessions for studying. It's always tied up with testing. Truly a disgrace...

As a (happily) retired DCPS school library media specialist I can say that as a group we were always "all hands on deck" in the schools where I served. I went to work early and came home late and worked many, many unpaid hours during the summers too, all for the benefit of the students and staff of my schools. It's amazingly hard to believe that the superintendent of a district filled with students with such low reading skills would denigrate the need for school library media specialists! Of course, the media specialists do MUCH more than promote reading but even if all they did was read to the students and encourage them to read - for pleasure! - they would still be contributing greatly to the education of our children.

It's clear media specialists have been getting a free ride this whole time. It's high time we turn them into testing coordinators so pleasure reading can become the equivalent of running laps in gym class for failing to follow directions. I know teachers in magnet high schools whose single biggest complaint is that their students can't read. No, I'm not talking about technical manuals but basic reading skills. We've tested them so much they hate to read & who can blame them? The only reason to read now is to pass a silly test that won't matter to anyone but Vitti & his buddies a few years from now. Free voluntary reading(FVR) is one of the greatest predictors of academic success but it's nearly extinct because Vitti doesn't believe students deserve the same opportunity he received in his adolescence.


  1. Books are a waste of money, especially expensive text books. Everything is online now. Everyone just needs to charge up that High Speed Internet Laptop and get to work. I mean really....if your internet is down at the house, you can hang out at any Starbucs and do your homework.

    Once we complete getting the Common Core Curriculum online, we also won't need those expensive teachers. We can have a true 'Tea Party' with the tax dollars we save on antiquated textbooks and needy teachers.

  2. I agree. Within a few years, all students will be learning online and from home. Public education s dying a slow death. Charter schools too. Charter school operators are just ripping off the public while they still can.