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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Superintendent Vitti couldn't be more wrong about charter schools.

It's all the states fault Vitti said in the Times Union when talking about charter school failings, you know the state which is run by his benefactor  and charter schools lover Gary Chartrand. 

Vitti criticized the state’s charter laws and rules, which he said aren’t strong enough to prevent these charter school closures.
“All charters are not created equally,” he said. “As a state we’re not differentiating among proven charter organizations and upstarts ... who do not have the financial and educational infrastructure to ensure sustainability.”
Charter schools are public schools that operate independently of local school boards but are funded by taxpayers. They are given greater latitude by state law because they’re supposed to provide innovation and school choice for parents.
I am sorry but just because you have deep pockets it doesn't mean you should be able to open up a charter school either. Opening one up should be incredibly difficult and involve a lot more than filling out a few boxes on an application and having a few zeros in a bank account.
People who open them, unlike the state board of education, should also have an education background. Educating children takes a lot more than just showing up.   
Furthermore charter schools should offer something that district schools don't. We shouldn't dilute what limited resources we have just because some family doesn't like gov'ment schools or bought the hype they are failing. Choice just for choices sake is a bad choice.
Charter schools are supposed to be parent teacher driven laboratories of innovation, not profit centers for real estate tycoons and investment bankers. The super thinks hey got deep pockets come to town, we'll outsource or kids futures to you.
For him to blame the state, shrug his shoulders and say there's nothing we can do is disingenuous. Other districts are fighting back as Duval hands over the keys to the castle.
Other districts are saying, no innovation, your boards not from here, you are trying to open a sister school to a failing school, no thanks, take it on down the road but not Jacksonville, we say how high would you like us to jump and we would like another, whether we need it or not.
The super should stop speaking out of both sides of his mouth. In the media he says there's nothing we can do but at the meetings and behind closed doors he has been the most accommodating super to charter schools in the state to the detriment of the schools he was hired to lead.
It is shameful.


  1. Parents should always have final say-so over the school they choose to educate their children. A 'one size fits all' government run educational system seldom meets the needs of the individual children. When children fail to learn the way teachers want to teach, maybe we should teach children in the best way they have the ability to learn.

    1. What you say might play to the libertarian make decisions based on ones gut crowd and the hippie crowd at the same time, the truth is a lot different.

      Dr. Raymond of the Stanford Credo Charter project recently said, I actually am kind of a pro-market kinda girl. But it doesn’t seem to work in a choice environment for education. I’ve studied competitive markets for much of my career. That’s my academic focus for my work. And (education) is the only industry/sector where the market mechanism just doesn’t work. I think it’s not helpful to expect parents to be the agents of quality assurance throughout the state. I think there are other supports that are needed… The policy environment really needs to focus on creating much more information and transparency about performance than we’ve had for the 20 years of the charter school movement. We need to have a greater degree of oversight of charter schools. But I also think we have to have some oversight of the overseers.

      As for differentiation it's a myth friend, a feel good hippiesque philosophy, sure there are nuance and subtle differences kids need but in reality that's about it.

      Which means choice simply for choice's sake especially since charters as a group here in Florida so under perform is a bad choice.

      We also have a one size fits all police department, military and meat inspectors, the reason there is a privatization kick is because people who have no business being anywhere near a school have found they can make money off of them.

    2. My comments have nothing to do with the business side of education, only the delivery of the choice of educational subjects to the kids that meets their learning styles and lifelong needs. Government run schools don't meet that requirement. That approach can cause too many bright kids to believe if they don't meet 'mass standards', they are losers and failures. The kids deserve better.

    3. Yes but you do realize the same government you criticize is the same government trying to out source our kids education, wouldn't a better solution be to fix the problems many of which were created by Tallahassee? You complain about public schools but endorse charters which are worse.

      Terrible (for profit) charter schools and private schools without accountability are not the answer.

    4. The trick is to figure out the educational resource that best meets the needs of individual students and duplicate that model for the maximum number of students. I started public schools in Duval County. In the 3rd grade my school was on double sessions and my class was located in the school auditorium along with 3 other classes. 4 teachers teaching, all at the same time, to a huge room with 120 students. My class didn't have a teacher that year, we had 9 substitutes in 9 months. I didn't learn what I needed to learn before being promoted into 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Duval County school were a nightmare for me. If anyone had analyzed my needs, I would have required to learn what I needed to learn prior to being promoted to the next grade. I felt like the dumbest kid in the classroom all the way through high school, After high school, I became my own best teacher. I take full responsibility for every decision I have ever made regardless of how that decision turned out. The one decision that had the greatest negative impact on my life was made by the Duval County Public School System. Today, I am a motivational teacher-trainer. One of the cornerstones of my work is, "To maximise your potential in life it is critical that you become your own best teacher."