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Friday, June 12, 2015

Vitti's unforced errors and blunders, safe schools with respected teachers and good leaders should all be no-brainers. (rough draft)

Some people might think I am Monday morning quarterbacking. Being the super is a tough job that involves lots of decisions, some you are just not going to get right. The calls below however were egregious and anybody could have seen going in they would be disasters.

The falls of Ed White and First Coast high schools. These two once proud and promising schools have seen troubled times and the biggest reason is the leadership that Vitti had seen fit to put in place. At Ed White he hired charter executive Eric Paul after years of inconsistent leadership and from what I understand the staff there actually liked Paul and thought he did a good job, Vitti's browbeating and soul crushing pep talk aside. the thing is anybody watching could tell Paul was in it for the short haul. From south Florida he didn't even move to Jacksonville preferring to stay in St. Johns county and like Vitti his career saw him do a little of this and a little of that before being off to the next thing. Ed White needed a capable leader who was going to be in in for the long haul and Vitti hired a cup of coffee principal.

The implosion at First Coast was also very predictable as Alvin Brennan has a history of destroying schools by running off their veteran staff. Brennan is a straight up bully and Vitti had to know that going in but for some reason he wanted to blow up First Coast despite the fact they were coming off an A grade and he brought in his man to do it. What Vitti might not have known was the community would push back.

Next there is the uptick of violence in our schools. Whoever thought watering down the code of conduct was a good idea and whoever approved the three fights before you are suspended rule should now be out of a job. Vitti seems really blindsided by this saying things like, kids are playing the loopholes in the system, it's like he has never met a kid before. Discipline was not good before he arrived but everybody paying attention knew his hands off policy was going to make things worse.

Finally there is poor teacher morale which Vitti has greatly exasperated. He has a palpable disrespect for teachers and isn't above voicing it either. He has to know that him bad mouthing or ignoring staff would lead to poor morale. the thought of him being so clueless he doesn't know in a lot of ways is worse than him just not caring. Here are just a few examples.

Like I said Vitti has a tough gig and is required to make a lot of calls, however having safe schools with respected teachers and good leaders should all be no-brainers and unfortunately they are things he has struggled to create. 


  1. "Alvin Brennan has a history of destroying schools by running off their veteran staff" That may be why Vitti is backing this man. Vitti wants to get rid of veteran teachers so he has young, inexperienced people who will do whatever he tells them to do. The young do not know their rights and would not think of running to DTU when Vitti gives them tasks that a veteran teacher would refuse to do.
    That might be why he is keeping that principal around.

  2. Like DTU would do anything anyways. Remember their the most accomodating union in the country.

  3. I do not understand why more teachers don't participate. There is an anonymity option here. 2-10 replies per thread is not enough to really command the attention we need. If you're lurking, please chime in from time to time.

    Thanks Chris.

  4. Let your colleagues know that this site exists. I have made several aware in the past month. They did not know about it.

  5. Honestly, we have so many teachers, especially new teachers, who are so busy surviving that they don't even think about taking any sort of action. Plus, I read the blog almost every day, but many people don't know about this blog.

  6. You also have to mention his blunder of AGAIN tying ELA teachers' hands by having us "Google" resources rather than purchase materials that are research based. Rumor had it that we were going to finally get a text book. Come to find out the last day of post planning that we will not.
    Our scores continue to slide I literacy and yet we aren't given what we need to improve them. Sine we are "googling" again, are we again limited on our paper and ink supply? Probably. I ran out of ink in February and when I asked for more, was told we had no more money to purchase it. I was told I would have to purchase it myself which would be over $170 because the inks are so expensive for these printers they are phasing out anyway.
    Something needs to be done if he truly wants to see an increase in literacy scores. Achieve 3000 is nice and all but it does NOT replace a solid text that is research based and proven to work. Achieve 3000 is also not that helpful when you are limited by the number of computers you have access to or the bandwidth (actually lack of) limitations. Yet, I am still being held accountable for my student growth scores while the Superintendent gets a free pass?!?!? Frustrating indeed!!!