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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Superintendent Vitti disparages teachers again.

In an article in the Times Union about Teach for America, Superintendent Vitti said:  “We know our problems or challenges are not the kids,” Vitti said. ”Our challenge is putting great teachers in front over every child every day. .... Teach for America is part of our human capital strategy.”

Has the superintendent ever been in a classroom? Because friends it sometimes is the kids, kids that are bored or overwhelmed, who are angry or apathetic, kids that never received a consequence for bad behavior or kids that grow up in neighborhoods wracked with poverty, but you know who shows up day in and day out regardless of what type of kids are in the class, their teachers that’s who. Teachers who do their best despite often being under appreciated, marginalized, overworked and not given the resources they need to succeed.  

Notice he didn’t say one of our challenges either, his statement was pretty emphatic.  
The thing is if Vitti is relying on Teach for America which traditionally only abut twenty-five percent stay for a third year it is an absolutely terrible strategy.

Superintendent Vitti you may not know it but we have thousands of great teachers who show up every day and who have many great challenges one of which is having a leader who does not respect them.

So sir, sometimes it is the kids, but sometimes it is leadership or a lack of it as well.


  1. I also understand that recently at a PD that he claims he works harder than most superintendents and should be paid more, way more. He then acknowledged teachers should be paid more as well and then went on to reaffirm his hard work. Seriously? He gets paid like 7 times what any average teacher makes.

    1. Yes, I was at the same PD and was astounded when he declared he is "under paid". I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He actually acknowledged that for all his work, he should be paid more. Unbelievable. If I stay in the classroom until I retire I won't see half of what he makes and I think I work pretty hard too. Just as hard as him. Everyday. All day.

  2. TFA is worthless. Even the the TFA teachers I know who actually stay think it is a waste of time. They endure it for the graduate degree money.

  3. Then why does he run off the best teachers?

  4. It never ceases to amaze me that when schools have teachers who do not perform, leadership calls ALL the teachers guilty. Why oh why can they not deal with the problem on an individual basis? This is not leadership, and causes dissention and a strained work environment . So we hire people who did not choose to major in education hoping they can save us . Some are good and some are bad, but they cannot save a broken system . I am not sure it can be fixed at this point, but we must try .

  5. They go for 5 weeks to learn curriculum and discipline. Then are sent into the classroom to teach. Teachers are taught new curriculum in 3 days. He wants to make a name for himself using any means possible. The easiest way is to use teachers.

  6. As a retired Teacher of 40 years in Duval County, I'm so glad I'm out of it and feel for the current Teachers. Vitti seems, from all I've read, sen and heard, to be anti Teacher, soft on student discipline, and some ignorant of what goes on in the classroom. Did he ever teach in a regular school and if so what level, for long before becoming an Administrator? He also seems to be set on change for the sake of change. Just looking at all of the changes of Principals since he has been here can't possibly help. The number of charter schools, not buying texts for lower grades and on and on makes me think he hasn't got a clue. Yet he has charmed the School Board Members who gave him another contract based on his self evaluation and nothing else. Oh and did I mention classroom numbers, I've a friend who had classes in the 50's up to 60 and this in a troubled school. When when spoke to an Administrator of the negative situation, she was told to go get some classroom management courses; this to a highly qualified, receiver of high evaluations through her career ( she taught at Stanton til she retired and returned to the system at another high school).

  7. I have worked at one of our "challenged" high schools for a decade now. Through all those years and up to the present TFA recruits at this h.s. have left within the first three years. Last I checked, all had gone on to other opportunities.

  8. Let's not overlook the fact that he told a room full of teachers this week that he is underpaid. He justified it by saying we are all underpaid and he works a lot. No amount of justification can make me believe he is underpaid. Teachers are the ones underpaid and we work just as hard as he does. Unfortunately, I thought he remembered where he came from and had a little more empathy for classroom teachers but clearly I was proven wrong.

  9. That comment drove me crazy. Seriously, $275,000 is not enough. Even if he made double what the average teacher in Duval makes, he would be making around $80,000. Honestly, I would be satisfied with a quarter of what he makes. He is so full of himself; it is torture to listen to him and his cronies attempt to discuss their efforts and their reasons behind anything they do. Get rid of the waste downtown. Give principals and teachers support. Don't think, however, that TFA will solve any problem. They are the problem: an ever-revolving influx of people who have little to no idea what they are doing and drain the time and energy from veterans who could be helping develop real teachers committed to the long term. Look at schools that don't have such huge turnover. What are they doing?
    I suggest what I have many times suggested. Why not have everyone from downtown substitute for a week in struggling schools, particularly middle schools & high schools? Things would change in an instant.

  10. Has the superintendent considered that he might not have to work as hard if he didn’t start so many “fires” he has to put out and “messes” he has to clean up?
    Like the “fire” at First Coast that is going to take 2 YEARS of his hard work to put out that “fire” and the “fire” of lower and lower teacher moral every time he opens his mouth to disparage teachers who ARE working hard because “we know it is not the kids” !!!

  11. If you looked at his financial disclosure form, you would find he listed no investments, no savings, not even a checking account or retirement fund. He has no personal assets if it is to be believed. He doesn't own the bed he sleeps in. He doesn't own the clothes he wears. It makes you wonder where that salary is going--IF his form is to be accepted as complete.

  12. He probably has no money because he is an impulse buyer, since everything he does seems to be on impulse.

  13. Dear Chris and Fellow Teachers? Why have we not filed a class action lawsuit? Whom should we sue? Education Programs.

    I went into debt many thousands of dollars to get a degree in education from a state university, spent four years and countless hours learning best practices, graduated with honors in several critical shortage areas and then to watch that work and degree turn meaningless with TFA and other "quickie" programs -- outrage!

    There isn't a Nurse for America program with a few weeks of instruction before given patients. What about an Architects for America program to fast design homes? Why even paralegals need two years of classes and internships as required by the ABA.

    If what I studied for those years with late nights and weekends consumed was so easy to learn, I say FRAUD has been committed. I want my money back college education programs.

    Or, college education programs you can join us, the true educators who made a real commitment to children and learning and start a legal backlash against every district and entity that supports such lies as Teach for America!