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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Superintendent Vitti's dangerous game

Duval County school superintendent Nikolai Vitti is playing a dangerous game and the future of the city’s schools and many of its children are at stake.

In the Times Union he said he was offering, some say bold, some say reckless, his suggestions in order to bring students back form charter schools. Before I continue I want to remind you that charters have been allowed to open and expand at an unprecedented rate under Vitti. Furthermore several of his closest advisors and ardent supporters represent charter school interests and before you say his hands have been tied by the pro charter school department of education and legislature other districts have been pushing back and saying no.

If he is so concerned about the proliferation of charter schools then why has he played a central role in allowing it to happen?

The superintendent has proposed blowing up the academic landscape of Jacksonville and I encourage you to read the article to see all the proposals, some of which like including the teaching of the trades I actually like.

Now some of you might be thinking we need to blow the system up and how can I argue with that, we are chronically underachieving. I would like to say that if we got back to the basics, supported teachers and disciplined schools then I think we would be doing much better.

But if getting kids back from charter schools that he helped expand isn’t really his goal and how could it be then what is his play here? What is he doing? Here are some thoughts.

He’s trying to destroy our local school district. He has close ties to Gary Chartrand who would privatize the district in a second, he has allowed charter schools to expand practically unfettered and of you look at his ideas in total, it is a he bunch of crazy which is bound to shake the confidence of parents and teachers.

He has to seem like he is doing something. Almost three years ago when Superintendent Vitti arrived we were lagging behind the other big six districts. Fast forward to today and we are still lagging behind the big six districts.

He is trying to distract us. The problems at first coast, massive teacher turnover, the lack of success from the QEA, upcoming school grades and the list could go on and on.

He had ADD. He throws out ideas, most not fully formed as often Clayton Kershaw throws out strikes and that’s all the time. Instead of having twenty-five ideas and doing them all half ass wouldn’t it be nice if he focused on a few, discipline, teacher morale and fixed them before moving on?

He sincerely believes these ideas will help. Hey how can you really no what’s in somebody’s heart. I feel like this is the most unlikely but hey who knows.

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