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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Vitti says it is okay to give up on certain kids if they take too much effort (rough draft)

The superintendent this past Thursday at the WJCT studios said teachers should give up on certain poor performing children. He said for the most part their outcomes are determined and they in a time of limited resources were not just worth the effort. I was flabbergasted, I thought we were always supposed to try and do the right thing even if the chances for being successfully were negligible. 

Apparently the super disagrees.

Record scratch.

Wait did I say students? Sorry I meant to say the reason the district does not fight against charter schools even ones that will most likely do a poor job and hurt children is because often the outcome of fighting against these charters with the state board of education is predetermined. That in this time of limited resources doing the right thing just isn’t financially feasible.

I get it too, it’s 2015 in Florida and the charter industry has paid for some powerful friends, unfortunately they are not going anywhere and even I don’t think they all should. If a charter provides a program that the district doesn’t then I think that charter has a place. Charters are not going anywhere but with that being said why can’t we say no to charters whose business models break the law, are blatant cash grabs, run by charlatans and mercenaries, ones that are unnecessary, would not be successful working with poor children or ones the super admits he has serious concerns about. Why can’t we say no to those?

Why are teachers supposed to do the right things by all their kids but the super doesn’t have to do right by our district?

Two more points, when the super gives the KIPP School as an example of a charter that is performing well he is being disingenuous or ignorant. The KIPP School spends about a third more per student and they have a thriving and dedicated music program and despite this their success has been mixed. I submit that if any public school had access to the same resources they would be blowing the KIPP School out of the water.

Second he talks about how parents want choice. Do you know what parents wanted choice? The parents of the acclaim academy that abruptly closed last March. The parents who sent children to the dozen other Jax charter schools that have closed and the parents who sent their kids to the 300 plus charters that have closed statewide.

Some parents do want choice but the vast majority just want a safe school where they know their kids are getting a quality education. Parents shouldn’t have to depend on the fore mentioned charlatans and mercenaries who would say anything to make a buck to get it. 


  1. If possible, can you share the link to the WJCT studio remark? I can't locate it and want to view it.

  2. Can you share the URL link to Vitti's WJCT interview statement? I was unsuccessful in locating it.

    1. They taped the show Thursday, they are going to air it on TV in a couple weeks. I can put up a link then.

  3. As you say, charters aren't going away. But they need reform.
    One: Any charter that is not under local control by a board constituted of parents and Duval County citizens should have its charter revoked. No law or change of law is needed for this one; only an enforcement of existing law.
    Two: The state of Florida should annually audit the financial records of every charter school that operates in the state. Findings should include prescriptions of corrective action required or the charter is revoked in one year. Findings of fraud, gross waste, or mismanagement should result in immediate suspension of the charter and prosecution if evidence of criminal activity is found.
    Three: Local school boards should be empowered to have the final say over charters. No one can open a hospital unless the state determines there is a need. School Boards should have the same authority to say no to charters if there is no need for the charter.
    Four: Charters enter into a one-year contract with parents. Charters are not allowed to expel students (known as 'counseling out.')
    Five: Charters must provide all services that a public school requires, including ESE and ESOL. The day is done when charters were going to be laboratories of experiment and innovation. Charter School USA, to name only one national chain but I mean all of them, has the resources to provide resources.
    Six: Charter school teachers must be certified.
    Seven: Charter schools must receive accreditation by a recognized agency within three years of opening or they lose their charter.