Vitti has the audacity to tell people he knows what teachers think. (rough draft)

In
a Times Union piece about Florida’s testing debacle, the superintendent said,  
But for now, the state’s proposed cut scores are still too high,
said Vitti, who pointed out that Florida has repeatedly raised academic
standards in recent years to make students more college-ready. 

It raised cut scores
before the new tests and again with new, tougher tests, artificially boosting
the numbers of students who’ll be considered below grade level or failing, 

Vitti said. Teachers feel as if
this is all part of a long litany of insults,” he said. “The 
accountability system manufactures 
low performance and then issues scarlet letters of D’s and
Fs.”
I don’t want to dismiss the fact that teachers are concerned
about the FSA and frustrated by the way the state does things because we are but what Vitti is apparently tone deaf to is that many teachers
feel a lot of the insults are coming from him.
The super has taken pot shots at the quality of the district’s
teachers practically since day one.
Discipline which admittedly was far from great before he
arrived has gotten worse.
Teachers feel micromanaged and ignored by the district.
Help is rare and criticism from the district is rampant.
I was at a JPEF community meeting a couple weeks back and
there teachers spoke about the districts culture of fear not about how crappy
the FSA tests are.
So yes teachers are concerned about the FSA however many are more concerned about what is
happening at one Prudential drive more so than what is happening in Tallahassee.  
Here are just a few things the super has said about
teachers.

When will Vitti take some responsibility? (rough draft)

Superintendent Vitti hits all the right notes when he talked about the latest FSA test results in the Times Union. He said the test won’t show growth, there are questions about the validity of the test and higher scores not fewer students doing well will lead to a lot of failing schools, kids failing and teachers getting poor evaluations.  These are all accurate critiques but the truth is he is leaving out an important detail and that’s what role he has played in where we find ourselves.

Superintendent Vitti was brought on board to improve the district and I remind you that every other district is playing by the same terrible and unfair rules that the state has set up. This means even though the game is terrible, the playing field is level.

When we look at the results that way then it becomes pretty obvious that district  has not improved and many of us in the trenches think we have taken a few steps back.

It’s also a shame that so many important decisions are going to made on this one dubious test but you know what, it has been like that for over fifteen years now. For a decade and a half we have been labeling inner city schools failures because their kids don’t do well on standardized tests and blaming teachers for those failures. The test may have changed but the system hasn’t.

Now that Vitti is at the top of the education ladder here in Duval (and remember after his first full year as superintendent, we had a catastrophic grade report) instead of stepping up and taking any responsibility for what he has brought to the district, the new curriculum that relies on worksheets, teachers poor morale and substantial turnover, his leadership decisions, wasting money on the QEA, the expansion of charter schools and the over reliance of technology at the expense of human capital, which have all contributed to our poor showing, he says who me? Nah it’s the tests fault.

Superintendent Vitti is completely correct with the issues he brings up about the new test, it is a Shakespearean tragedy what the state inflicts upon its schools, teachers and students but as the three year anniversary of the supers first day fast approaches its time he took some responsibility for where we find ourselves as well.

In the Times Union he did his best to manage expectations for the results which are going to be pretty poor and yeah we can blame the test but the truth is there is plenty of blame to go around.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2015-09-30/story/more-students-expected-likely-fail-state-tests-duval-state