I hope Micheal ward of CSX knows trains because he doesn’t know education

First let me say after reading his opinion piece I understand
why rail is in such trouble. Second the reason he is really in love with Superintendent
Charter School Vitti is because like Vitti he loves charter schools.  Finally let me say Michael Ward really comes
off as really uniformed his opinion piece supporting Vitti.
Ward Wrote: Vitti
is a nationally recognized superintendent who has quickly brought the Duval
County graduation rate to its highest levels in history, increasing college
readiness while narrowing the achievement gap among African-American students.
Um he might not know it but all those things were
improving before Vitti got here.

Ward Wrote: He brought a strong
district vision for instructional leadership and the development of stronger
systems to hone teaching and learning strategies and align professional
development for teachers and leaders.

The reality is morale is worse than ever and his inner
circle is made up of old guard sycophants

Ward wrote: Vitti has listened to the
community. In particular, he reallocated nearly $20 million to ensure that all
elementary schools had music and art teachers, which complements one of the
district’s strategic priorities — that of ensuring development of the whole
child. Every superintendent before him cut the arts when there were funding
issues.

I might feel a little different if he hadn’t cut dozens of librarians and many
art and music classes weren’t doubled up. His idea and his results are far apart
on this one.

Ward wrote: Were it not for his
vision, leadership and determination, the $38 million philanthropic investment,
the Quality Education for All fund, would not have happened. Quality Education
for All, which has made investments in human capital, currently supports
performance incentives (largest in the country) to enlist highly effective
teachers and principals to work in the neediest schools.

Well that’s more ignorance on Ward’s part as the business community had been
talking about investing in our schools prior to Vitti’s arrival, now would it
have happened if Vitti wouldn’t have gutted democracy and given them control,
now that’s another story.

Ward wrote: Forging an unprecedented
agreement with Duval Teachers United, Vitti was the architect of a plan that
gives flexibility to principals to hire and fire teachers in the 37 schools
that compose the District Transformation Office.

I and many, many teachers and union members were very disappointed in our capitulation
and don’t see this as a good things for education or teachers.

Ward wrote: Before his arrival, most
philanthropists and businesses were unwilling to invest in the district due to
lack of trust and belief. He dramatically changed that. He is the reason that
Kim and I spent our time and resources to bring the nationally recognized
school improvement initiative City Year, which is focused on the whole child in
lower-performing, high-poverty schools, to Duval County
.

The problem here is most of the philanthropists and business leaders he
speaks of also have links to charter schools and want to privatize our schools.
Also did he just say, Kim and I were heartless douche bags until he got here
and now suddenly we care, because it reads like that?  

Ward Wrote:. This work brought him to
the attention of the Gates Foundation, which has used the Duval County template
in several other counties throughout the state. Gates thinks highly of Vitti,
and we feel it is a matter of time before they invest in Duval County.

Here is the thing, if Gates is involved we should want to have nothing to do
with it. He recently admitted he was experimenting on our schools saying, it
will be a decade before we know if any of these reforms work, and he is
disrespectful of teachers.

Ward wrote: Last year, the state
changed the assessment process (no more FCAT), which will result in lower
scores in every district in the state and generate a larger number of D and F
schools. Everyone associated with education reform knows that school grades are
going to be lower this year due to these significant changes.

That part is accurate but it’s also him making excuses for Vitti’s record.
You know I like Gus Bradly but if we go 6-10 or worse this year I think we should
show him the door too. Vitti is in a results orientated business and thus far
his results have been horrific. I might feel a little different if teachers got
the same chances to improve that Ward wants to give Vitti.

Finally Ward wrote: There is much
more to be done, but the bottom line is that we finally have a dynamic, reform-
minded leader. He has brought much rigor and positive change, but of course
there are, and always will be, huge challenges in a district this size. Vitti
is the right man for the job.

Some more excuse making from Ward, there will always be huge challenges and
I am not sure we can survive many more of Vitti’s reforms.

Ward should stick to trains, his education knowledge is lacking.

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