When the county first started to look for a new superintendent, about two years too late if you ask me, I thought we should target the number 2 person from a district like Miami Dade, Tampa or Charlotte, an up and comer from a district that has a similar size and demographic makeup and one that was doing better than ours. So in that sense, the board by putting Vitti in the final three has done well.
However the more I learn about Dr. Vitti, how he thinks we can fix problems through perception and how he doesn’t think teachers are professionals or experience matters, the more reservations I have about him. Then let’s face it on opening night when the envisioning committee interviewed him and during his questioning by the school board the next day he was very lackluster and furthermore he doesn’t have the experience that the other two candidates has.
What does he have going for him? Well he is an up and comer, though some have described him as a coattail rider, and he has close ties with the state board of education. The latter means he has close ties with Gary Chartrand (who the school board asks how high, when he says jump) who is no friend of public education. The state board also has a shelf life of about two more years as I can’t see Rick Scott winning reelection so ultimately that would give us no benefit.
Do I know empirically that Vitti would be bad for schools? No, I just have his statements, anecdotal evidence; the turnaround schools in Miami didn’t display eye popping improvements and a sprinkle of guilt by association.
The thing is I don’t have any of these reservations/questions about the other candidates. In my opinion picking Vitti is really risky and yeah I could concievably see high rewards but the thing is whith what the district has been through over the last few years, a safer pick seems more in order.