Up is down without Vitti to JPEF and the Civic Council

For the last few years the Jacksonville Public
Education has commissioned the University of North Florida to do a poll and up
till this year, things have been awesome.

From last year’s poll:

Nearly a quarter of Duval County adults rated the school
district’s performance as poor, an increase of 5.6 percentage points from last
year, according to a just-released poll from the Jacksonville Public Education

But most of the people who responded to the survey are not Duval
County school parents, according to JPEF, which is a think tank and manager of
philanthropic education dollars.
Trey Csar, president of JPEF, said it is not
unusual for parents to have higher opinions about the school they select or their
children’s teachers than others who are outside of the relationship are likely
to rate them. And state grades for schools are largely derived from all
children’s test scores compared to state standards for proficiency and academic

So last year, people just didn’t know what they were
talking about. Only parents had a clue.
This year more people than ever, including parents as
the survey included a higher percentage of them like what is going on, but the
way Csar talks things are worse than ever.

From this year’s survey:

than 90 percent can’t name even one board member. 
Large numbers of Duval residents appear to be disengaged in the
leadership changes of its school district, a new survey shows. 

Eight months after Superintendent Nikolai Vitti left
Jacksonville for Detroit public schools, four in 10 Jacksonville adult
residents are unaware that the school district is searching for his
replacement, the data show. 

It’s the School Board’s job to hire a new superintendent. Yet
more than 93 percent of Jacksonville adults couldn’t even name a board member,
much less their own, when asked who represents them on the board. 

community really needs to own its public schools and the public schools system,
” said Trey Csar, JPEF president. “We have got to know how we feel about what’s
going on. 

Wow pretty grim right?

Except, the article also says:

Duval Schools last May appointed a former assistant
superintendent, Patricia Willis, to run the district while it searches for a
new leader. When asked whether they think Willis is effective, 44.6 percent
said they don’t know, another sign people are less engaged in Duval’s
leadership than in the past, Csar said. 

About 43 percent of people said Willis is very effective
or somewhat effective as the district’s leader. Willis will not be considered a
candidate for the permanent job, based on a prior board decision. 

Even though most people couldn’t name their board member,
they had opinions about the effectiveness of the full, seven-member School
Board: 53.5 percent said they are somewhat effective, 8.7 percent said very
effective, an improvement of 6.3 percentage points from last year. 

However, 27.8 percent said the board is somewhat or very
ineffective, a 3.2 percentage point decline from last year. 

This year Trey Csar said, 
Overall, the district is perceived as
performing moderately well, Csar said, but not improving significantly. 

So last year when the
business community, and the millionaires club had their superintendent running
the show, everything was fine. 

This year despite a marked
improvement in confidence, the sky is falling. 

Csar is right, we do have to
many people who are sleepwalking through education issues. Apathy is a huge
problem, but the thing is, it was a huge problem, when the business community and
the millionaires club had their superintendent running the show. They only care
about apathy now that the have been frozen out. Csar says, people were ignorant
last year, and things were great, and then this year despite greater confidence
we aren’t improving significantly. Why? 

I will tell you why, its
about control, and JPEF and his backers don’t want parents and teachers to have
any because only they and their handpicked superintendent can save us. 

One Reply to “Up is down without Vitti to JPEF and the Civic Council”

  1. I don't see what's so odd about not knowing who your school board member is. I don't know who my county commissioner is and I only know who represents me in the House of Representatives because I wrote him once and had to look him up. What I think is odd is that they want high quality teachers, in case they ever decide to send their kids to school on a regular basis.

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