Vitti admits he thought teachers were easily replaceable. Nothing more than a “widget”

For years I have been writing about Superintendent’s open disdain towards teachers and he has shrugged it off, well friends in today’s Times Union he admitted that he considered teachers little more than easily replaceable “widgets”.

From the Times Union:

He said education leaders in general and he, personally, have at times “treated teachers as widgets,” assuming that departing teachers can be easily replaced by hiring more teachers. With the ongoing national teacher shortage, Vitti said, school leaders are concerned that they’re not attracting or retaining enough quality teachers.

Teachers aren’t widgets, they are caring professionals who sacrifice so much and shame on the superintendent for thinking they were any less.

Now that there is a teacher shortage suddenly Vitti has changed his tune? He is like a metaphorical clan member who used to burn crosses on people’s laws, that inherited a lawn care service, well I better start being nice to folks with lawns now.

I don’t believe he has changed his tune at all just circumstances have changed. During the down turn anybody with a diploma on the wall was willing to try teaching, now however it takes a special sort to show up and fewer and fewer are doing so.

He doesn’t get or take ownership that in Duval at least, he because of his open disdain towards teachers and what they do, is partly responsible for our shortage.

How many careers have ended prematurely because of his leadership? How many teachers left the district to go to other ones where they were appreciated? How many people retired early to get away from him? Hundreds if not thousands is my bet, but oh now he’s changed his mind about teachers?

I don’t believe it for a second and one of the way I can tell is by his use if the word widget. The district has sent truckloads of cash to an outfit called the New Teacher Project or TNTP. They are the super’s go to for data collection and consultation. Well friends TNTP’s guiding principal is called the “widget effect” which basically says you can fire teachers to success. So we are to believe that he is suddenly enlightened, now that the district is desperate for teachers, while he is still working with an organization that has no regard for the teaching profession? Well friends birds of a feather flock together.

I ask any school board members out there how can we have a leader that only cares about teachers when he has to? When he has no other choice and one that had driven hundreds maybe thousands of teachers away, why do you still allow him to lead?

We are never going to reach our potential as long as we marginalize and disrespect teachers, or as long as we have a leader that only appreciates them when he is forced to.

The Superintendent was a “teacher” for a cup of coffee before he started his march to education domination, and I imagine its because he has no idea what they do and endure that he has little regard for them. That hasn’t changed, what has is now teachers have more options and he has fewer ones.

A leopard can’t change its spots friends, and I can’t imagine the super’s real opinion about teachers has changed either.   

5 Replies to “Vitti admits he thought teachers were easily replaceable. Nothing more than a “widget””

  1. I completely agree with you and not just because he ruined my career. I have heard the disdain first hand and his cabinet feels the same. Why do you think they bully people into submission, or else. Just look at the region superintendents and our newest instructional and administrative leadership. Bullies every one! All of the sudden he wants to work with teachers on these round table fiascos? Please, just smoke and mirrors. Peace out!

  2. This is what happens when you have leaders who have very little classroom experience making decisions for you. Unfortunately, my school is being ran by one. If you don't fit in her plan, you will be called down into her office and told that you don't fit in. Of course, not directly because that is unethical right! Oh the stories I could tell of how little our teachers are being valued at this school but according to this survey everything is peachy keen at our middle school. (Insert eye roll)

  3. Not only has he treated teachers with no respect, he treats all educators with no respect. I know many highly qualified and successful employees that have left, been asked to leave or simply not had their contract renewed (for no apparent reason). And…if you're over 50…not in 5" heels, it was just a matter of time!

  4. The youth movement is well underway. Out with the old in with the new & inexperienced. How long will they last? You don't know what you don't know…

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