Vitti fundamentally misunderstands why families are leaving for charter schools (rough draft)

 For a guy that likes to remind us he went to Harvard Vitti
often just doesn’t get it.  He fundamentally
misunderstands why families are leaving for charter schools though I think them
leaving for the surrounding counties is a bigger problem, counties by the way that have very little in the form of charter schools..

The superintendent thinks if he creates more magnets and more choice options
kids will return from charter schools but the reason families are leaving for
charter schools isn’t about magnets or choices it is because charters are public
schools with a private school field and they aren’t district run. People are
over the district and that is both fair and unfair.
Think about it. Very few charter schools are innovative and offer
special programs, though supposedly that is why they were created, and none of
the local charter schools can compare with the district magnets and many of the
neighborhood schools but parents are electing to send their children to them
anyways. Why is that? 
They hear in the checkout lines at Publix how miserable and unsupported many
teachers are, they see on television all the violence in our schools and they
are bombarded by stories about inappropriate relationships between teachers and
students and the the district disciplining teachers. Some families think they can escape common
core or testing or they have bought the hype that public schools or failing a
sentiment pushed by people who profit off of the destruction of public schools. Then they see and hear about all his plans and it reeks of desperation.  Better academics and specialized programs
for the most part has little to do with them leaving.  
Instead of blowing the district up and I like some of the
ideas, Vitti and the district should just go back to the basics, which is
something we have sadly never tried. Let’s have disciplined schools and
respected and supported teachers, those two things alone would lead to
incredible improvement and those things not a 6-12 military magnet or a medical middle
school or most of Vitti’s ideas will bring kids back.
It’s not a lack of choice sir, it’s they just don’t like the district and all the magnets or special programs in the world is not going to change that. Give them a safe school with a happy and supported staff and watch them return in droves.

2 Replies to “Vitti fundamentally misunderstands why families are leaving for charter schools (rough draft)”

  1. Many good points raised. I recently chatted with a mom of a 2 year old who was a working professional and zoned for a beach school. She said to me "I thought charter schools were better." It baffles me how some higher income parents have the perception that charter schools are better in Duval. I also spoke with a friend who is a working professional and is considering enrolling her child in Duval Charter instead of a strong Mandarin area elementary school. I am shocked at the lack of knowledge the general parent population has about charter schools and the frequent corruption that is involved. Less experienced teachers would be my number one concern, followed by weak instruction/curriculum. As a teacher, students coming to my 3rd grade class from faithbased or charter schools were often reading below grade level. A friend used to work for Duval Charter as a PE teacher and told me some horror stories regarding class sizes and lack of planning time.

    Dr. Vitti and trickling down to principals need to stop seeing teachers as the enemy. Happy teachers will lead to happy workplaces. Strong neighborhood community schools are the ideal that parents want. DCPS can deliver a better education than nearly all charter schools and many private schools but the first step is uniting teachers with principals and the district office.

    -DCPS Educator of 9 years

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