Vitti saves Christmas and the rest of us too! A fine line between confidence and hubris.

Anybody remember that just 18 months ago Vitti gave himself 47
out of 48 highly effectives on his evaluation?
A lack of confidence is definitely not his problem, unfortunately
a lack of humility is because in an op-ed to the Times Union he says he has
done everything from turning the district around to saving Christmas too.
Well I exaggerate a bit, just a bit as he starts by taking
credit for the increases in the graduation rate something that started to
improve years before he got here.  Spoiler
alert with the down turn in the economy and with more and more jobs requiring
at least some education the graduation rate across the country has increased
and increased dramatically.
He then says look fewer of our graduates are taking remedial
classes in college, well friends one of the reason why is they got rid of most
of the remedial classes in college.
If you bothered to check the source you would see it says by
2014 remedial classes will stop but the thing is colleges started to scale back
their remedial class catalogues when the writing hit the wall in the spring
of 2013.
I wonder if next year Vitti will say, not one of our
recent graduates had to take a remedial class in college this year!
Though that was far from the most ridiculous thing he
wrote which was probably: We have also created a pipeline of stronger teachers
through partnerships with Teach for America and a Jacksonville Teacher
Residency program where STEM undergraduates are recruited to earn their
master’s degree and commit to serving at least three years in a Quality Education
for All school.
Teach for America does the exact opposite of what we
know to be best for our children as well as exacerbates the teacher turnover
problem and where he might be having a not so secret love affair with them the
rest of the nation is catching on. Cities all across the nation are turning
them away and more and more student groups and college professors are refusing
to have anything to do with them.
As for the teacher residency program, sounds great, it’s
one of the few ideas I like from the democracy hijacking QEA but even it has
had hiccups and recently dismissed two members of its first class for what I am
told are dubious reasons.  
Vitti’s op-ed started off rather depressing:
 All have not consistently received a
high-quality education. The challenges of poverty, low expectations,
discrimination and political agendas have created disparities that prevent many
from realizing their full potential. Delivering on our country’s belief in
equal opportunity rests with public education.
I imagine that’s how he thinks Duval
was before he arrived and it is certain we were having problems, many created
by poor leadership and failed policies but it wasn’t the wasteland that he
describes above. We had 7,000 teachers showing up day in and day out, often
marginalized, overworked, left out of the loop and given all of the responsibility
and none of the authority to do their jobs, or pretty much the exact same way
it is now but they were there.
I am not saying Vitti’s tenure has been a disaster but
it has been marred by low teacher morale, a top down approach to leadership,
half thought out ideas and an outsourcing of the education of many of our
children to charter schools at the behest of Vitti’s friends. Heck we are
coming off the lowest grades we had in years and just lost six million dollars
but to Vitti things like that are less than bumps in the road.

His ultra-self-serving
op-ed does the city no good. He falls into the same trap the last administration
laid for itself selling the all is well narrative when all is not. We have
problems, serious problems and we need serious solutions and serious leaders to
carry them out, thus far I have not seen very little approaching that from

One Reply to “Vitti saves Christmas and the rest of us too! A fine line between confidence and hubris.”

  1. So, Vitti took the credit for the increase in graduation! Does he think teachers who were cajoled into giving passes to the worse students endorse him? No! He is definitely disingenuous when it comes to this issue. When I had to give passes to 10 out of my 12 seniors in Algebra 2 just so they could graduate, how does Vitti take the credit? In fact, several of those students could have been made to stay home and their passing scores could have been posted home. After about 1 1/2 years I still remember one who slept everyday, and sometimes dribbled on the desk, demanding that I pass him because it was the law that I pass him; he was referring to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Law. This poor guy never made an effort in my class. I keep wondering what he is doing for a living.

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