Vitti’s less than realistic expectations for children

Vitti proved how out of touch with children he was this
week, when he bemoaned that kindergartners weren’t learning critical thinking
skills and the state of 8
th grade algebra in the district.

We all know Vitti is a great salesperson wunderkind
having reached such a lofty position at the age of thirty-five but many of us are
starting to believe that along the way he missed something and that’s how kids
operate.

Developmentally most children aren’t ready to develop
critical thinking skills at the tender age of five, heck I know adults who
haven’t developed them.

As for eighth grade algebra skills this is what a math
teacher told me,

After 7th grade, I
did not understand mathematics. I got a C – – on my report card. Part of that
was not my fault, I believe. We had the “New Math” that year. In 8th
grade, I (unlike all of my friends who went into algebra) took a basic
arithmetic 
course
where my foundations of mathematics “jelled”. Then in 9th grade (I
was still in junior high school.), I took algebra 1 with the same teacher who
taught me 8th grade math. All of the sudden everything fell into place and it
was as if that man reached into my head and turned the math switch on. From
then on, I loved math, and went on to major in it in college. I have students
in my pre-calculus classes who are like I was in 7th grade. All of my students
took algebra 1 in middle school. Why are we rushing these students? Of course,
there are some students (should be a handful) who are ready to take advanced
math classes earlier, but not every 8th grader!!! We have ruined several
generations of students with what we have done. All of the math teachers I know
have tried to resist the poor curriculums, but when the administration goes
into classrooms after everyone is gone and removes resource math books
(“old school” math books), and then told, “You WILL use the district
curriculum”, it is difficult to fight against what we KNOW to be wron
g.

So maybe it’s not the teachers, maybe it is some kids
just aren’t ready coupled with the way the district does things, a sentiment I
have heard many times.

Children develop at different rates and it is true that maybe some kids are ready for algebra in the eighth grade but I know I wasn’t
and maybe there is a five year old somewhere thinking critical, I believe his name
is Doogie Howser, but these are more the exception rather than the rule
regardless of how hard Vitti might wish it was the opposite.

How doesn’t the super understand this? Maybe it’s
because he just spent two years teaching (in two different schools is two different
states). His lack of experience teaching and working with children is really
telling especially when he makes the statements above and when he attacks
teachers which he routinely also does.

I believe him not understanding how kids work has also
led to many of his horrendous decisions on discipline too as relaxing the code
of conduct was a huge mistake, as is his reliance on restorative justice and
behavior contracts. Part of a comprehensive strategy sure but they are not the
saviors that he makes them out to be. 

Kids develop differently and the super should know that and for him to bemoan that they don’t meet his unrealistic expectations, while blaming teachers is very telling.

2 Replies to “Vitti’s less than realistic expectations for children”

  1. Anyone who expects critical thinking out of kindergartners never had a child in kindergarten. If they did; then they were not very involved with their children. I have heard and read many experts in child development say that children that age are not even able to think concretely, let alone critically.
    I get the fact that the people that forced common core into the classroom had to come up with ways to make it different enough to force schools to pay for new text books and tests. However, anyone with any experience with children would know that "Critical Thinking" for kindergartners" is only a change agent, and should not be seriously. If Vitti or anyone does take it seriously that maybe they should bemoaned their own lack of critical thinking ability and leave the kids alone.

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