Superintendent Vitti hits all the right notes when he talked about the latest FSA test results in the Times Union. He said the test won’t show growth, there are questions about the validity of the test and higher scores not fewer students doing well will lead to a lot of failing schools, kids failing and teachers getting poor evaluations. These are all accurate critiques but the truth is he is leaving out an important detail and that’s what role he has played in where we find ourselves.
Superintendent Vitti was brought on board to improve the district and I remind you that every other district is playing by the same terrible and unfair rules that the state has set up. This means even though the game is terrible, the playing field is level.
When we look at the results that way then it becomes pretty obvious that district has not improved and many of us in the trenches think we have taken a few steps back.
It’s also a shame that so many important decisions are going to made on this one dubious test but you know what, it has been like that for over fifteen years now. For a decade and a half we have been labeling inner city schools failures because their kids don’t do well on standardized tests and blaming teachers for those failures. The test may have changed but the system hasn’t.
Now that Vitti is at the top of the education ladder here in Duval (and remember after his first full year as superintendent, we had a catastrophic grade report) instead of stepping up and taking any responsibility for what he has brought to the district, the new curriculum that relies on worksheets, teachers poor morale and substantial turnover, his leadership decisions, wasting money on the QEA, the expansion of charter schools and the over reliance of technology at the expense of human capital, which have all contributed to our poor showing, he says who me? Nah it’s the tests fault.
Superintendent Vitti is completely correct with the issues he brings up about the new test, it is a Shakespearean tragedy what the state inflicts upon its schools, teachers and students but as the three year anniversary of the supers first day fast approaches its time he took some responsibility for where we find ourselves as well.
In the Times Union he did his best to manage expectations for the results which are going to be pretty poor and yeah we can blame the test but the truth is there is plenty of blame to go around.