I find it very interesting that Nickolai Vitti didn’t apply for the Pinellas County superintendent position. Quite frankly they are in much better shape than we are. Now it could be that he really likes a challenge but I suspect it is something else, make that someone else, Gary Chartrand.
Gray Chartrand isn’t about fixing the problems in public education he is about privatizing public education and because of this I believe he is one of the most dangerous men around, however he is also one of the most influential men around too.
Despite the fact he has never been a teacher or as far as I can tell ever worked in a school, he runs the Chartrand foundation a sort of education think tank, he is on the board of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, the State Board of Education and he also ran his protégé Ashley Juarez-Smith for school board. Just for grins and giggles he was instrumental in bringing both KIPP and TFA to town as well. He is huge in education circles in Jacksonville and Florida, the same circles that often excludes and blame teachers for things beyond their control and is seeking to privatize public education.
To give you an idea about what he does and doesn’t believe in, Mr. Chartrand doesn’t believe in smaller class sizes, teaching experience and is a big fan of merit pay and standardized tests, in affect he goes with his gut rather than evidence or the thoughts of teachers.
The rumor on the street is that Vitti waited to apply for the Jacksonville position because of his close ties to Chartrand and because Chartrand often dictates to the school board what they should and should not do. If this rumor is true then it is something we should all be concerned about.