A reader pointed out something I missed: “Do we really promote and teach the joy of reading,” School Board member Connie Hall asked.
Answer: NO. You don’t fund media specialist positions, close school libraries, & then you you ask about promoting the joys of reading? Might as well be a rhetorical question.
The Mike the Teacher blog has covered the cutting of librarians extensively.
65% of existing Duval County Middle School libraries in 2012-13, were eliminated in 2013-14 (Vitti’s first full year as Superintendent).
79% of existing Duval County High School libraries in 2012-13, were eliminated in 2013-14.
90% of Duval County high schools (26/29) had no full-time librarian in 2013-14.
86% of Duval County high schools (25/29) had no librarian at all in 2013-14.
74% of Duval County middle schools had no librarian at all.
58% of Duval County elementary schools did not have a full-time librarian, but all had at least a part-time librarian.
In 2013-14, Vitti’s funding decisions eliminated library positions from 15 middle schools and 15 high schools (one other high school librarian was reduced from full-to part time).
While 90% of high schools didn’t have a single full-time librarian, Paxon (the college prep school) got TWO librarians.
Vitti cut the equivalent of 28 full-time positions at these middle and high schools where librarians were eliminated.
Having talked to some of the few librarians left they tell me more cuts are on the way as libraries across the city will be turned into testing centers and for a district with a reading problem how does this make any type of rational sense.
Vitti has a problem that many people in government have and that’s unless it benefits them or it has worked for them they have no use for it. Take for instance Senator Rob Portman from Ohio who changed his tunes about gays when his son revealed he was one, Andy Gardiner here in Florida who has pushed for personal learning scholarships for disabled children because he has one and then there is Vitti too who has a child with dyslexia, he starting the grasp academy to service children with it.
Vitti battled dyslexia too and the super should be applauded for overcoming his disability but at the same time this may have led to his lack of appreciation and understanding about the importance of libraries and librarians. Not everybody can learn from being thrown in front of a computer.
Mike the Teacher pointed out it would take about 2 million to fully fund our libraries or about the cost of one of Vitti’s computer programs that I am sure we will chuck in a year or too.
Librarys’ and librarians are important despite what Vitti thinks and it’s a shame he doesn’t understand that even if he personally didn’t have much use for them growing up.