Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Vitti Years

What a week! While there is much to chew over, last weekend's perspective series led to compiling a list of what has happened over the last 4 years. It has to be incomplete, even now, so add your memories in the comments.

Under Nikolai Vitti:

1. 2012 Reduction in testing (a debatable point).
2. 2012 Reduction in meetings that take people off their school campuses.
3. April 2013 shake-up of district staff (I call it the May Day Massacre).
4. Emphasis on instructional coaches for the first year.
5. Principal churning.
6. Change in the head of the communications department after she made disparaging remarks about his wife.
7. Changes in the Student Code of Conduct.
8. Positive Behavior Intervention Support.
9. Restorative Justice.
10. Evening school to replace grade recovery.
11. Replacing Genesis (administrative program) with Focus.
12. Performance Matters instead of Insight/Inform. (Data and testing)
13. Test coordinators at secondary schools.
14. Loss of media specialists.
15. Graduation coaches.
16. Rise in graduation rates.
17. Narrowing of the achievement gap, especially in graduation rates.
18. DJ. (costumed mascot)
19. Emphasis on marketing schools to families.
20. Single gender academies at Butler.
21. Military academy, first at Stilwell and now at Ed White.
22. Expansion of TFA.
23. TNTP: hiring & recruiting, professional development, curriculum audit, surveys.
24. Loss of recess in elementary schools.
25. Middle School reform plan.
26. Quality Education for All: schools in the Raines/Ribault/Jackson feeder patterns would attract the best teachers with large bonuses.
27. Technology grants that put a 1 to 1 student/computer ratio in the QEA schools and all middle schools.
28. Wireless upgrade in all schools.
29. Conflict with Constance Hall, including the incident in which she was followed after leaving a board meeting.
30. Jacksonville Public Education Fund.
31. Support of the wealthy and the business community that was lacking under predecessors.
32. Brought in new leadership for academic departments.
33. Promoted old DCPS when the new leadership began leaving after one year.
34. Adopted the Engage New York curriculum, first for elementary, now moving into middle school.
35. Achieve 3000 (ELA online curriculum).
36. iReady (Elementary and middle school math online curriculum).
37. Online curriculum for science (somebody help me; what's its name?)
38. Smith-Juarez request for resignation.
39. AWOL when Florida Superintendents Association pushed back regarding testing and cut scores.
40. Focus on data.
41. Current Professional Development cycle, including school inspections.
42. Expansion of charters and philosophy to compete, not oppose.
43. 2012: "New way of work."
44. Teacher academies.
45. Decoupling of the district from the Schultz Center.
46. Budget flubs.
47. Parent Academy.
48. Emphasis on the whole child.
49. Restoration of art and music, at least initially.
50. Repurposing schools experiencing possible state action or declining enrolllments.
51. Grasp Academy (for dyslexia).
52. Proposed academy for autistic students.
53. First year: placing a permanent substitute teacher at every school.
54. Certified teacher for In School Suspension.
55. Deans of Discipline to free administrators from handling referrals.
56. Open Enrollment for all schools proposal that failed.
57. McDonald's approach to schools: everything should be the same everywhere.
58. Busting Assistant Principal pay: ending the supplement for APs who would otherwise make earn more as a teacher.

There must be more. I offer this list without comment on whether an item was good or bad.

But the Vitti years have been tumultuous, productive (in initiatives good or bad), and one helluva ride.