The first of two superintendent finalists for the Detroit Public Schools Community District is set for a daylong interview Wednesday
Nikolai Vitti was hired to be a “change agent” as the head of the Duvall County Florida schools.
WJCT Public Radio education reporter Lindsey Kilbride said Vitti’s been credited with increasing graduation rates among African American students and with curriculum changes that aligned the schools with state standards.
But, she said, teachers felt poorly prepared to implement the curriculum and disliked that it was scripted with little room for creative teaching.
“We’ve been hearing a lot of concerns from parents and teachers about the curriculum,” Kilbride said. “Just that a lot of it’s online. A lot of it’s done with printout sheets instead of textbooks. And the teachers feel like it’s really really fast-paced.”
Kilbride said Vitti’s communication style frustrated some Duvall County board members.
“He’s Harvard educated. He’s smart. He brings a lot of information to the school board,” Kilbride said. “But the criticism he often gets is that he’s not really working things out with them. He’ll just sort of present the information to them as ‘this is what we’re going to do’ and I think they want more information and they want to feel heard.”
Vitti will meet with DPSCD’s finance and academic departments as well as parents and community members. The school board will hold a public interview session at the Detroit College Preparatory High School at Northwestern Wednesday at 6 p.m.