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Duval Schools Superintendent Receives Board Performance Evaluation Of ‘Effective’

Lindsey Kilbride


Duval Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti received an evaluation of “effective” from school board members Thursday.

It’s the same rating he gave himself earlier this month.

The score is based on his performance in the 2014-15 school year, due to the state’s releasing last year’s grades just a month ago.

Board members gave Vitti a combination of effective and highly effective ratings, while most of the members’ combined scores for individual questions suggested improvement is needed.

Board member Becki Couch’s overall score was on the low end of effective, teetering on “needs-improvement.”  

She said one of her concerns is fiscal transparency. She asked for more budget documents to be posted online, which she said hasn’t been happening. Then there’s student achievement, she added.

“We knew he was going to come in and kind of shake things up a little bit and that was with the hope that we would see results rapidly and we haven’t really seen that in all areas,” Couch said.

MORE | Read the board's evaluations below

Moving forward, board members agreed on several recommendations. In the area of student achievement, they said they’d like to see improvement in middle schools, secondary math and literacy.

But receiving the lowest overall score was Vitti's teamwork with the board.

On the other hand, board members agreed on several positives, including Duval’shigh graduation rate, particularly among black students.

Vitti is also gaining support for the district through relationships with nonprofits, businesses and the local faith-based community. The board also noted Vitti's emphasis on improving school safety.

Board Chair Ashley Smith Juarez rated Vitti on the high end of effective.

“I think that we’re starting to see the results of the recommendations of the board from prior years become commendations," she said.  

Vitti met individually with members prior to Thursday’s meeting. He said the meetings were helpful and feels a greater sense of clarity about his performance.

Board members will have to rate Vitti again soon after this school year.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.