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Duval superintendent hosts first town hall meeting

11:46 PM, Dec 3, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- New Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti called the first of seven town halls at Terry Parker High School. Not a small group, but an intimate setting.

"This kind of setting allows for an open conversation and I actually like it when the participants feed off one another and they start to talk to one another," Vitti said.

Vitti said each event allows for a more personalized interaction, talking about everything from charter schools to moving away from one-size-fits-all testing.

"I think there's a lot of angst and concern regarding over testing, too much emphasis on FCAT and I think one takeaway from the group is this administration and the reform effort will be going back to a classroom where kids are thinking," Vitti said.

"He's already made such great changes with getting rid of some of the testing. The testing has just been overkill. The teachers feel it, the parents feel it," said parent Marla Bryant.

The new superintendent has already taken action by discontinuing some testing in reading, math and science to free up time for teachers for instruction.

"I'm very satisfied. Dr. Vitti seems to have come into the district ready to make change," said parent Melissa Kicklighter.

Parents like Kicklighter say they're pleased with the change.

"He's responsive, he's approachable. There's not a question that I've heard him asked in any setting that he has not been willing to answer," she said.

Parents were complimentary of Vitti's responsive and approachable demeanor.

Although Vitti said it's not the turnout he hoped for, he has high hopes for future town halls.

"I'm hoping to get to the point where we openly discuss, debate and talk about solutions for the future for our kids," Vitti said.

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