Duval County School Superintendent touts improvements in graduation rate, technology

Nikolai Vitti delivers 'State of the School' address at UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti told educators, parents and community leaders Tuesday morning in his state-of-the-schools address that the biggest accomplishment of the past year is that more Duval County high school students are graduating on time than ever before.

"Not only are more students graduating, but more students are graduating college ready --which means they avoid that remediation class their freshman year," Vitti said.

In his hour-long remarks at the University of North Florida, Vitti said one of the district's biggest challenges is that elementary school students are still not reading at grade level, which affects them as they move onto the next grade, as well as middle school and high school. He is hoping after-school programs could help catch the students up to get them back on track.

Vitti said the district continues to focus on great teachers and growing great leaders.

"Our principlas are being reshaped to think of themselves as human capital developers, not just managers of buildings, not just making sure the kids are out of hallways and getting to the bus on time," Vitti said.

Vitti said the plan is to recruit teachers from out-of-state to help better the Duval County school system and continue in the right direction.

This address came one week after the school board extended his contract and results of a survey of teachers was released that showed some major dissatisfaction.

The survey found many teachers saying they planned to leave their school at the end of this year or next.