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Nikolai Vitti

A map of the GOAL line bus route.
city of Detroit

Despite their ongoing competition for students, the Detroit Public Schools Community District and charter schools will team up to provide some joint services for students and families.

The city’s newly-formed Community Education Commission will take on that task. Its first order of business: running a bus loop connecting six DPSCD and four charter schools on the city’s west side.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti at a Detroit school
Erin Einhorn

 

Nikolai Vitti is marking the one-year anniversary of becoming the superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Erin Einhorn, editor for Chalkbeat Detroit, joined Stateside to break down Vitti's first year for us. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

2,000 Detroit public school teachers are getting a bonus.

It’s part of the district’s plan to attract and retain teachers.

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has proposed a city-wide education commission, but lots of key details are still in the works.

The commission would be “convened” by the mayor’s office, and include teachers, parents, and other representatives from both traditional public and charter schools. It would mainly serve in an “advisory” role, and would lack the power to do things like open or close schools, according to Duggan’s office.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Detroit schools superintendent Nikolai Vitti is crystal clear about his position on potentially arming teachers: It’s a bad idea, and the vast majority of teachers feel that way too.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has a different view: that arming some highly-trained, qualified and vetted teachers would provide an “extra layer of security,” and is one option for making schools into “harder targets” for attacks like mass shootings.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers passed a bill today that would make it harder for school districts to prevent former school buildings from being used for new education purposes.  

The deed restrictions are often meant to keep competitors from opening schools that would siphon students away from the district.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Michigan lawmakers this week may discuss changes to a law that prevents school districts from having a say on what happens to former school buildings.

A charter school operator wants to turn a former Detroit public school building into a new school. But there’s a problem: a deed restriction on the property says they can’t. 

The district no longer owns the school, but the deed restriction gave it control over the future use of the building. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers grilled Detroit’s school superintendent for not moving faster to implement new policies to grading school performance and merit pay for teachers.

Dr. Nikolai Vitti told the House Education Reform Committee he’s had other priorities, as he tries to fix the problem-plagued district.  

During one exchange, Vitti responded to Saginaw lawmaker Tim Kelly, who pressed Vitti on why Detroit has not moved faster on accountability standards.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Thursday morning, the state House Education Reform Committee takes up a bill that would channel tax money raised by county school districts to charter schools.

Inside Nikolai Vitti's early effort to transform Detroit's battered public school image

Sep 13, 2017
Erin Einhorn

Three months after taking on one of the most daunting tasks in American education, Nikolai Vitti was having a fit over pizza — $340,000 worth of pizza.

Vitti, Detroit’s new school superintendent, had just discovered that the district had set aside that eye-popping sum of money last year to pay Domino’s Pizza for what he assumed were hundreds of thousands of slices for parties in schools.

DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti
Detroit Public Schools Community District

The Detroit Public Schools Community District is starting the new school year with an old problem: teacher vacancies.

But new DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says the district has “momentum” on fixing the problem.

The district still has about 200 classroom spots to fill before school starts Tuesday.

Andrew Stein, executive director of City Year Detroit, says Americorps members help at-risk students, and teachers who have to manage large class sizes.
Detroit Public Schools

Detroit public school students could soon be spending a lot less time on testing during the school year.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District is moving to cut the number of assessments they give students across the district by 70 percent — from administering 186 tests down to 57 tests.

Teacher at a chalkboard
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Detroit students will have a new high school option this fall, but they'll have to pass a test to get in.

There are currently three high schools in Detroit with entrance exams -- Cass Technical, Renaissance, and Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School -- but space is limited at those schools.

Flickr user Frank Juarez / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Detroit Public School Community District confirmed Dr. Nikolai Vitti as its new superintendent Monday.

The Financial Review Commission, which oversees the school's finances,  voted yesterday to approve a five-year contract with Vitti, who previously had been superintendent of the Duval County Public Schools in Florida. 

In a statement, president of DPSCD’s Board of Education Dr. Iris Taylor said the board is thrilled to work with Vitti.

Students raise their hands inside a classroom
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The new superintendent for the Detroit Public Schools Community District could begin work  as early as Tuesday. Dr. Nikolai Vitti’s five-year contract was approved by the Detroit school board earlier this month, but the commission that oversees the district’s finances still has to OK the contract. The Detroit Financial Review Commission is expected to vote Monday afternoon. 

If approved, Vitti has his work cut out for him.