Dirk Tillotson

Blogger

Founder and Executive Director, Great School Choices

Oakland, California

Dirk Tillotson is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Great Schools Choices, which supports community-based charter school development and increasing access for underserved families. He has worked for over 20 years supporting mostly charter community schools in Oakland, New Orleans and New York City, and he’s even consulted on education issues in the Middle East.

As a child, his parents moved their family to a high-performing school district where they were the first Black family on the block. The challenges of that experience embedded in him a desire to create academically high-quality schools where students don’t have to check their identities at the door.

Dirk currently resides in Oakland, California, and blogs at Great School Voices.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Oct. 16, 2017

Back to the Roots of the Charter School Movement

As a longtime believer in the possibility of charter schools, the so-called “charter movement” has been a disappointment. But last…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Aug. 2, 2017

2 Things the NAACP Got Right on Charter Schools

While I think there is a lot wrong with the NAACP’s look at charters, they did get two things right. One…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Apr. 12, 2017

Teachers, You Never Know What Students Are Going Through Outside The Classroom

This guest post is by an anonymous, Oakland-based educator. One time my mom tried to kill me. She chased me…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Mar. 24, 2017

Why I Feel Like ‘The Spook Who Sat by the Charter School Door’

I am the fly in the school reform buttermilk. An outsider, now marginally on the inside, trying to plot the…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Jan. 20, 2017

What The Atlantic Got Wrong About Charter Schools and Segregation

George Joseph’s article, What Betsy DeVos Didn’t Say About School Choice, claims that charter schools “have pushed more low-income, minority…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Jan. 11, 2017

Don’t Talk to Me About ‘Privatization,’ Because Your ‘Public’ School Is Hardly Public

In Oakland, one of the highest achieving schools in the city is Hillcrest Elementary. It’s a “public” school that is…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Dec. 16, 2016

It’s Never Been Harder to Be a Teacher and That’s Why We Need to Train Them Better

Teacher training in the U.S. has been a crapshoot. Because when you’re hiring first year teachers, sometimes you say “crap”…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Dec. 6, 2016

Oakland’s Kids Will Continue to Benefit From the Legacy of Superintendent Antwan Wilson

Late last month, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Superintendent Antwan Wilson was nominated to become the new school chief of D.C. Public Schools.…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Nov. 29, 2016

This Can Be the Biggest Change We See With More Unionized Charters: Getting Everyone Focused on Quality and Equity

Charters and unions are often seen as diametrically opposed. This isn’t really an accurate history.…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Oct. 14, 2016

A Message to the NAACP on the Eve of Its Charter Vote: Black Families Want More School Choices

Black families support charter schools. That’s clear from a number of recent surveys on school choice. In the 2016 Education Next…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

OUR NETWORK

Featured Posts

Posted Dec. 8, 2017

Teachers Are Ready to End the School-to-Prison Pipeline But They Need the Trump Administration’s Help

2.6 million. That is the number of children suspended from U.S. public schools in one calendar year—2.6 million. That data, released in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for…

By Lillian Lowery, Evan Stone

Read Post

Posted Dec. 7, 2017

This Video of Denver DREAMers Challenged Me to Check My Privilege

Being the “Type A,” driven overachiever that I am, I tend to be a planner—often, to a fault. As the daughter of a Purdue grad,…

By Chyrise Harris

Read Post

Posted Dec. 7, 2017

How Quincy Patterson Became Virginia Tech’s First Quarterback to Major in Engineering

If you follow Chicago’s high school football scene, you probably already know Quincy Patterson, the Solorio High School quarterback who drew lots of attention from…

By Maureen Kelleher

Read Post

Browse by Date

Keep Up With
Education Post

Sign up for weekly emails featuring our top blog posts:

Want more? Get our morning update and join us in #Voices4Ed.

What We’re
Tweeting