Dirk Tillotson

dirk-1

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 Mar. 24, 2017
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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

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Posted Jan. 20, 2017
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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

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Posted Jan. 11, 2017
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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

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Posted Dec. 16, 2016
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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

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Posted Dec. 6, 2016
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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

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Posted Nov. 29, 2016
Photo by Dan Lee Photo (http://danleephoto.com).

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

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Posted Oct. 14, 2016
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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

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Posted Sep. 8, 2016
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Here’s Why I and Other Black Families Support Charter Schools

Most Black families support charter schools. It’s not because we’ve been duped, or that we’re “privatizers.” It’s because many of us…

By Dirk Tillotson

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Posted June 27, 2016
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2 Rules to Explain Why Expulsion Hearings Will Always Be Biased Against Black Boys

Four hours in an expulsion hearing gives you time to think. And afterwards, you are wrapped tight. So it takes…

By Dirk Tillotson

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Posted May 11, 2016
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When a Charter School Learns From the District to Take on Special Needs

New York City has a great program for autism inclusion in its district schools. Thing was, there wasn’t one in…

By Dirk Tillotson

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Featured Posts

Posted Mar. 30, 2017
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This Mom Went to Jail Making Sure Her Son Received a High-Quality Education and She Would Do It All Over Again

It’s been five years since Tanya McDowell made national headlines after she was charged with larceny for “stealing an education” for her son. Even with some…

By Megan DeSombre

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Posted Mar. 29, 2017
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Betsy, Can We Really ‘Uber’-ize Public Education? Here‘s Why That‘s a Terrible Idea.

This morning, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos delivered a keynote address at the Brookings Institution for the Center on Children and Families’ release of its fifth…

By Madison Gray

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Posted Mar. 29, 2017
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Coffee Break: E4E on Entering a New Chapter and Working on Reform From the Inside Out

Recently, the teacher-led reform group Educators for Excellence (E4E) announced a rebranding that includes an updated set of core principles and a new look for…

By Peter Cunningham

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