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 June 6, 2018

America Promises Equal Opportunity But It’s a Complete Lie

Schools are where we’re supposed to find equal opportunity. Instead we find a sorting system that magnifies inequality. In fact,…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

Posted Jan. 29, 2018

‘No Excuses’ Only Works When It Applies to the Adults in the School, Too

Many schools with strict discipline practice what they call a “no excuses” philosophy. The problem with many “no excuses” schools…

By Dirk Tillotson

Read Post

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

OUR NETWORK

Featured Posts

Posted Aug. 17, 2018

Instead of School Supplies Give Parents a List of What Their Kids Need to Succeed

Last August I was visiting family in Oregon when I walked into a supermarket and by the front door saw a large sign that read…

By Samantha Brown Olivieri

Read Post

Posted Aug. 17, 2018

It’s Time to Transform Our Schools, and Teachers Should Lead It

I’ve always known the education system is a like a large, slow freighter. Teaching in a public school for two decades reveals to anyone that…

By Anna Baldwin

Read Post

Posted Aug. 17, 2018

How Kunjan Narechania Is Working to Deliver Autonomy, Accountability, Equity and Choice in New Orleans

This is the third in a series stemming from a Chiefs for Change panel discussion at the National Charter Schools Conference hosted by the National…

By Leila Walsh

Read Post

Accountability

How does the federal government support our public schools? Find out the ABC’s of ESEA, ESSA and No Child Left Behind →

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