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 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

Posted Sep. 8, 2016

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

Read Post

Posted June 27, 2016

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

Read Post

OUR NETWORK

Featured Posts

Posted June 20, 2017

Special Education Was Created to Push Students Forward But It’s Been Used to Hold Them Back

I was a special education teacher for six years in the resource and co-teaching setting. Though I could not be more proud to be an…

By Jemelleh Coes

Read Post

Posted June 14, 2017

I Always Hated Charter Schools. Until I Put My Kids on the Waitlist.

I have never been much of a proponent of charter schools. I am the proud product of traditional public education from kindergarten through 12th grade…

By Vivett Dukes

Read Post

Posted June 16, 2017

These Denver Principals Are Calling for an End to Suspensions of Young Students

In the world of education, few things are sadder or more ill-advised than suspending kids as young as 4 years old from school for behavioral…

By Sara Gips Goodall, Lindsey Lorehn, Jennifer Jackson, Jenni Reese, Alexa Mason, Alex Magaña

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