Return to New Orleans

10 years ago, I drove into a darkened New Orleans.  Literally.  The streetlights were off, traffic lights non- functional, and there were still large swaths of the city with no power.  It’s hard to explain what it was like.  Driving down the I-10, and seeing the increasing devastation in the countryside, as you approach, and … Continue reading Return to New Orleans


Witness to New Orleans- republishing a photo essay I did in NOLA post Katrina

WITNESS  TO  NEW ORLEANS   by Dirk Tillotson     Not even the birds have returned to the Ninth Ward. Warm summer winds lap through the scores of neighborhoods that lay in rubble in what was once New Orleans. Driving through block after block, hardly a sign of life. Homes ripped from their moorings, perching … Continue reading Witness to New Orleans- republishing a photo essay I did in NOLA post Katrina


The Upcoming Pain from the Common Core, and Why it’s Worth it

 “I feel like a failure”, one of our top teachers muttered with downcast eyes.  They had just gotten a glimpse of the data trickling out from the latest tests in California, the first that reflected the new, more rigorous, Common Core curriculum standards.  This from a teacher who is on top of their game, has … Continue reading The Upcoming Pain from the Common Core, and Why it’s Worth it


OUSD should issue diplomas to kids caught in the bureaucratic crossfire

Thank you OUSD.  Sludge tends to predictably flow downhill in bureaucracies.  So I was heartened to hear that OUSD has changed its mind and will vote to award diplomas to a subset of seniors who were caught in a bureaucratic snafu. This drama is pretty well explained in the recent Mercury News article, “Decision to … Continue reading OUSD should issue diplomas to kids caught in the bureaucratic crossfire


Understanding the “Pain” Behind the “Gain” in the Common Core

As a supporter of the intent behind the Common Core standards, teaching and testing for deeper meanings, and more complex understanding, it has been painful to watch its implementation.  In New York, a rushed implementation without sufficient resources led to confused teachers and families, plummeting test scores, and a real and substantial backlash.  And as … Continue reading Understanding the “Pain” Behind the “Gain” in the Common Core