Turning the Light Back on, Brightly, this New Year

Three months ago today, we all lost our inimitable Dirk Tillotson, the creator of this platform. He has been a resource and light to everyone he encountered in Oakland, here in New York, and abroad.  As the co-pilot of our nonprofit Great School Choices, the past three months have been some of the worst days…


Remembering Dirk Tillotson

“Students who need the most and deserve the most, tend to get the least while the privileged magnify their advantages. That’s the system and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.”  – Dirk Tillotson Force of Nature. A Movement. Leading Light. Unapologetic, Consistent Warrior for Justice. Brave Truth Teller. Always Laughing. These are a handful…


These Maps Show How Oakland’s School District Reinforces Segregation

I’d highly recommend checking out the Urban Institute’s latest research on the role school attendance boundaries play in school segregation. I’ve captured the Oakland-specific data here and you can see the screenshots below in an online map here. Here are just a few reminders from the report on the power of attendance boundaries: “By prioritizing…


An Ode to the Patron Saint of Insanity and Visions of Equality

Lionel Dixon, in custody at Santa Rita Jail, read a report about the murder of our own Dirk Tillotson. His advocate shared with us a poem he wrote to honor Dirk. The world lost a patron saint to insanityA man with a vision and dreams of equalityHe fought for unfortunate students of poverty Let us…


Education Activist Dirk Tillotson Was as Real as They Come

By Courtney Martin. (This piece originally appeared in Education Post was republished with permission by the author). Last Friday, October 1, Oakland education activist Dirk Tillotson was murdered in his home. He was as real as they come, self-described as the “patron saint of lost causes.” His death is a massive loss for those who knew and loved him,…