SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Whitney Tilson Opens His Mouth Wide

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Whitney Tilson Opens His Mouth Wide

I admit it. I have a thing for Whitney Tilson. He is just so dreamy. He is so rad. He is, just so full of himself, such a schmuck.

I look forward to each and every email he sends out like a kid on Christmas morning, or like the dude in a rest area bathroom stall hoping and praying that the signal is coming from Whitney. I suggest to anyone to sign up for Whitney's mass emailings ASAP. Just email him at and ask to be added to the list. Hours of laughter are to follow.

Whitney's email of April 19 took on Diane Ravitch. I just love the way he opened it up by quoting Diane.

“Maybe this demonstrates that schools alone cannot solve the very deep problems kids bring to school. You cannot assume that schools alone can raise achievement scores without addressing the issues of poverty, of homelessness and shattered families.”

I mean it is true. Schools alone can't do it. It is a partnership between the schools and the parents. In fact, the parents have the kids for the first five years of the child's life so the mold is more or less set. If a child is not nurtured, read to, intellectually stimulated the kid is behind the eight ball heading in. I am in no way condoning this, but it's a fact.

So what if a student had a lamp bulb burned into her forearm, or a few weeks later came in with a shiner and blamed her 18 month old brother (true story, my second year teaching. administration did jack!). Not the teacher's fault if the student watches mommy turn tricks for some rock. Not the teacher's fault if every time he or she opens their mouth they are told to shut the f**k up. Guess what Whitney? The kids who do best in my school are the ones with the parents there constantly. It all comes from discipline in the home. That expectations are high and nothing but the best effort is allowed.

And Whitney, it is all about class size. Yeah Whitney, size does matter. Except in your case. My second year teaching I had 24 students in my class. We had a nasty snowstorm one day and on 13 showed. It was night and day. But you are too in love with your thoughts to see otherwise.

It’s Diane Ravitch, of course, who is doing her best to surpass these other folks in propagating an ideology that screws poor kids. Who has not spent a single day in the private sector.

Have you ever spent a day in the public sector? I have worked in the private sector and I can tell you that if McDonalds managers run their restaurants better than 90% of the principals out there.

This really explains everything regarding her ignorance of and hostility toward basic principles of management and organization that our schools systems so desperately need.

Whitney, we are talking about schools, about children. This is like comparing you to human beings. Two totally different things. But we see now what is happening at Goldman Sachs with people who have management and organization experience.

Is it possible that such an esteemed “scholar” as Ravitch has never visited a high-performing inner-city school and seen with her own eyes that what she’s saying is demonstrably false

Have you ever visited an inner city public school? Seriously, have you?

(as I have, at well over 100 different schools all over the country)?

Wow. I have freaking goosebumps. Whitney, you are the neatest, coolest man(?) in the entire wide world of sports. How can I become you?

To be sure, many disadvantaged kids do indeed have “very deep problems”, but that simply means they need the best teachers and best schools to overcome the fact that they enter school with two strikes against them.

They do already. Again Whitney, describe the best teacher. Teachers bust their rear ends. But sorry to say kids go home at night. Why not blame the principals of these schools. Surely according to your management axiom, it all flows from the top, don't it?

When they get such teachers and schools – which, sadly, is extremely rare, as we have an immoral and despicable system in this country that systematically gives the neediest children the worst teachers and schools – we know with 100% certainty that these children can achieve at high levels and close – and even reverse – the achievement gap.

I don't care what Anna Phillips says about my response to this, but here goes. Up your nose with a rubber hose you insolent snot filled elitist.

Ravitch needs to get out of her ivory tower and hop in a cab and in 30 minutes she could be at any number of schools that would disprove her foolish beliefs.

Why don't you leave your ivory tower on 5th Ave, hop into your waiting limo and come visit not only the schools, but the neighborhoods? Come to the Melrose Houses where you can sleep on the floor to avoid the bullets, or not leave home because the elevators are out and too afraid to take the stairs. Come see the urine drenched hallways. See what happens if you are wearing the wrong colors. Come see the dog feces strewn about, the garbage just thrown wherever. Come walk through the projects at 1 AM. Come walk down Brook Ave at night alone. Come see what it is like.

But that’s not going to happen – not with Randi as her best buddy, when she’s so publicly committed to a certain viewpoint, and not at her age (I don’t think it’s controversial to say that the older people get, the less open they tend to be to contrary viewpoints and giving up deeply held beliefs).

The foot keeps going into your mouth doesn't it?

Whitney, I am a great believer in what goes around comes around. Your fall from grace will be legendary.


Anonymous said...

A complete masterpiece Bronx Teacher! You rock.

Anonymous said...

Much more heat than light here. And I don't think the guy who believes in poor kids' abilities is the "elitist."

Anonymous said...

I have to say, though, I don't think I hear much from Twitney with regards to the abilities of poor kids- I do hear lots of bashing of teachers. And I can't believe s/he is mocking Diane Ravitch for never working in the private sector- isn't that the point, that this woman has made her life studying education? She's what you might call, you know, an expert. I am going to email her right now and suggest she spend a few weeks at Goldman Sachs- since they are so outstanding at what they do, pillars of moral examples. I am sure she could learn a lot about how the private sector works because their principles really are missing from the school system.

Pete Zucker said...

To the first Anonymous, Whitney is an elitist no matter how you slice it. I do not buy for a minute Whitney's "altruism."

elite — a select group of people with, intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most weight or those who view their own views as so;

To the second Anonymous, Whitney is a dude. Yes, his parents gave him a girl's name.

Monica said...

"I don’t think it’s controversial to say that the older people get, the less open they tend to be to contrary viewpoints and giving up deeply held beliefs."

He makes this statement so he will be consistent with his propaganda angle that older teachers, veteran teachers, are inferior to cheap (young) newbies.

And it's a crack-up considering Diane's book is a complete back-peddle on her previous thinking.

Whitney is to young and dumb as Diane is to old and wise...