SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: When Does Whitney Tilson's Hypocrisy And Ignorance Become Criminal?

Friday, September 23, 2011

When Does Whitney Tilson's Hypocrisy And Ignorance Become Criminal?

Yes, my freaking eyes again. Back in February I questioned whether or not a chimp could write better than Whitney Tilson. I believe the answer was yes, a chimp can write better than Whitney Tilson, I also believe that an inanimate carbon rod could write better than Whitney.

As I became a teenager, I heard that there were several habits that would enable me to lose my sight. At the time there was no Internet and little did I know that reading Whitney Tilson, particularity is long winded, self centered, attention whorish posts on the Huffington Post would be one of the things that my eyes must be averted from. Or perhaps I will eventually lose my sanity reading Whitney, much in the way that Mr Spock lost his by staring at the Medusan Ambassador Kollos.

Whitney just recently wrote a manifesto, a treatise, a screed wondering if schools matter. Other than wondering if Whitney got the word count to the suggested 700-800 words, I couldn't read it. My attention span couldn't last the entire 1,478 words (Bravo for reducing my 1,000 words your post Whitney!). I mean reading his convoluted babbling harkened me back to 1986 after making one of my Bronx Runs with a friend and after lighting up and downing a dozen Twinkies trying to study (This reminds me, to the crew reading this at Condon's office, DeKalb Ave off of Gun Hill Rd. See Manny, he is the one wearing a lot of bling.). There was just no there there. Whitney, you are dull, boring and way to self-important.

But something did catch my eye. As usual Whitney is always good for putting his foot (amongst other things) in his mouth, his finger in a..., well use your imagination, and consistently contradicting himself. It was right there for all to see. Whitney, whining and thinking he knows what is best for boys and girls of color blabbered;
On average, poor, minority kids are much more likely to be taught by teachers who:
  • Didn't major or minor in the field they are teaching
  • Are inexperienced
  • Did poorly on SATs and other standardized tests
  • Got poor grades in high school and college
  • Attended noncompetitive colleges
In the immortal words of Arte Johnson, verrrry interesting. But shall we break this apart and yet again show and immortalize the ignorance of Whitney? Sure, why not?

Didn't major or minor in the field they are teaching 

Hmm, isn't that practically ever Teach For America teacher? Surely, one will not be able to find a teaching job in their field they majored or minored in if that field was Russian Literature, or 13th Century poetry. Therefore according to Whitney, all TFA teachers should not be teaching boys and girls of color.

Are inexperienced 

See above. Also, no new teachers at all. Ever. In fact with this statement Whitney makes a darn good point for keeping seniority rights. Reading this Evan and Sydney? Whitney is throwing both of you under the bus.

Did poorly on SATs and other standardized tests 

You know, I got a 850 on my PSAT in 11th grade and came to the realization that SAT's suck. As for standardized tests, I have no idea how I did when they were given. When I was a student standardized tests were used to assess what my needs were, not to jam teachers or to jam students. Is a student who got an 1000 not as smart as a student who got a 1600 on an SAT? No, just maybe one studied harder, took classes, was a better test taker.

Got poor grades in high school and college  

That means squat. You can get poor grades in high school or college and still become a success. President George W Bush was a C student and he became president. My last three years of high school I barely squeaked by. Why? I DID NOT CARE! My first foray into college was at a community college, then I played musical colleges. My grades sucked. But, when I grew up, got my act together, I graduated with a 2.96, mainly because I transferred a lot of D's and C's. But at the college where I took my undergrad ed. courses my GPA was 3.6, and my masters I had a 3.5. So what is your point Whitney? One can have a 4.0 and still be a dumb shit.

In fact when I went to a community college in the Southern Tier of New York, I dated a girl who had a 4.0 GPA, but was dumb as a doornail. Complete flake. The kids I went to high school with who had study parties on Friday nights, were they smarter than me? No. They worked harder, they cared more, but leave one of them in Southwest Yonkers late at night they would have peed their pants.

Attended noncompetitive colleges  

Whitney, your elitist, snobbish slip is showing with this statement. What is a noncompetitive college? What is a competitive college? Oh, one must go to an Ivy? Or one of the exclusive other East Coast liberal arts colleges? Is SUNY-Albany acceptable? SUNY-New Paltz? SUNY-Geneseo? What about Lehman or Hunter??? Should one prep at Hotchkiss to become a teacher? I knew a lot of students at Hotchkiss, what a bunch of dorks. By the way, know where most of your TFA buddies get their masters? Pace, where Little Evan Stone got his, Lehman, Mercy, I guess TFA's don't get their masters from the right schools.

Look at E4E Blog Monkey™ Ruben Brosbe. He graduated from Penn and failed to get tenure, twice! 15 years ago a teacher in my school had her BA from Harvard and her MA from Bank St. She crashed and burned as a teacher 3 months into the year.

Whitney, you just blabber and blibber and have no idea what you want nor what you are talking about. As long as you can think that you are at the forefront of the conversation about education that is all that makes you happy. All you care about is having this role that you created for yourself to be seen as the savior of boys and girls of color. You have no idea what you are doing or what you need to do. As long as you are seen and heard is all that matters.

Leave your overly gilded life and climb down and see what is truly happening, live what is happening.


Pissedoffteacher said...

Well said. My cousin, who I adore has a PhD in physics from Yale and an undergraduate degree in same subject from Columbia. While laid off, he tried his hand at teaching. He lasted three months. So much for an Ivy League education and success in the teaching field.

teacherken said...

by Tilson's reasoning, no one should be a major league manager who was not himself an outstanding player for a top team. While some such have made good or even great managers - Joe Torre immediately comes to mind - that would exclude some of the greatest managers of all times, including Connie Mack, Walter Alston, and Earl Weaver to name just 3.

Should teachers know their subjects? Yep, but that can be demonstrated other than by majoring in the subject.

I would qualify as a tweener by Tilson's reasoning. My undergraduate major was music, as was my early graduate work, yet I teach social studies, nowadays focusing on Government. Yes I went to an elite college - Haverford - but took until I was almost 27 to graduate, having dropped out of there twice (and from NYU once). In fact, I almost flunked out my first semester despite sky-high SATS (742-746 graduating from HS in 1963) and being a national merit scholar. But when I went back at age 25 to finish up I took 24 credit hours (while working 3 jobs and serving as a resident upperclassman in a freshman dorm) while maintaining a 3.5.

My effectiveness as a teacher? Well, you could measure it many ways. Some would point to the various teaching awards I have received over my previous 16 years. Those are nice. I point at two other things

1. most of my students are sophomores, but many ask me to write their college and scholarship recommendations, even if they are planning to major in science

2. I know of at least 17 of my former students who are now themselves classroom teachers, in one case in the same building in which I teach.

Tilson thinks because he made a lot of money he is an expert on everything. He thereby shows how much of an empty suit he actually is. Or if you prefer, blowhard.

Steve said...

100% totally agree!