SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: The Usual Whitney Tilson Fail

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Usual Whitney Tilson Fail

So here I am at my son's travel league baseball game this morning, when at 11:36 AM I check my email and lo and behold I see in my inbox one of Whitney Tilson's meglomanical, hyper, fictionalized, self absorbed emails.

Just to get off topic for a minute and to channel Whitney's self absorption, my son in the second game went 1 for 1, with a triple into right field, sac fly, and intentional walk. He also threw out a runner attempting to steal second. But I have digressed. I know Whitney reads this blog, I think I want him to see what men do and perhaps learn that lessons can be learned from team sports.

Anyway, as I read this email between innings, after my son moved to 3rd base, I seethed as I have never in the past at one of Whitney's rants. I walked over to another parent who happens to teach for the NYC DOE and told him to watch his email for a major rant today. Here my friend is the rant.

So Whitney blabbered, and I gave it the screen shot effect for it is not up on his blog (which according to Alexa this blog has a higher traffic rank)(please click to enlarge);

So let's break this down. Whitney blithely blabbered; I was speaking with a former TFA corps member

Wow, I did not know TFA members frequent the rest rooms of Interstate rest areas. Whilst you were talking to this TFA member Whitney were you able to look at him in the eyes? Or perhaps you saw the back of his head? 

we got to talking about the greatest barrier to improving our schools, especially those in inner cities (where he worked):

Talking? There is actually talking involved? From what I heard, it is usually a series of signals involved but you'll get the benefit of the doubt.

So it would be safely assumed that in the conversation with this young TFA member that greatest barriers that were brought up were wither poverty or class size? The crack team just mentioned to me that we will accept access to technology, access to textbooks, access to a safe environment at school, access to proper medical care, access to proper social services, access to a proper home life with loving parents, no drugs, no gangs, no alcohol as acceptable answers, but truly looking for poverty or class size. 

the lack of great teachers.

Oh dang! Wrong answer! I was expecting much a much better answer to come out of this young TFA's mouth (I am sure Whitney did too!) than that. But what answer does one expect from a young, naive, graduate from an elite college, when his back was up against the wall (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) being with Whitney?

What is this with great teachers? How is this statistically possible? What about a damn good teacher? Or a damn fine teacher? Or a teacher that is really f***ing good? The Yankees won more World Series with a good player at 3rd base than they have with a supposedly great player at 3rd base. 

What he said underscores how bad the problem is in inner-city schools:

I guess so. Not being fed properly, not having proper medical care, not being read to from an early age, being cursed at, being screamed at, being hit, etc... And of course those scourges of the inner city schools; poverty and class size mean jack.

Whitney shares the quote from his new bestest friend....97% of the teachers at schools like the one I was in need to be replaced.  Seriously.  Of the 100+ teachers at my school, excluding the TFA teachers, there were no more than three where you or I would tolerate having one of our own children in their classroom.

Oh of course the TFA teachers are wonderful. Oh of course the young elitist is correct. Why not name the school? Hell, why not at least name the grades of this school? I wonder how a classroom teacher in a school of approximately 1,000 students as the time and wherewithal to have observed all these teachers? And if these teachers were so observed by this young man how can this former TFA corps member have the knowledge to judge other teachers in his school?

This is what myself and the crack team are thinking about this anecdote Whitney has shared. It is either 1) True, and the little nebbish is a turncoat elitist. 2) Embellished, by Whitney from a some story he overheard at a Interstate rest stop, or 3) Complete fiction either conjured up by Whitney, or someone with a wicked gleam in their eye who punk'd Whitney. If is the former it shows how depraved and starved for attention Whitney is, if is the latter, than I applaud and scream brilliant! 

In fact let's see how much of a sucker Whitney truly is. Email Whitney and come up with your most outrageous work of fiction regarding teachers. Let's see if Whitney bothers to do a fact check, gets the facts straight, or embellishes. Whitney being Whitney I am sure he will create his own perception of his reality.

The challenge is on!


Anonymous said...

I interpreted Tilson's post to mean that the TFAer believed that public education was beneath the two of them with their wealthy prep school background. Nothing more than two elitists BSing about their self-percieved superior status in society.

NYCDOEnuts said...

I just wonder what the TFA teacher did that justified himself as part of the other 3%. In 11 years of teaching, I have only known one (1) teacher within the first three years of development was actually effective in the classroom. All the others had to grow over a longer period before the had any real effect on their students.
And I wonder where that TFA teacher will be in a year?
And who is this kid to judge the other teachers at his school?

Anonymous said...

I would like to know how a new teacher had the time to be in all the other classes in their school. Or is this just the case that a newbie has a big mouth and not much to offer. Lets find out the name of this teacher and see if it's true.

Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene said...

Bronx, don't you know "it only takes five weeks (TM)" to become an expert in anything in these days? This young person of privilege is entitled to judge their fellow teachers, since they, being of the 1%, are clearly superior by pedigree to the working class rabble they teach and and work with.

When Wendy Kopp's white missionaries are done, we will see how their market forces work in education like they do in all other aspects of society -- exacerbating class inequality and institutional racism.

Tilson's organs of vicious class warfare, KIPP and TFA, are two of the most egregious sources of cultural sterilization (to lift a phrase from Dr. Horn) and poverty pimping around. Tilson goes beyond pariah, when it comes to privatizing public education, he is public enemy number one.