Monday, November 28, 2016

Why did Antwan Wilson leave Oakland for D.C.?

Oakland former Supt. Antwan Wilson seems nonplussed by parent/community protest. 
A friend in D.C. asked me why I thought Oakland Supt. Antwan Wilson would leave his $400K/year job to take the job in his town. Here's what I told him:
I'll tell you why he's leaving. Oakland (like the A's) is the farm team to the major leagues. They sent us Tony Smith to IL to do Gov. Rauner's bidding. DC is a plum job for pay and visibility (Wilson did ok in Oakland, pulling down a tidy $400K/yr. Look for him to make about the same in D.C.). Heartbeat away from the DOE and Ed Sec job (if Dems make a comeback). Oakland’s schools have been led by 8 people in the past 16 years — some named by the school board and others appointed amid state takeover. It's the Broad Academy MO. Make a quick hit, chop heads, and get out before the shit hits the fan. Collect golden parachutes along the way. D.C. will be Wilson's third. 
Good luck.

If you want to understand how this game of musical chairs is played, consider this. Wilson is being hired because of his alleged "success in raising achievement [test] scores" in Oakland. But remember, Wilson only lasted two years and left in mid-year. So they must be crediting him with raising scores on tests that were given before he got there.

Here's the real deal on Wilson according to Post News:
Wilson’s tenure in Oakland has been marked by conflict with parents, community groups and students over school privatization, the superintendent’s support for the expansion of charter schools and his close alliance with pro charter school organizations.
They left out Wilson's attempt to dismantle special education, which caused the loudest parent protests. Look for him to do the same in D.C.


  1. I am a teacher in Oakland and this is spot on.

  2. Antwan Wilson appears to perfectly fit the mold of former D.C. chancellor, Michelle Rhee who used the position to promote privatization -- vouchers and charters. She also took credit for testing gains that were made before her arrival and in the end, was caught up in her own test-cheating scandal. She was forced out of the district only to enrich herself through consulting contracts and the founding of a "billion-dollar" union-busting group (funded by corporate reform money) Students First. Wilson should do well (for himself) in D.C.

  3. You write truth well AND in the process explain the entire School Reform Opportunist's Game: "Make a quick hit, chop heads, and get out before the shit hits the fan. Collect golden parachutes along the way." I've known this man personally, and you couldn't have explained his personal MO more exactly.

  4. In fact, I wrote one section of my book directly about Wilson and his personal style of intimidation:

  5. His gains in Denver were mostly smoke and mirrors as well. These people cry "data" and then manipulate that data to promote agendas in the interest of those in power regardless of what's best for students.

  6. Wilson is another Broad Poster child for I sold my soul and the souls of thousands of children to gain power and wealth!!!


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.