I was reading this New York Times article (Uncertainty on Obama Education Plans) and this got my attention:
One former Teach for America official who has been outspoken is Whitney Tilson, a New York mutual fund manager.
In a recent blog entry, Mr. Tilson said of Dr. Darling-Hammond, “She’s influential, clever and (while she does her best to hide it) an enemy of genuine reform.”
Mr. Tilson is on the board of Democrats for Education Reform, a political action committee based in New York.
Mr. Tilson is a top tier education DINO. He advocates an anti-Union, data and test driven version of “accountability” based on a market, business, privatization model (see here for more on this mindset).
His expertise is based on a short stint in the classroom via Teach for America and his “success” in the financial industry.
I thought it would be good to examine that “success.”
According to the latest available report from Tilson Mutual Funds (dated April 30, 2008, well before the current meltdown), one of the funds he controls underperformed in comparison to both the Dow Jones Wilshire 500 and the S&P Total return indices both in the prior year and since its inception. In fact, this fund lost 10.03% of value after taxes . You would have done better stashing your money in an old sock than investing in this fund.
The other fund did a bit better, losing only 4.44% of value after taxes and outperforming the Dow Jones, but not the S&P. The old sock would still have been a better choice.
Tilson isn’t even good at his “day job.”
Why would anyone listen to these people on education? Why would anyone think that “market driven education reform” as pushed by the very people who profited while creating our financial crisis was a good idea?
I don’t get it.
Thomas J. Mertz