Tuck Leads Thurmond In State Supe Race, Villaraigosa Concedes To Newsom, Cox For Governor

Tuck Leads Thurmond In State Supe Race, Villaraigosa Concedes To Newsom, Cox For Governor

Education reformer Marshall Tuck and union-backed candidate Tony Thurmond will face off in the fall in the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, while ed reform Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa placed third and was eliminated in the governor’s race, which will now be between Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox in November. Tuck, an education reformer who led Los Angeles school turnaround efforts, was ahead with 37 percent to Thurmond’s 34 percent, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, according to LA School Report. Meanwhile, Villaraigosa conceded his race just before 11 p.m. Read more here.

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EdSource Hosts Live Q&A With State Superintendent Candidates May 23

EdSource Hosts Live Q&A With State Superintendent Candidates May 23

EdSource is hosting an online conversation with Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond, leading candidates for state superintendent of public instruction on May 23 at 9:30 a.m. To view and participate click on this page at that time. 

EdSource’s John Fensterwald and Louis Freedberg will ask about their positions on critical issues and their visions for California’s public schools. The state superintendent leads the California Department of Education, which oversees the state’s nearly 1,000 school districts and more than 10,000 public schools.

The two candidates will answer questions on how they plan to raise student achievement and guide California’s schools in the era of local control. Email EdSource with your questions for the candidates at spatel@edsource.org.

The broadcast will go live May 23 at 9:30 am. The primary election is June 5.

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State Superintendent Candidate Marshall Tuck Says Parents Can Be Strong 'Counterforce To The Status Quo'

State Superintendent Candidate Marshall Tuck Says Parents Can Be Strong 'Counterforce To The Status Quo'

Speak UP recently sat down with Marshall Tuck, a candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, to discuss the state of education in CA, teacher tenure laws, ways to improve low-performing schools and the role parents play in education policy. This is part two of our two-part interview. Part one can be read here. The primary election is June 5.

Speak UP: Are you the only qualified candidate who's really deeply familiar with LAUSD?

Marshall: Definitely. I've been working in public schools in L.A since 2002, and so both as someone who's worked in charter schools and in L.A. Unified, who's led the Partnership, who's been very active with the leaders of L.A. Unified, with our school board members, and then who's also a parent in L.A Unified. As far as understanding public schools in Los Angeles, I think I have a very strong resume for that job. I worked in schools for a long time, but now having a lens as the father of Mason Tuck, it’s definitely broadened and expanded my perspective and understanding of public schools. There's so much love there, you want so much for your son to have a strong experience in school, and so it gives you a different lens.

Speak UP: Your son attends Beethoven, which is a traditional neighborhood LAUSD school. How did you choose this school for your son?  

Marshall: We're lucky where we live. I live in Mar Vista, and there are three schools that are all within a mile of our house. I knew L.A. Unified very well, but the process to be able to choose to go to one of those three was not easy. This was a little over two years when we started digging in, to figure out how to actually permit into [Beethoven]. It was very hard to actually find out the process to permit him to another school in L.A Unified. And this is from somebody who knows the district well. So I'm thrilled about the direction that the district is going in terms of a unified enrollment system.    

Beethoven is a smaller school. It's a really good school. We did what a lot of parents do. We went to greatschools.org, and we went to the California [Dashboard] website, which had not as much information as we’d have liked, to see how it was doing academically, talked to friends in the neighborhood. I talked to some educators I know in the neighborhood and just felt like it was the right fit for our son. It still was a lot of work for us to find out: What were the schools within our general neighborhood? What's the process to get into them, and what's different about the schools? It was a more time-intensive and rigorous process than I think it can be, and I'm excited and optimistic that there is some movement towards making that a better process for parents. And I'm very grateful for Speak UP for pushing hard to make that happen.


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State Superintendent Candidate Marshall Tuck Says CA Has 'Accepted Mediocrity And Failure' For Too Long

State Superintendent Candidate Marshall Tuck Says CA Has 'Accepted Mediocrity And Failure' For Too Long

Speak UP recently sat down with Marshall Tuck, a candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction to discuss the state of education in CA, teacher tenure laws, ways to improve low-performing schools and what role parents play in education policy. This is part one of our two-part interview. The primary election is June 5.

Speak UP: You're running for State Superintendent Public Instruction. Can you give us a brief explanation of what the job is and why parents should care about it?

Marshall Tuck: I'm a parent of a child in a public school. My son Mason is six, and he goes to Beethoven Elementary School in Los Angeles. When I think about his school, there's so many decisions that actually impact his classroom and his school that come from Sacramento, and very few parents actually know this. How much money we're going to spend on our children in public education is decided in Sacramento. What our kids are actually going to learn, what curriculum they can use, what flexibility the teachers and principals have, that comes from Sacramento.

We're the wealthiest state in the nation and yet we're 41st in per pupil funding. If you want that to change we actually have to elect people that are going to drive that change, and I think it should start with a State Superintendent, because the State Superintendent is the only elected official whose job is to wake up every day and fight for the 6.2 million kids that depend on public schools for their futures.

So this job [is] helping to create policy with the Governor and the Legislature, and also runs the California Department of Education, which is a 2500-person $350 million bureaucracy in Sacramento, whose job should be to be helping school districts best support kid, [but] far too often is creating kind of bureaucracy and regulation, which often can make it harder for teachers and principals at school sites to be creative.

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