The future of six million students is at stake with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction race taking place in less than a month. During the primary race back in June, “Tuck edged Thurmond 37.2 percent to 35.6 percent, establishing himself as the front-runner to head up the nation’s largest and most ethnically diverse school system…” according to Ed Source. This small difference in percentages has led a closely contested race for the California State Superintendent role.
“Marshall Tuck is running for California Superintendent of Public Instruction, to bring fundamental change and accountability to our public schools, cut bureaucracy, and ensure every classroom has an effective teacher,” as stated in his campaign website. Tuck comes to the race with experience leading and transforming public schools in the most underserved, low income communities within Los Angeles. Under his leadership, the 18 Partnership schools “increased their graduation rates by more than 60 percent.” Along with this positive growth, “suspension and truancy rates dropped dramatically.” Between 2016 and 2017, California graduation rates grew by only “.9 percentage point above the previous year.” This is not significant growth, our students deserve better. Tuck will serve as a leader with a track record in achieving the measurable growth that the six million students in California so desperately need.
Tuck is being challenged by candidate Tony Thurmond, who served on the West Contra Costa Unified School Board from 2008 to 2012 as a trustee. Those who support Thurmond point to this experience as his qualifications to serve as State Superintendent. Unlike Tuck, Thurmond’s experience as a trustee is tainted by data that should not be associated with anyone in the leadership position of California State Superintendent. According to a data-filled article recently published on his experience, “Academic performance in West Contra Costa was not improving compared with the statewide trend but instead falling behind during Thurmond’s tenure.” This is not the superintendent our state and students need. Given the lack of transformational academic growth already taking place in California, Thurmond’s leadership would only push us down further.
Six million students make up the beautiful and unique educational landscape in California. We need a State Superintendent who will ensure that students are at the forefront of the conversation. We need to State Superintendent who has experience serving the most vulnerable, highest needs communities across California. We need a Superintendent who has a track record of turning around schools that need transformational change the most. We need Tuck in Sacramento for our students. We need Tuck to be the voice and leader to put students and teachers first. We need to vote on the behalf of the six million students who make up our hijos, sobrinos, nietos, and community members. We need to vote Tuck for California State Superintendent.
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