Every election brings so much tension. And here in California, it’s no different. As we continue in the trajectory of a more progressive state, we are leaving behind some conservative representatives. I personally am alright with that. I have long known that yellow dog Democrats are a dying breed. Many of the races in California include progressive candidates and in many cases we see the more progressive candidates running against the more moderate or conservative progressives. Democrats running against Democrats. That too is a good thing.
The problem is the demonization of candidates. It is getting ugly out there. In particular, this year we have two Democrats vying for the Statewide office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI), schools chief as it were. Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck are running to represent the more than 6 million students enrolled in the PUBLIC education system in the state of California. And they are BOTH advocates of staunch supporters of PUBLIC EDUCATION. BOTH are supported by education heavyweights. Thurmond by the powerful and wealthy teachers unions and Tuck by the also powerful and wealthy school choice proponents. Does that matter? Where they get their money from? A little, but not really. At the end of the day, the SPI does not make policy.
In fact, the California Department of Education (CDE) is there to oversee the day to day operations of the entire state public school system and would not really play a huge role in changing things. Additionally, they MUST both support the schools in the system whether they are charter or traditional.
Let’s put some of these false aspersions to rest shall we.
- Neither one of these candidates supports Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos!
- Neither one of these can or will make drastic changes to the CDE.
- Both candidates are DEMOCRATS and have been all of their adult life.
- Thurmond will NOT shut down all charters.
- Tuck will NOT convert all schools to charters.
- Both would make learning a priority, and both seem to care about kids.
So, while I personally support Tuck over Thurmond, I will be totally okay if voters decide it for Thurmond. The real villain here is big money in campaigns. Until we can figure out a way to run without tons of money from special interests (from all sides), we will continue to have these awful debates. We should be grateful instead that we have two Democrats to choose from and either way, we will have a Democratic SPI.
Silly season is almost over, and one thing is certain, a Democrat will be the next Superintendent of Public Instruction!
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