Why I Support Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor and Marshall Tuck for Superintendent of Public Instruction

I support kids first!  That’s why.  It’s true that there is  another that supports kids in the race for Governor as well.  Unfortunately, Delaine Eastin has not been given fair treatment, and her campaign has not gotten the support necessary to be a viable contender.  That said, there is only one other option for Governor in my view, Antonio Villaraigosa.  

As many of you who follow me regularly or know me personally know, I am not a fan of the status quo which has allowed generations of children, mostly children of color, to go unprepared into the world after wasting 12 years of their lives in a deeply flawed and shamelessly oppressive education system. The public education system has been hijacked by the California Teachers Association (CTA) and its hundreds of affiliates, teacher associations across the state. Their insane support of bad teachers and sustained mediocrity must stop! CTA is the largest lobbying group in Sacramento. It’s CTA’s job to support incompetent teachers at the expense of your children and grandchildren. Why would anyone be alright with this?  

Villaraigosa, a former teacher union organizer, took a bold and progressive position against CTA when he was Mayor of Los Angeles. Like it or not, the truth is the truth. The results of his actions have been well documented and sustained. The schools that were the lowest performing at LAUSD that he took over are still doing better than the rest of the schools in LAUSD. Why? Because the common denominator was eliminated, bad teachers were replaced, and the focus was on the students again. It’s really not rocket science. Is it an uncomfortable truth? Apparently so! But I’m okay with saying it aloud. I know with all of my heart that the teachers unions and lack of accountability in the profession is the sole reason for the decline in education. People mistakenly place the entire blame on the passage of Proposition 13, which decreased funding for schools and does play a role in its devolution, but the truth is, there are many schools (both charter and traditional) making magic happen on shoestring budgets.

I support Antonio because I know that he will make a difference in the single most problem we face as a state, the failed education system. And yes, that is a progressive position.   

In the same vein as mentioned before on why Antonio gets my vote, Marshall Tuck also gets my vote for Superintendent of Public Instruction. That’s right, that school choice champion, ED reforming, billionaire-backed educator. But more importantly, the only candidate that has actually been in the classroom or worked as an educator or administrator.  The other guy has a background in social work and was tapped by CTA to run just because. I’m not okay with that. We need an experienced educator at the helm.

By the way, people say those things like they are bad things. Parents and kids need choices. If there is a way to escape the doom of a truly horrible, long-time underperforming, chronically and persistently sub par traditional neighborhood school, take it! Do it. Put your kids in a better school if you can. People who want education reform are NOT the bad guys. How can anyone, at this point, still believe that education does NOT need reforming? Are you kidding me?  

What we really need is more courageous people to stand up to the status quo. You know why wealthy people want to help kids get educated? Because they are using their philanthropy and privilege to actually do some good in the world, to help kids of color. Just who do you think the charter school money supports?  It’s not the rich white kids — they already have decent schools. Most charter schools are inner city schools with predominantly black and brown kids. You know, the students that CTA doesn’t care about.

I want to thank these wealthy allies for caring about our kids and education. They are allies for students of color. Don’t get it twisted. CTA is an ally for predominantly white adults in the teaching profession. They use billions of dollars (paid dues) to make sure that every poor performing teacher in California has representation regardless of what horrendous thing he or she does at school. CTA pays out billions to buy politicians to increase the pensions and benefits for teachers while your children fail! 6.2 million children are enrolled in California schools. Why is CTA (and everyone really) not outraged that 3.1 million of those children are NOT proficient in reading? I’ll tell you why. It’s not the union’s job to care about your kids. CTA’s ONLY job and interest is to care about the adults.  

Marshall has said, and I agree wholeheartedly, that kids need a special interest group too and that we need to be that special interest group for our kids. So, whatever your station in life or economical circumstances are, we need to speak out for our kids, whether you are dirt poor or filthy rich.

What do you think?

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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