Erika Jones, an elementary school teacher for 13 years for Los Angeles Unified School District, set the record straight about candidates for California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) this weekend in an OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle. For Jones, there’s no question that Tony Thurmond is the best candidate for California’s kids:
Thurmond’s record of increasing funding for public education has earned him the support of California’s teachers, working families, the Democratic Party, and Sen. Kamala Harris.
Thurmond introduced legislation this year that the governor signed into law to expand bilingual education. He joined with Equality California to speak out against DeVos’ “failure to protect transgender public school students from discrimination, bullying and harassment.”
Tony Thurmond is the superintendent of public instruction we need to fight for all of California’s 6 million students.
Jones has first hand experience with Marshall Tuck, the pro-privatization candidate backed by billionaires aligned with the Trump and DeVos corporate charter school agenda. She taught during Tuck’s tenure as CEO of Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.
“Tuck was a Wall Street banker before taking over as the chief operating officer for the Green Dot charter school chain. In 2008, Tuck left Green Dot to become CEO of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a small group of public schools that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took over after his failed coup to take over all Los Angeles Unified schools.
Despite receiving millions in private funding, Partnership schools underperformed compared to the district’s schools with similar demographics during Tuck’s tenure in 2009. Tuck’s failed leadership resulted in landslide votes of “no confidence” from teachers at eight of 10 schools he oversaw.
Tuck claims to have significantly raised graduation rates at Partnership high schools, but the truth is that he just lowered the bar for students to graduate, rather than improving student learning.
While the graduation rate at Santee Education Complex increased from 56.34 percent in 2009-10 to 69.29 percent in 2012-13, what Tuck did to get these numbers was to lower standards. So it’s not surprising that readiness for college dropped from 61.9 percent to 21.9 percent under Tuck. At David Starr Jordan High School, a similar pattern emerges: graduation rates improved 12 percent between the 2009-10 and 2012-13 school years, but college readiness dropped from 63.7 percent to 18.6 percent.”