Tuck’s Ethnocentrism Contradicts Californian Values

Robert Skeels from LA Progressive reports: 

Using their positions of authority, Tuck, Horne, and Huppenthal closed down popular, research proven, Ethnic Studies programs. Tuck did it at PLAS schools like Santee High School when he was their “CEO.” The other two did it while they were Superintendents of Public Schools in Arizona. Tuck went a step further than the others — he also restricted and shuttered both Heritage Language Programs and Dual Language Immersion programs. These important language programs were well regarded and research proven. The language program closures and restrictions were so egregious that a Uniform Complaint Cause of Action was filed jointly by Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Public Counsel Law Center on behalf of the families whose civil rights Tuck violated. Additionally, Tuck closed down other critical programs including health education.

Read the full article here

California’s 5 Statewide Teachers of the Year for 2018 Endorse Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent

Contacts: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324 or Claudia Briggs at 916-325-1550

BURLINGAME – Saying he is a “genuine leader” and the best candidate by far for students, educators and the future of our public schools, the five statewide 2018 California Teachers of the Year are endorsing Assembly Member Tony Thurmond for the state’s top education office – superintendent of public instruction.

The five innovative K-12 educators and CTA members announced that they will vote for Thurmond in the vital Nov. 6 election because of his deep experience in education and his plan to improve schools, his support for students as a two-term member of the Assembly, and the vision he shows by vowing to prepare students for 21st-century jobs with more focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes, among many other reasons.

“These endorsements of Tony Thurmond by the Teachers of the Year are a reminder about why classroom teachers statewide are endorsing him for state superintendent,” said Eric C. Heins, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “He’s the only candidate with the proven experience to do the job, the record of advocacy for all students, and the wisdom to listen to educators about what works in our classrooms.”

“Tony Thurmond is a genuine leader who seeks to elevate ALL students and teachers,” said Brian McDaniel, who teaches band and choir at Painted Hills Middle School in Palm Springs Unified School District. “As a child, he overcame incredible adversity, some of the same hardships our students face today, becoming a voice for our most vulnerable students. He is a champion of public education who has passed legislation to ensure ALL students have an opportunity to a quality education. I am proud to endorse Tony Thurmond for superintendent of public instruction.”

Thurmond understands why teaching critical thinking skills matters, said Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin, a second- and third-grade teacher at Northlake Hills Elementary School in the Castaic Union School District in Castaic, Los Angeles County.

“Tony Thurmond is an ambassador for public education with an emphasis on supporting all students and teachers,” Oxhorn-Gilpin said. “As a public school teacher working with elementary-aged students, I value his support in understanding the importance of teaching critical thinking skills and creativity. Tony Thurmond prioritizes the learning process for all children while valuing the importance of hands-on STEM education in preparing our students for today’s world. He looks at the whole child with a profound understanding of their needs that extend beyond their education and school day. I am proud to support Tony Thurmond as our next California state superintendent of public instruction.”

“Tony Thurmond is a leader who will support all aspects of public education for ALL students and teachers,” said Gregory Gardiner, who teaches Special Abilities Cluster environmental science and biology, plus a biology and sustainable agriculture class, at Edison High School in Huntington Beach Union High School District. “Tony’s vision for making California public schools #1 in the country is simply a great plan to move public education in a positive direction. I support his vision for increasing STEM education in our classrooms, empowering teachers to instill critical thinking and creativity in students, and renewing our commitment to special education. Tony Thurmond’s plan is focused on the whole student – he wants every student to succeed. I proudly support Tony Thurmond.”

Thurmond’s experience with school-based mental health services is key, said Jaime Brown, who teaches International Baccalaureate English and Film Studies at San Diego High School of International Studies in San Diego Unified School District.

“Tony Thurmond has my vote for state superintendent of public instruction because he doesn’t just talk the talk – he walks the walk,” Brown said. “His history as a public servant has left no doubt about his deep commitment to provide a world-class education for ALL students. As a public high school teacher, I especially appreciate his experience with running school-based mental health services. He understands that mental health well-being is an important consideration when making sure kids have the support they need to navigate the ups and downs of social development and the rigors of academic life. Tony Thurmond has consistently shown that he puts the well-being of students at the center of his decisions, appreciates and supports public educators, and has high expectations for California’s educational system. I am proud to endorse him.”

Thurmond believes in the potential of all students, said Kirsten Farrell, who teaches sports medicine at Venice High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“Tony Thurmond believes in the potential of EVERY child and understands that education is the greatest equalizer,” Farrell said. “No matter how humble a student’s beginning, public education opens doors for success. He also understands the importance of college preparedness and career readiness. Students need to see themselves in leadership positions, to realize anything is possible, and Tony Thurmond sees the potential of the students in our classrooms. As a high school teacher, I have always understood that every student deserves to have someone in their corner to believe in them and guide the way. Many of my students rely on teachers to be that adult and Tony truly understands the importance of the fact that great educators make great schools.”

These exceptional 2018 Teachers of the Year serve terms that end Jan. 1, 2019. Learn more about them here. For more background about why Tony Thurmond is supported by California’s classroom teachers for the state superintendent’s office, instead of his flawed opponent Marshall Tuck, go to www.cta.org/spi.

Californians for Human Immigrant Rights Leadership (CHIRLA) Action Fund Endorses Tony Thurmond

Tony Thurmond received a strong endorsement from the Californians for Human Immigrant Rights Leadership Action Fund (CHIRLA):

“We are pleased to endorse Tony Thurmond, a candidate who is committed to advancing education for all and who will represent the needs of all of our communities regardless of immigration status,” said CHIRLA Action Fund Board Chair Angelica Salas. “We are in a moment of crisis with the inability to move immigration legislation forward and the uncertainty of an administration bent on mass deportation. With a clear vision that is inclusive and welcoming, Mr. Thurmond’s leadership can make a difference in the lives of immigrant students in California.”

Read their full endorsement here.

Sacramento Bee Editorial Board Endorses Tony Thurmond for SPI

The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board came out in strong favor of Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

They said Thurmond has “a long history of championing the poor, disabled and foster children who depend on public education most to give them a real shot at the California Dream.” We couldn’t agree more!

In their endorsement, the Editorial Board also touched on the outrageous spending in this race from corporate billionaires and Wall Street execs:

This is a nonpartisan office, but it’s too bad for California students that this race is now a front in the big-money battle between supporters of charter schools and the public teacher unions that oppose them. That fight, while important, too often distracts from the many other problems facing education.

Read their full endorsement here. 

Elementary School teacher sets the record straight on Tuck, strongly endorses Thurmond for SPI

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.”

Read the full OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle.

See why educators throughout California support Tony Thurmond (and share why you do!). 

Not sure who to support for SPI? Take this pop quiz to see which candidate aligns with your values. 

Thurmond: I Know the Importance of Latino Leadership for California’s Public Schools

Tony Thurmond, candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, authored this OpEd in Latino Edge Magazine:

As we continue to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, and to recognize the contributions of Latinos in America and in California, I take a moment to harken back to the sacrifices my ancestors made that helped me to get to where I am today.

My experience is one of blended cultures and traditions. My mother’s parents were born in Colombia and Jamaica and raised their seven children in Panama. My grandparents on my father’s side were the descendants of African slaves who were brought to America and settled in Mississippi and Detroit, Michigan.

My maternal grandparents struggled to make a living cleaning people’s homes. My grandmother and each of her children, including my mother, emigrated to the United States in hopes of finding better opportunities in America. In San Jose, California, my mother became a teacher. My father was a soldier, stationed at the army base at Fort Ord in Monterey where I was born.

No one in my family was ever elected to any office or even ran for an office, so I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity serve as an elected official for almost 12 years as a city councilman, a school board member, and in the California State Assembly. My passion for education is what led me to pursue the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the top education official in the state of California. If elected I would be the first ever Latino and the first ever Afro-Latino elected to this office. At a time when our student body is more than 50% Latino, it would be an honor to work to provide a great quality education for Latino students and all of our students in California.

To read the full OpEd visit here.