Marshall Tuck: Bad For California schools

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One of the most hotly contested races in California will have an enormous impact on our schools. Polls show that the race is dead even. One blogger in California called it the most important race that no one is paying attention to. We’re talking about the race for superintendent of public instruction.

The race features incumbent Superintendent Tom Torlakson, a former teacher with support from working families and the Democratic party, and Marshall Tuck, a former Wall Street banker who is heavily funded by business interests and market-based reformers.

To highlight the differences in the candidates, the AFT’s independent expenditure PAC, with support from the California Federation of Teachers, launched an innovative ad buy aimed at letting Californians know that Marshall Tuck is wrong for California schools.

One of Tuck's big proposals is to increase standardized testing and then use the student test scores to judge teachers and schools, even though education experts, economists and the American Statistical Association all say this is a bad use of the data. This method is called “value-added modeling”—or VAM—and is a centerpiece of Tuck’s education plan.

Tuck's ties to for-profit education companies should give voters pause. Anyone who has paid attention to the Los Angeles iPad fiasco can tell you that when education leaders are too closely tied to education companies, it doesn't end well for taxpayers or students.

And Tuck's campaign is being heavily financed by the same people who tried to stop Californians from passing Proposition 30, which gave much-needed funds to our schools. They funneled $11 million through a Koch brothers group in 2012 to hurt our schools, but they lost, so now they're putting their money behind Marshall Tuck. Tuck claims he supports fully funding schools, which leaves one wondering why he is being funded by those who don’t.

Watch the ad and share it.