CA Sec. of State Voter Guide: Superintendent Candidate Statements

California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla has released the 2018 Voter Guide. The guide contains all relevant information related to the various propositions and candidate races voters will be asked to weigh in on this June.

This article will focus on the race for Superintendent and publish the statements that have been provided to the Secretary of State’s office.

Marshall Tuck

As a public school parent and the son of a teacher, I believe strongly in the power of public education. But California’s public schools need big changes to give all students the education they deserve. I’m the only candidate for State Superintendent who has led public school systems that delivered real results for kids. Working with teachers and parents, we put more funding into classrooms, reduced bureaucracy, and prepared more students for college and careers. I helped create 10 new public high schools—and 8 of them were ranked among the top high schools in America by U.S. News & World Report. When I led the effort to turn around struggling public schools in Los Angeles, we raised graduation rates by more than 60%, and had the biggest academic improvement of any large school system in California. Our “Parent College” became a statewide model for getting parents more involved in their kids’ education. As State Superintendent, I will stand up to politicians in Sacramento and Washington, DC and do what’s best for students. My priorities will be: (1) Get more funding into local classrooms and cut bureaucracy and waste; (2) Empower teachers and parents to make more education decisions; (3) Expand career training and college prep to ensure all students are prepared to succeed in the 21st century. Read my full plan at MarshallTuck.com. Let’s give all children in California the education they deserve.

Tony K. Thurmond

I am running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, because I’ve been a lifelong advocate for children and families, and believe that restoring our public schools is key to California’s future. Education saved my life, enabling me to overcome humble beginnings. My mother emigrated from Panama to San Jose to teach, and raised four children on her own until she lost her battle to cancer. I was raised by a cousin whom I’d never met and who ensured I received a great education. It was my public school education that prepared me for college, where I became student body president, and for a twenty-year career as a social worker and twelve years working in schools. Ultimately I was inspired to serve on the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board, the Richmond City Council, and now in the California State Assembly. As Superintendent, my priority will be to ensure all of California’s kids have the opportunity to receive a great public school education and are prepared for the 21st Century economy. I’ll improve vocational education and college preparedness with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, and encourage teaching that builds creative and critical thinking, not teaching to the test. I’ll make college affordable and work to increase school funding by shifting millions from prisons into early education and after-school programs. I’ll create an education rainy day fund to protect against President Trump and Betsy DeVos’s agenda to defund our public schools. I’m endorsed by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, current Superintendent Tom Torlakson, the California Federation of Teachers, the California Teachers Association, and the California Association of Bilingual Educators. I hope to earn your vote on June 5th.

Lily (Espinoza) Ploski

Lily (Espinoza) Ploski is California born and was raised in the City of Fullerton. She wrote the book, Not getting stuck: Success stories of being Latina and transferring from a California community college. Ploski completed her Master of Arts degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in the City of New York, and Doctorate in Education degree from the College of Education, California State University, Fullerton.