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Unanswered Questions in the Race for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction

“We are largely unable to accept new offers to complete questionnaires”
- Marshall Tuck Campaign

The California Charter School Association and their allies have provided Marshall Tuck with enough cash to flood the airwaves with misleading ads, but with less than a week to go before the election, a whopping 16% of the electorate are still undecided or will not vote on the question of who will become the next California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. This should not be unexpected in a race where the goal has been to obscure the facts in favor of creating fear. It is a favorite tactic of the charter school industry.

Part of Tuck’s strategy is to only appear in controlled environments where he will not have to reveal too much about his history, his supporters or the strategy to privatize our public school system. When asked questions directly, he simply refuses to answer them. He claims to be a progressive Democrat but is receiving the majority of this support from Republicans and appears on slate mailings alongside Gubernatorial candidate John Cox. When the progressive organization, Northridge Indivisible, sent him an endorsement questionnaire in September, his campaign replied that they were “largely unable to accept new offers to complete questionnaires.” His opponent, Tony Thurmond did respond and received the endorsement.

Tuck worships at the Betsy DeVos altar of imagined school-choice, even if it results in a system of separate and unequal education. Given that he wants us to believe that he represents public school children, he should provide voters answers to these questions:

  1. Will you support the NAACP’s call for a moratorium on additional charter schools until the lack of oversight and accountability is addressed.
  2. How will you ensure that charter schools accept all students, including those with Special Education needs?
  3. How will you ensure that charter schools properly spend public funds?
  4. Will you support teachers as they try to build a system that is student-centric?
  5. Will you support students who are LGBTQ+?
  6. Will you take a stand against corruption in our school districts?
  7. Why did you support a CCSA backed candidate who engaged in felonious campaign funding schemes?
  8. Do you support full funding for California students?
  9. Do you support the right of parents to opt their students out of standardized testing?
  10. Do you support the right for all parents, regardless of immigration status, to participate in choosing the School Board Member who will represent them?

Bonus Question: Do you agree with Arne Duncan that Hurricane Katrina was the best thing for the New Orleans’ education system? Will you wait for an earthquake to improve our Public Education system?

Tuck’s campaign was sent these questions. He did not reply.

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Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a “strong supporter of public schools.” His past blogs can be found at www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.