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Marshall Tuck to Oppose Torlakson for State Superintendent

Hillel Aron | August 21, 2013

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Marshall TuckMarshall Tuck, the former president of Green Dot Public Schools and former CEO of Partnership for LA Schools, has announced his candidacy for State Superintendent of Public Education. Tuck, 40, resigned from the Partnership schools in June, shortly before the Partnership’s founder, Mayor Antonio Villaraigiosa, left office.

Tuck was said to be considering a run for State Assembly, but has instead decided to challenge Tom Torlakson, who will be running for a second four-year term.

“The current state superintendent has been an elected official for 35 years,” Tuck said in an interview with LA School Report. “He’s been part of the education establishment for a very long time. While certainly well intentioned, he’s not making the fundamental changes we need to help our state.”

As an example, Tuck cited Torlakson’s resistance to certain reforms, such as using student test scores to evaluate teachers, which helped cost California a federal waiver from No Child Left Behind regulations. That led eight school districts within the state to join forces, seeking a federal waiver on their own, which was granted earlier this month.

“For the first time ever, the federal Department of Education granted a waiver to individual entities,” said Tuck. “That’s because our State Superintendent wasn’t leading. We needed to go and do that ourselves. Think about the amount of time spent by those districts going around the state.”

Tuck’s campaign sets the stage for another showdown between teachers unions and “school reformers.” As the LA Times‘ Howard Blume pointed out this morning, unions spent $3.9 million to elect Torlakson in 2010.

The primary for State Superintendent will be held in June 2014. The two top vote-getters will then face off in the November general election.

Previous posts: Partnership Head “Exploring” Run for Public OfficeJoan Sullivan to Head LA Partnership Schools

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