Candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Marshall Tuck , a Democrat, is running for Superintendent of Public Instruction, a nonpartisan office that oversees the California Department of Education and manages the operational side of the school system. As school district finances continue to deteriorate due to growing unfunded pension and other retirement liabilities, this position -- which has control over districts that are taken over by the state due to fiscal insolvency -- will become more important. Tom Torlakson currently holds the office but is unable to run again due to term limits.
Marshall grew up in Burlingame, CA where he attended public middle school and high school. His mom is a teacher. After graduating from UCLA and Harvard Business School and stints in finance and at an enterprise software company, Marshall has devoted his career to improving public education in California. As President of the nonprofit Green Dot Public Schools, Tuck helped create 10 new public charter high schools in some of LA’s poorest neighborhoods. All of them outperformed local schools and eight have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top high schools in America. In 2007, Tuck became the founding CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a groundbreaking collaboration between then Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office and LA Unified School District to operate 17 struggling schools serving 15,000 students. Under Tuck’s leadership, the schools raised four-year graduation rates by more than 60% and achieved the highest academic improvement among California’s school systems with more than 10,000 students. Now Marshall is an Educator-in-Residence at the New Teacher Center (NTC), a nonprofit organization working with school districts to help develop and retain effective teachers and principals.
As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Marshall would refocus the system away from what is best for adult public employees and towards what is best for kids by fighting to ensure that all students get an outstanding public education and that failing schools and teachers are held accountable. Marshall will ensure that the additional funding provided to vulnerable student populations under the Local Control Funding Formula actually goes to help them instead of being wasted. When school districts fail because of fiscal mismanagement and skyrocketing pension and retiree healthcare liabilities, Marshall will take them over and use the opportunity to fix their educational failures in addition to their budgetary problems. With an outstanding track record of fixing failing schools and delivering high quality educations, Marshall can use his excellent relationships with Govern for California’s legislators to help push education reforms in the legislature.
In 2014, Marshall narrowly lost first race for Superintendent. With more resources he likely would have prevailed. In the 2018 general election Marshall will likely face the teacher union backed candidate, Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, a far weaker candidate than Marshall’s 2014 opponent. With sufficient resources Marshall should prevail in the most expensive Superintendent of Public Instruction race in California history.