Joining Forces for Education was formed in response to Ben Austin’s public school bulldozer outfit, the Walton Family Foundation funded Parent Revolution. Ellen Lubic occasionally contributes to Professor Ravitch’s site.
The Real Marshall Tuck, and Why He Insures My Vote for Tom Torlakson for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Now that the billionaires such as Eli Broad and the Walton Family, and their cohorts working to privatize America’s public schools for their own profit, have zeroed in on self appointed and self identifying education expert, Marshall Tuck, and have poured multi millions of dollars into his campaign for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction (reportedly up to $8 Million, see link below), it behooves us to examine closely his bragging and his mendacious statements about his successes. With fraternity boyish looks, he dashes around the state and announces himself as the man who will save our public schools. He uses paid actors in his TV ads who present themselves as real parents and students, in his rush to misinform voters about his work history and his views.
In reality, Tuck is all about charter schools, as an owner, and as shown in his resume, with his few years of senior business administration at Green Dot, and then his few years with PLAS (Partnership with Los Angeles Schools). If one is judged by the company they keep, he is to be avoided by any thinking person, particularly voters.
At Green Dot, he connected with the infamous parent trigger instigator who is funded by the Walton Family Foundation and Eli Broad, the notorious Ben Austin of Parent Revolution, who continues to try to invade inner city public schools to convert them to charters to please and enrich his Walton/Broad bosses who have paid him multi millions in donations. The more charters that California taxpayers support, the greater cash rewards the charter operators take to the bank. At parent trigger venue, Desert Trails School in Adelanto, the CEO (aka Principal) salary is $200,000 while the teachers earn only $36,000, and the turnover of teachers since this triggered charter imposition has been a serious detriment to students.
California now has the most charters in the nation, close to 2,000, and LAUSD district has the most of any city, close to 300. However, despite Tuck’s claims that his Green Dot charters all were wildly successful, this is not the case. An example is Inglewood Amino which Tuck claims had few dropouts, but the stats show a dropout rate of 65%. Also, he brags all students were college ready, when in fact only 2% achieved readiness for higher ed.
Tuck also eliminated ethnic studies curriculum which further angered parents of the many different cultures that make up LAUSD. During his PLAS episode, he angered Latino parents to the degree that they called for MALDEF legal help in pressing a law suit against him and the organization for eliminating dual language learning. The cause of action included racial prejudice. Most sources cited in the links below indicate Tuck’s preference for white students from higher income families. His Charters do not reflect a preponderance of inner city children, but, parents charge that they appear to be carefully and selectively segregated.
His high tech Model N plan failed to produce adequate software so that it could not be implemented. This costly Tuck error was paid for by the public. He claims that he had Parent Engagement, Effective Teachers, Curriculum, and Technology all covered, but the facts show otherwise, and his public rhetoric seems filled with empty education hyperbole. He has virtually no background in high tech nor in education. Rather, his academic resume shows he university studies were in business, and he was a Wall Street trained investor/broker at Salomon Brothers before he decided to turn to Charter School entrepreneurship.
Tucks donors include (see link below), Broad, the Waltons, Mrs Steve Jobs, and others who all want universal American public education to be privatized for free market profit. His close allies include the unscrupulous Michelle Rhee and her basket ball player husband who is now mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson, who are owners of a chain of charter schools, and are mentored and supported by Eli Broad and David Welch, and the Waltons. Donor David Welch who pressed the Vergara case to both do away with teacher tenure, and to break the backs of the teachers unions has also helped to institute similar cases in NYC and other cities around the nation in the billionaires push to privatize America’s public schools for free market investment. Tuck’s supporters also include the Charter School Association. The vast amounts of Wall Street cash donated to the campaign has resulted in endless phony commercials every few minutes on every TV station.
Tuck left Green Dot with a cloud over his head, and when he left PLAS, this jobless Wall Street plutocrat with a questionable past decided to run for State Superintendent. Although he fell double digit points behind the incumbent Tom Torlakson (who spent his career as an educator in public schools before he ran for elective office) in the primary, he was a close enough challenger that now they will again vie for the office in the November 4 election.
Too much money, too few principles!
Tuck is clearly anti people of color and ethnic studies, anti public schools, anti trained public school teachers, anti teachers unions, and against any system that does not offer huge free market education profits to investors.
It is imperative that California voters vote for Tom Torlakson, a professional teacher, and the incumbent, as California Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Ellen Lubic, Director, Joining Forces for Education
Public Policy Educator