Marshall Tuck is an optimist. He must be to talk so confidently about when – not if – he becomes California’s next superintendent of public instruction.
Though he entered the race an underdog, Tuck, a former schools executive from Los Angeles, held a small lead over incumbent Tom Torlakson when the first public poll on the race was released last month, showing a field still dominated by undecided voters.
But he faces an uphill battle to actually win in November – in a nonpartisan race, with little name recognition, pushing a platform of educational change opposed by the state’s Democratic establishment and especially by the powerful political machine that is the California Teachers Association.
Over a glass of orange juice on a recent afternoon, Tuck was undeterred. He spoke passionately about his life and campaign, physically leaning into the conversation and motioning vigorously with his hands.
His excitement for overhauling public education in California has channeled a broad base of support, from communities with low-performing schools, wealthy businessmen, newspaper editorial boards across the state and more recently Hollywood celebrities.
“Just the belief system was something that unified the people I represent,” said Monica Garcia, who serves East Los Angeles on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. “The belief that kids of poverty and kids of color can achieve levels with appropriate support. Read more >>>