Dispelling the Lies in the State Superintendent Race

This summer, President Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan called on all of us to “forget the lies in the state schools superintendent’s race.” He said:

It’s also no surprise that [Tuck’s opponents] are putting out misinformation about Tuck because [they] can’t beat him with the truth. They can’t attack Tuck’s record in improving education for children, so they must make things up. For example, it is a lie when they suggest that Tuck is aligned with Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos. And it is exactly these types of political games that rob voters of the opportunity to consider the real issues at stake for kids.

He urged us, instead, to focus on the “truth about Golden State students.” In the final month of this campaign, his admonishment is as relevant as ever. In guest letters, blogs, and- now- even our opponent’s TV ad, lies and misinformation are being used to distract voters. We’re keeping track, and setting the record straight, below:


What they say: Marshall is aligned with Betsy DeVos.

The truth: Marshall does not support Secretary DeVos. In fact, he is a Democrat, strongly aligned with President Obama’s education agenda. That’s why President Obama’s Education Secretary supports Marshall.


What they say: Marshall is a Wall Street banker.

The truth: Marshall has worked in public education for 16 years. He worked in Los Angeles at an investment banking firm for 2 years when he was 22 and 23 years old.


What they say: Marshall wants to privatize public schools. 

The truth: Marshall is a strong believer in public schools. His mom was a public school teacher, he is a product of public schools, and he is a public school parent. He has worked in public education for 16 years, including 4.5 years leading a nonprofit, public charter school network. He opposes for-profit charter schools.


What they say: Teachers at Marshall’s schools gave him a vote of “no confidence.”

The truth: By the time Marshall left his leadership position, a majority of teachers said they felt good about the direction of their schools. Their vote of no confidence came in the very first year of the massive turnaround effort at the height of the Great Recession (2009), during which state budget cuts were forcing massive layoffs of teachers, and causing significant turmoil on campuses. During his leadership, these schools had the largest academic improvement of any large California public school system.


What they say: Marshall lowered standards in order to lift graduation rates.

The truth: From the time Marshall began leading schools to the time he left, both standards and graduation rates increased, according to data from the California Department of Education. The work done in Los Angeles schools has been considered one of the premier public school turnaround efforts in the country


What they say: Marshall accepted money from a strong supporter of Proposition 8– the 2008 anti-marriage equality initiative. 

The truth: Marshall is a supporter of LGBTQ equality, and has a plan for supporting LGBTQ students in our public schools. When he learned a donor he had never met had also contributed heavily to Proposition 8, he immediately returned the contribution.