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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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Superintendent Of Public Instruction — State of California

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About this office

<p><strong>Head of public schools:</strong><span>&nbsp;Manages the state Department of Education. Provides leadership and assistance to all public schools in California. Enforces education regulations.</span></p>
For this office, only the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary election advance to the general election. The two candidates may be from the same political party.
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Candidates

You can vote for 1 of these 4 candidates.

Marshall Tuck

Schools Improvement Director
Top 3 Priorities
  1. TEACHERS & PRINCIPALS; There is nothing more important...
  2. 21ST CENTURY SCHOOLS & FULLY FUNDED CLASSROOMS; Reduce...
  3. A SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR ALL KIDS; Address inequity...
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Tony K. Thurmond

educator/state legislator
Top 3 Priorities
  1. Tony Thurmond is leading California's fight against...
  2. Tony Thurmond wants to give teachers the flexibility...
  3. Tony Thurmond believes that we need to ensure every...
Profile
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Lily "Espinoza" Ploski

Educational administrator/Teacher
Top 3 Priorities
  1. Advocating for funding for K-12 and college and career...
  2. Safe and healthy schools and communities
  3. Equity in all student outcomes to close the achievement...
Profile
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Top 3 Priorities
  1. SAFETY & SECURITY - We need to make sure our kids...
  2. SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE - Our schools are falling apart...
  3. STUDENT WELL-BEING - CA has over 200,000 homeless...
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Schools Improvement Director
2,221,908 votes (37%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • TEACHERS & PRINCIPALS; There is nothing more important to a school’s success than our teachers and principals. Unfortunately, CA has not prioritized its educators and, as a result, we have a massive teacher shortage. Learn more: marshalltuck.com
  • 21ST CENTURY SCHOOLS & FULLY FUNDED CLASSROOMS; Reduce bureaucracy to spur innovation and creativity and to get more money into our classrooms. Read my full plan: marshalltuck.com/issues
  • A SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR ALL KIDS; Address inequity in our schools by differentiating support for our most vulnerable students (i.e., low-income, English Learners, students with disabilities, etc.). Read my full plan: marshalltuck.com/issues

Experience

Experience

Profession:Schools Improvement Director
Educator-in-Residence, New Teacher Center (2015–2017)
Chief Executive Officer, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (2007–2013)
President, Green Dot Public Schools (2002–2006)

Education

Harvard Business School MBA (2000)
UCLA Bachelor's Degree (1995)

Biography

Marshall Tuck believes in the power of public schools to change lives – and he’s spent the last 15 years working to make it happen.

Most recently, as Educator-in-Residence Tuck directed various school improvement efforts with the New Teacher Center (NTC), a nonprofit organization working with school districts to help develop and retain effective teachers and principals. NTC has supported 166,000 teachers since 2012.

Prior to that, Tuck was the founding CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a groundbreaking collaboration between the Mayor’s office and LA Unified School District which operates 18 struggling elementary, middle, and high schools serving 15,000 students. Under Tuck’s leadership, these schools raised four-year graduation rates by more than 60%, and had the highest academic improvement among California’s school systems with more than 10,000 students. The Partnership launched the innovative Parent College, creating a national model for getting parents more involved in their kids’ education.

Before joining the Partnership, Tuck was the president of the nonprofit Green Dot Public Schools, where he helped create 10 new public charter high schools in some of LA’s poorest neighborhoods. All of them outperformed local schools – and 8 have been ranked among the top high schools in America by U.S. News & World Report.   

In 2014, Tuck ran an underdog campaign against the incumbent State Superintendent, forcing him into a run-off before narrowly losing. Tuck earned 2.9 million votes (48%).

Before devoting his career to helping students, Tuck was a senior leader at Model N, a successful enterprise software company based in the Bay Area. Prior to that, he worked in finance, and spent almost a year teaching and doing service work internationally.

The son of a teacher, Tuck was born in Burlingame, CA and attended parochial elementary school and public middle and high schools. A graduate of UCLA and Harvard Business School, Tuck lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Mae, and their son Mason.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $3,726,192

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Sutter Hill Ventures
$43,800
2
Employees of Intuit
$35,200
3
Employees of Bad Robot
$30,200
4
Employees of Pisces Inc
$29,800
5
Employees of Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
$29,300
5
Employees of The Wonderful Company
$29,300

More information about contributions

By State:

California 91.60%
New York 2.89%
Texas 0.88%
Washington 0.84%
Other 3.80%
91.60%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.42%)
Small contributions (0.58%)
99.42%

By Type:

From organizations (0.00%)
From individuals (100.00%)
100.00%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Invest in Teachers and Principals

Summary

There is nothing more important to a school’s success than our teachers and principals. If we want to have the best public schools in the country, we need to invest in them. Teachers inspire and engage our children, and help cultivate a love of learning. Principals support our teachers, engage our parents and communities, and shape school culture.

Unfortunately, California has not prioritized its educators and, as a result, we have a massive teacher shortage, and we do not have enough principals who have been developed to be strong instructional leaders. 

We need to attract more people to the teaching profession and retain the best of them by increasing incentives and compensation, and substantially improving the supports we provide to teachers and those aspiring to be teachers. We need to do the same for principals. We need to do more to attract and retain educators serving students with the greatest need. For too long, our state has enabled a system in which poor students have less experienced teachers and principals, and more staff turnover.

Better Pay for Our Educators

Teaching is a difficult and important profession and it needs to be compensated as such. While there are other steps we can take to make the profession more attractive, we must increase teacher compensation. In many places in our state, two married teachers can’t afford to buy a house in or near the community in which they teach. This needs to change. In many countries with high performing education systems, educators are better compensated, as compared to other professions5. This isn’t a coincidence.

In California, we need to put in place a clear path over the next decade to increase overall compensation for our educators. In Unified School Districts in California, beginning teacher salaries range from about $41,000 to $49,000 per year6. By comparison, California prison guards receive a starting salary of about $52,000 to $57,000, with a paid training period, and without needing a post-secondary degree7. These are political choices we have made that have deprioritized education and our teachers. We can make better choices. This will not be easy as it will require more funding and real changes, but it is essential if we want to elevate the teaching profession.

Free College for Teachers

While it will take time to increase teacher compensation significantly across the board, one thing that we can do more immediately is make college and credentialing free to all people who commit to teach for at least five years. California should offer no-interest loans to college students who commit to teach for five years. Once a teacher finishes her or his fifth year of teaching, the loans would be forgiven. The teacher shortage in our state makes this an urgent priority. If we are unable to fund the full program immediately, we should start with teachers that commit to teach in high-needs communities and in hard-to-staff subject areas, like special education.

Equity in School Staffing

In addition to increased funding overall for educators, our state should support school districts in their efforts to provide additional compensation to teachers, counselors, and principals who work in high-needs communities and fill our most difficult-to-staff positions.

One of the biggest equity issues in California’s public schools is the fact that our schools serving greater proportions of low-income children tend to have a harder time filling open positions, have higher staff turnover, and have less experienced staffs overall than schools in higher-income neighborhoods8. We will not make meaningful progress on closing the achievement gap if our public school system continues to put our students with greatest need in schools with less experienced educators and higher staff turnover. This is one of the greatest inequities in our public schools, and it has consistently gone unaddressed.

We must increase both compensation and support for our educators working in high-needs schools, to ensure the staffs in these schools are at least as experienced, effective, and consistent as the staffs in schools serving more affluent communities.

Stronger Teacher Training

We can help teachers be even better prepared when they begin their careers if we make improvements to our university teacher training programs.

Much of the coursework that is currently offered in the credentialing year for aspiring teachers should be provided in undergraduate programs so that the credentialing year can serve as a residency, where the teacher-candidate is spending the vast majority of her or his time working in the field, learning from highly effective teachers. Residency programs have been piloted in California and in other states and it is time to make a residency program the norm for the majority of the people coming into the teaching profession. A quality residency program for new teachers can improve the quality of the preparation that they receive before taking on their own classrooms.

You can read more about the teacher residency model in a report by the Learning Policy Institute.

Additionally, as our state standards for students, and student demographics have changed, we need to see changes and improvements in many of our university teacher training programs. For instance, we want our students to be engaged in more project-based and experiential learning, so our teachers must be adequately prepared to support students through those experiences. And as the number of English Learners and students living in or near poverty has grown, we need to make sure teachers have the training they need to meet the particular needs of these student populations, including adequate preparation for the social-emotional needs of students.

Finally, we can streamline the process by which people transfer their teaching credentials from other states to California, or make career-changes from other fields into the teaching profession.

A Coach or Mentor for New Teachers

A quality university preparation program cannot be the end of a teachers’ formal development or support. We need to continue to revamp the current Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Program and create incentives and supports to encourage school districts to provide new teachers with a quality mentor, as more research continues to demonstrate the significant impact of coaching9. The state should work with districts to support their efforts to put in place high quality mentoring and coaching programs for new teachers.

In addition to supporting new teachers, we should support school districts in prioritizing coaching programs that help teachers continue to grow and learn throughout their career. This can be particularly helpful to teachers who are struggling or when school districts introduce new instructional materials or teaching strategies.

Principals that are Instructional Leaders

Principals are a critical piece of our public education system. If you look at high performing schools throughout our state, one consistency is a strong principal. Principals should be responsible for hiring their teams, creating a clear vision for their schools, serving as instructional leaders, bringing resources to campus, building relationships with teachers, students, parents and community, allocating financial resources most efficiently, and participating in teacher evaluations, among other duties. It is an incredibly challenging and rewarding job. Unfortunately, our state and our school districts often overlook our administrators. This needs to change.

First, principals need to be given the flexibility to address the varying needs of their schools; this should be their focus, rather than tending to compliance and bureaucracy. School districts also need to further invest in developing our principals’ capacity to be strong instructional leaders, as supporting the practice of their teachers should be a top priority. Research has shown that one of the top reasons teachers leave the profession is a lack of sufficient support from their principal10. This is especially problematic today in the face of our state’s teacher shortage crisis. A strong instructional leader with the time to support teachers can help curb this trend. We can build principal capacity by encouraging districts to pair their new school leaders with more experienced school leaders, and by improving administrative preparation programs in our universities. The state can also help school districts share best practices around developing a strong pipeline of leadership talent through the development of promising lead teachers and assistant principals.

Cultures of Continual Learning

Our schools should provide- and our state should support- working conditions that excite, motivate, and retain educators and other employees. One important aspect of this is being an organization that is always growing and learning. This requires more time for adult professional development, leveraging the most effective educators to train their peers, having a strong system for evaluations and data gathering at all levels, and deliberately creating opportunities for professional and career growth. This will look different in different districts based on size, location, and demographics. But the state should support local efforts to continuously support the growth of employees that are aligned around a shared vision for student success.

We need to help schools and school districts rethink staffing, resource allocation, and time, so they can maximize professional learning for school employees. This can aid schools in their effort to better leverage the expertise of site-based educators; too often professional development for educators is designed, led, and executed by those who have not practiced in a great deal of time, or at all. Opportunities for learning and growth should also extend to non-instructional staff, such as office managers, parent coordinators, district staff, and others.

Locally-designed, meaningful evaluations play an important role in continual learning, too. The state should support district and school efforts to build evaluations that articulate thoughtful professional goals, a plan and resources for meeting them, and a process for reviewing both formative and summative progress towards meeting those goals.

Finally, our schools should provide career advancement options for educators. Growth and leadership opportunities for school staff can increase retention and further cultivate a shared ownership over the vision and work of the school.

21st Century Work Rules

Our schools face a few work rules that don’t align well with the realities of a 21st century school system, and which can cause difficulties for educators and students alike. These rules are worth reexamining—not to eliminate entirely, but to rework for a modern school system. Among these are rules governing tenure, teacher layoffs, and dismissals.

With regards to tenure, our schools currently must decide to grant tenure or dismiss a teacher after less than two years of service. This is simply not enough time for a teacher to receive the support necessary to demonstrate her or his full potential, or for a principal and school district to decide if a teacher should receive tenure. We need to give our teachers and schools more time before making such consequential decisions. Neither the teacher nor the student is served by having to make such a high-stakes decision after such a short period of time. Again, our most vulnerable students are most impacted by the errors that are inevitably made from time-to-time under such difficult circumstances. Tenure at our colleges and universities allows for a lengthier period during which this milestone can be earned and it is a rigorous process. A recent bill by Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber was introduced to provide additional time for teachers to earn tenure. This bill (AB 1220) originally proposed extending the pre-tenure probationary period to three years for all new teachers, and giving school districts the flexibility to extend that period to four or five years, to provide that teacher with additional support and time before having to make the high-stakes decision of tenure or dismissal. Commonsense improvements such as these will better serve our students and, over time, will help uplift the teaching profession.

Currently, school boards must base teacher layoffs solely on seniority rather than on classroom effectiveness or other factors. While seniority should remain a significant factor, keeping it as the sole factor for layoffs can be problematic, especially for our children-of-color, and those living in poverty, who attend schools with a disproportionate share of more junior teachers. We should aim to fund our schools such that layoffs are a rarity, but if layoffs do occur, school districts should be given the flexibility to address them in a much more equitable way where seniority is one factor used in determining layoffs, but not the only factor.

Finally, we must reform our state’s teacher dismissal process, under which it is uniquely difficult for local school districts to dismiss teachers for consistently poor performance or misconduct. The current laws around dismissal also have a disproportionate impact on our highest-need students. Reasonable protections against arbitrary dismissals- such as the protections afforded other public employees- are important. But the current process is extremely rigid, very expensive, and generally ineffective.

 

Candidate Contact Info

Educator/State Legislator
2,135,591 votes (35.6%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Tony Thurmond is leading California's fight against Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos's anti-education agenda. He will fight to keep public schools public, protect California's ban on school vouchers, and eliminate for-profit charter schools.
  • Tony Thurmond wants to give teachers the flexibility to do more than just teach to the test. He believes schools should teach students creativity and critical thinking skills, including improved arts and music education.
  • Tony Thurmond believes that we need to ensure every California student has the resources they need to develop their capabilities in science, technology, engineering, and math to succeed in our fast-growing, 21st century economy.

Experience

Experience

Profession:educator/state legislator
Assemblymember, AD-15 (Richmond), California State Assembly — Elected position (2014–current)
School Board Member, West Contra Costa Unified School District Board — Elected position (2008–2012)
City Council Member, Richmond City Council — Elected position (2005–2008)

Education

Bryn Mawr College Master's Degree, Law and Social Policy (1996)
Bryn Mawr College Master's Degree, Social Welfare (1995)
Temple University Bachelor's Degree, Psychology (1993)

Biography

Tony Thurmond is running for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, because he has been a lifelong advocate for children and families, and believes that restoring our public schools is key to California’s future.

Education saved Tony's life, enabling him to overcome humble beginnings. Tony's mother emigrated from Panama to San Jose to teach, and raised four children on her own until she lost her battle to cancer when Tony was 6 years old. Tony was raised by a cousin whom he had never met and who ensured he received a great education.

It was Tony's public school education that prepared him for college, where he became student body president, and for a twenty-year career as a social worker and twelve years working in schools, teaching career training, life skills, and civics. Ultimately Tony was inspired to serve on the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board, the Richmond City Council, and now in the California State Assembly.

Tony has made improving and investing in public education his top priority in the California State Assembly. Tony serves on the Assembly Education Committee and he is the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education. Tony passed legislation that moved millions of dollars from prisons to local schools, and he is working to pass a tax on private prisons that would generate hundreds of millions of dollars for preschool and afterschool programs. Tony has introduced legislation to increase funding for computer science education, bilingual education, and special education. Tony has coauthored legislation to provide scholarships to anyone who wants to become a teacher and he is working to provide affordable housing to teachers so that teachers can live in the communities where they teach.

As Superintendent, Tony's priority will be to ensure all of California’s kids have the opportunity to receive a great public school education and are prepared for the 21st Century economy. Tony will improve vocational education and college preparedness with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, and encourage teaching that builds creative and critical thinking, not teaching to the test. Tony will make college affordable and work to increase school funding by shifting millions from prisons into early education and after-school programs. Tony will create an education rainy day fund to protect against President Trump and Betsy DeVos's agenda to defund our public schools.

Tony is the only candidate endorsed by the California Democratic Party, the Los Angeles Times, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, current Superintendent Tom Torlakson, teachers, nurses, firefighters, Planned Parenthood, and Equality California.

Learn more about Tony and his plan to make California's public schools #1 in the nation at www.tonythurmond.com.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $2,605,284

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Sheet Metal Workers Local 104
$35,000
2
California Federation of Teachers and employees
$29,350
3
California Nurses Association and employees
$29,300
4
California Faculty Association
$29,200
4
California Professional Firefighters
$29,200
4
California School Employees Association
$29,200
4
California State Association of Electrical Workers
$29,200
4
California State Pipe Trades Council
$29,200
4
California Teachers Association
$29,200
4
IBEW Local 302
$29,200
4
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
$29,200
4
Operating Engineers Local 3
$29,200
4
SEIU California
$29,200
4
SEIU Local 1000
$29,200
4
Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16
$29,200
4
Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
$29,200

More information about contributions

By State:

California 94.32%
District of Columbia 2.69%
Pennsylvania 1.13%
Texas 0.50%
Other 1.35%
94.32%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.46%)
Small contributions (0.54%)
99.46%

By Type:

From organizations (83.58%)
From individuals (16.42%)
83.58%16.42%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Leading the Fight Against Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump’s Agenda

Summary

Read Tony's full plan on how he will protect California's public schools from Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump's anti-education agenda at www.tonythurmond/plan. 

In addition to state and local funding mechanisms, I will prioritize urging the federal government to invest in California’s schools. States rely on federal funds to support essential resources like teacher training, special education, and after-school programs.

In his 2018 budget proposal, President Trump proposed to completely eliminate 20 of these essential public school programs, yet he included $1.4 billion to fund public school alternatives like charter schools and private school vouchers. The budget is especially disastrous for California students, cutting $400 million from our state’s federal funds alone. This will hurt all our country’s children, and especially California’s most vulnerable students. I will not stand for it.

I have not shied away from criticizing Donald Trump when he does not stand up for the values we hold most dear. In fact, I authored the resolution in the Assembly that made California the very first state to call upon Congress to censure the President following his reprehensible comments about the tragedies that took place in Charlottesville during a white supremacist rally.

As Superintendent, I will:

● Continue to relentlessly fight the Trump Administration, doing everything in my power to keep him and Betsy DeVos from gutting California’s public schools

● Fight to keep public schools public by protecting California’s ban on school vouchers

Keeping our Students Safe

Summary

Read Tony's full plan on how he will work to keep students safe from gun violence at www.tonythurmond.com/plan. 

As Superintendent, I will ensure the safety of our students is our number one priority. For too long, we have lived with the tragedies of school shootings in states across the nation. My heart breaks for the families who have been affected by these horrific events. We must do more than offer our thoughts and prayers. We must act to keep our children safe.

We need violence prevention training in every school in California. The solution is not to arm teachers – in fact, we must vehemently resist efforts by the federal administration to place weapons in classrooms – but to invest in commonsense mental health services and gun violence prevention programs for our students and educators.

I introduced legislation in the State Assembly that will provide resources to schools so they can provide physical, social, and emotional services through on-site counseling. In addition to legislation, I am meeting with district superintendents throughout California to discuss best practices to ensure schools safety, and I am collaborating with nonprofit organizations who are working to educate schools, families, and community organizations on life-saving gun violence prevention programs. I have convened roundtable discussions with local educators and social justice advocates to discuss ways in which our schools can prevent acts of hate on campuses. I am leading the discussion on gun violence prevention in this campaign because our students demand their elected leaders take action to save their lives.

As Superintendent, I will:

● Provide schools with the resources to offer all students and teachers commonsense mental health services and gun violence prevention programs

● Resist efforts by the Trump Administration to bring guns into our schools

● Prioritize a curriculum that teaches tolerance and promotes diversity

Candidate Contact Info

Educational Administrator/Instructor
984,039 votes (16.4%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Advocating for funding for K-12 and college and career pathways
  • Safe and healthy schools and communities
  • Equity in all student outcomes to close the achievement gap

Experience

Experience

Profession:Educational administrator/Teacher
Instructor, Mills College (2016–current)
Director, Workforce Development, Goodwill Industries of the Greater Eastbay (2016–2017)
Dean/Athletic Director, School of Human Performance and Development, Solano College (2011–2014)
Director, Cadena Cultural Center and Transfer Center, Fullerton College (2008–2011)
Interim Director, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services/ CARE, Evergreen Valley College (2007–2008)

Education

California State University, Fullerton Doctorate Degree, Educational Leadership (2011)
Teachers College, Columbia University Master of Arts Degree, Student Personnel Administration (2002)
University of California, Berkeley Bachelor of Arts Degree, Women's Studies (1998)
Diablo Valley College Associate of Arts Degree, Liberal Studies (1995)

Community Activities

Golf Tournament Director, Solano College (2012–2014)
Board Member, Brandman University, Teacher Preparation and Early Childhood Education Development Programs (2011–2014)
Chair, Diversity Committee, Fullerton College (2009–2011)
Fellow, National Community College Hispanic Council, American Association of Community Colleges (2009–2011)
Community Leader, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (2009–2010)

Biography

Dr. Lily E. Ploski was born and raised in Orange County and is a proud graduate of the public school system, graduating from Fullerton Union High School in the City of Fullerton, CA. Dr. Ploski completed my associate's degree in Liberal Studies at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA. I transferred to U.C. Berkeley to earn my bachelor's degree in Women's Studies. Lily attended Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City for her master's degree in Student Personnel Administration. She then attended California State University, Fullerton to complete her doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Ploski has worked in education for over 15 years as a student advocate in Student Services (member of CSEA, SEIU and CalPERS), also as an instructor, manager, Dean, and Athletic Director. She currently works at Mills College in Oakland, CA as part of the Upward Bound program, as an instructor teaching financial literacy courses to low income and underrepresented students. Her passion to serve others in their educational achievement is her life's work.

Many of Dr. Ploski’s career highlights include her work to support student success and to increase the academic pathway for all students to be able to achieve. She led a statewide conference focused on African American student retention programs that led to the establishment of the Umoja Programs across all 115 community colleges. In 2016 she oversaw $6M in grants focused on workforce and career development for ex-felons and CalWORKs recipients. Dr. Ploski was elected to serve a two-year term as the chair for the Fullerton College Diversity Committee where she established policy to address discrimination and protections for LGBTQ students and undocumented students, as well as overseeing a steering committee to support former foster youth. Lily also established a golf tournament fundraiser that generated almost $100,000 in revenue while serving as the Athletic Director at Solano College. Dr. Ploski also authored the book, Not Getting Stuck: Success stories of being Latina and transferring from a California community college, in 2017, Alive Publications. As well, Ploski has led in the development of enrollment management plans, accreditation self-studies and site visits, and she has made contributions to the California Community College Athletic Association. As well, Ploski has published and presented educational research on LGBTQ student success and Latina student success in higher education and in college preparation programs.

Dr. Lily Ploski has experience leading educational improvement efforts including, Educational Master Planning, Facilities Master Planning, Bond Measures, Student Equity Planning, Diversity Action Planning, policy development, fiscal and budget development, Strategic Planning, Business Advisory Committees, grant management, workforce and economic development and community development. She is a leader with expertise in educational administration who puts students first!

Please review the website, www.lilyeploski.org to learn more about her background and vision for California. We have no time to lose!

Political Beliefs

Lily’s family is her motivation to seek out this public office. Her father, Donald Ploski, was an English teacher while he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan serving as an U.S. Air Force officer. After four years in the Air Force, Lily’s father re-located to Los Angeles, CA to attend law school in order to become a worker’s compensation attorney. Lily’s mother, Margarita Espinoza, came to Los Angeles from Mexico at the age of 16 and she worked as a housekeeper until she married Donald. Margarita and Donald had five children, four girls and one boy. Margarita was very active in the church and community service, writing newsletters and organizing community events. As a lawyer, Donald primarily served clients injured on the job in the agriculture industry. While both her parents have since passed, Margarita in 1987, at the age of 37 and Donald in 2004, at the age of 67, their years of dedication to public service deeply impacted Lily and her siblings. Lily’s brother recently retired from 20 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. Two of her sisters are teachers and her other sister works in the mortgage industry. Lily is mother to her 14 year old son, who attends the local public middle school.

Lily brings 15 years of experience working in public education at all levels, from middle school to high school, community college to the university. A true California girl born and raised, Lily spent half her life living in Southern California. Ploski's love of California has led her to live in many parts of the state including Los Angeles, San Jose, Merced, and finally the San Francisco Bay Area. While growing up in Orange County in the 1980s, Lily attended the finest public schools in the nation. Lily relocated to the San Francisco Bay area to attend community college. She transferred to U.C. Berkeley to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies. Lily completed her Master’s Degree in Student Personnel Administration from Teacher's College, Columbia University in New York City. Dr. Ploski completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Cal State University, Fullerton.

As State Superintendent, Lily E. Ploski’s administration will focus on four key areas:

1.) Clear Pathways Across Schools, Employment, Workforce Training, and Colleges

2.) Safe Schools and College Campuses

3.) Equity in All Outcomes

4.) Champion for Academic and Fiscal Integrity

Please read more about Lily’s vision for the state of California at her website, www.lilyeploski.org.

The public school system in the state of California needs a true leader ready to do the work to stand up for our students, teachers, schools, and districts. The people in the state of California and our students deserve better. Lily E. Ploski is ready to build the partnerships and collaborations we need to secure the funding, policy, and resources to return our state back to the top of the list for public education achievement. Time is of the essence! We cannot afford to wait another minute to bring our schools into the future. The future is now! Lily is the hands-on educational leader the state of California needs to pave the way for all our students to succeed!

Please show your support for Lily E. Ploski for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction 2018 at www.lilyeploski.org

Candidate Contact Info

Email lilyeploski@yahoo.com
Parent
658,037 votes (11%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • SAFETY & SECURITY - We need to make sure our kids are safe and secure in their schools. School Counselors and other mental health professionals need to be funded in our budgets - they can serve as a first line of defense against school violence.
  • SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE - Our schools are falling apart - It's time to make our schools look like the future we want for our kids. We need to find new revenues and fix the problems with our crumbling infrastructure.
  • STUDENT WELL-BEING - CA has over 200,000 homeless students on any given night - 30,000 of them "without a roof." We need to help our students be ready to learn, addressing issues from hunger to mental health to homelessness. We can do better.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Parent
Owner, SLIvideo TV (1999–current)

Education

Glendale Community College Certificate, Real Estate Broker (2014)
Indiana University Bloomington Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Journalism & Film/Theatre (1984)

Community Activities

Trustee Chairman, Toluca Lake United Methodist Church (2001–2012)
Cubmaster, Cub Scout Pack 18 (2008–2011)
President, PTA of Toluca Lake Elementary (2007–2010)

Political Beliefs

Why Steven Ireland for Superintendent?

Summary

A brief summary of why I am running for this office.  

Dear California Parents & Voters –

I am announcing my campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of California.  The election is held on June 5th, 2018 on the statewide ballot.   

What is the Superintendent? 

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is the only elected seat on the California Board of Education.  The Governor appoints the other eleven members of the board.  This means it is the ONLY opportunity for voters to decide who represents them on their own State Board of Education. 

The Board of Education oversees an annual budget of more than $76 Billion dollars and sets the direction for all public schools in California.  The Superintendent carries out the board’s wishes and has a LOT of say in how our children are educated.    

Why is the Board so Important?

Special interests have poured money into this race because they want to claim that 12th seat as an advantage for their side.  But in the ongoing debate about Charter Schools versus Teachers Union, one voice is consistently left out of the discussion – PARENTS! 

For too long, special interest money has dictated school policies across our state.  This is why our school infrastructure is crumbling, needed positions are not funded and student morale is low.  California schools used to be among the highest performing school systems in the country – now we’re desperately trying to raise graduation rates. 

What Can Be Done?

Finally, we are seeing students and parents fed up with dysfunctional schools across the country.  Students are demanding to be safe in their own schools and they are marching to show the world what they want.  Many parents want a greater say in how their schools are run. 

That’s why I’m running as the “PARENT” candidate – to give a voice to parents on the CA Board of Education.  I believe ALL of our children deserve 3 things from our school system: 

·       *  Safe & Secure Schools

·       *  A Welcoming and Positive Learning Environment

·       *  Ability to Be Healthy and Ready to Learn

To accomplish that, I’m focused on these three issues:

SAFETY & SECURITY

Democrats & Republicans agree on almost nothing when it comes to guns and protecting our schools from shootings.  But they do agree on one thing – mental health plays an important role in keeping our schools safe.  So, both sides agree but what do they do?  They CUT funding for school counselors and mental health professionals in our schools. 

It’s time that PARENTS DEMAND FUNDING for these positions as a first line of defense against school violence. We also need to develop a set of “best practices” for our schools to follow that help ensure the safety of our kids. 

SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE

It’s been said that “if a school looks like a prison the students are more likely to go to prison but if a school looks like a college they are more likely to go to college.”  Many of our schools are falling apart with sinks hanging off the wall, unsafe drinking water and peeling paint (our local elementary school had peeling lead paint – more about that later).   We need to make our schools LOOK LIKE THE FUTURE we want for our kids. 

STUDENT WELL-BEING

It is estimated that California has over 202,000 homeless students on any given day – 15% of them are considered “without a roof” which means they are literally sleeping on the streets.  Think about that – 30,000 plus students sleeping on the street before going to school.  Thousands more living in cars, relative’s homes or motels. 

If a student spends the night on the street, he or she likely will show up at school unwashed, hungry and not ready to learn.  This affects not only the homeless student personally but also other kids in class.  He or she may have behavioral problems as a result of their home life, resulting in more teacher time spent away from the rest of the class.  Graduation rates may be impacted by continued distractions. 

Funding is not the issue! Enormous resources have been directed at the homeless in the last few years, but in the Los Angeles Unified School District alone, the rate of homeless students went up almost 40% in the last two years, from 12,000 per night to 17,000.  By helping the most vulnerable students in our state, we lift up all students.

SHARE & DONATE

Of course, there are many other issues facing our schools.  These are just a few of our challenges but addressing them will make our students safer and happier so they can focus on getting a good education. 

If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll SHARE THIS MESSAGE across your social media to any CONCERNED PARENTS and interested citizens.   

If you agree with me, please consider giving our campaign a $10 donation on my website at https://ireland4superintendent.com.

Finally, I urge you to VOTE FOR ME ON JUNE 5th AS CA SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION. 

Thank you for listening!

 

Steven Ireland Responses to USC Rossier School Questions - en Español

Summary

Steven Ireland's responses to the USC Questions provided by the USC Rossier Center for Education, Policy, Equity, and Governance (CEPEG) translated to Spanish language.  (Edited for space limitations) 

USC QUESTION RESPONSES

1. Ella T. contra el Estado de California es una demanda interpuesta por estudiantes de escuelas públicas, ex docentes y organizaciones comunitarias la cual cuestiona la incapacidad del estado para proporcionar acceso a la alfabetización para todos los estudiantes y la ubica como inconstitucional según la constitución estatal. ¿Cuál es su posición en la demanda?

La demanda de Ella T contra El Estado de California nos dice lo que ya sabíamos: que estamos fracasando en proveer instrucción básica a un gran segmento de niños en California. Si no se logran las habilidades literarias básicas en la escuela primaria, se producen muchos de los problemas que vemos en nuestras escuelas secundarias, incluyendo las altas tasas de abandono escolar y las bajas tasas de graduación.

Necesitamos enfocar nuestros recursos en estos estudiantes de bajo rendimiento en la primaria para brindarles las herramientas que necesitan para tener éxito en los grados posteriores. Esto significa asegurar que todas las escuelas reciban su parte justa de los fondos escolares para crear una atmósfera segura y acogedora en la cual los niños puedan aprender.

Un programa en Ontario, Canadá, se enfoca en estudiantes de inglés y ha tenido un gran éxito. En los tres primeros años de haber llegado a la escuela pública, los hijos de inmigrantes nuevos se desempeñan tan bien en pruebas de aptitud como los niños nativos. Lo logran con clases intensivas de alfabetización en inglés por la mañana e integran a los estudiantes en clases regulares más tarde en el día. Su maestra de inglés está disponible para ayudarlos durante las clases regulares en caso de que necesiten más ayuda. Debemos considerar implementar un sistema parecido si esperamos solucionar este problema.

La Junta de Educación necesita crear alianzas con organizaciones comunitarias como los demandantes en este caso y motivar a los padres a ser proactivos en el desarrollo de las habilidades literarias de sus hijos. Solo trabajando juntos podemos abordar este tema extremadamente importante. Es la hora de invertir en el futuro de nuestros hijos por el bien de California.

 

2. El Secretario DeVos ha indicado que eliminará la guía de la época de Obama sobre el uso desproporcionado de la disciplina escolar. ¿Qué harás como superintendente para proteger los derechos civiles de todos los estudiantes?

 La disciplina efectiva en las escuelas implica un acto de equilibrio delicado entre abordar las conductas disruptivas en el aula y garantizar que los alumnos reciban un trato justo y equitativo.

Los maestros y administrativos deben poder sacar del aula a un estudiante que está siendo disruptivo física o verbalmente sin temor a ser castigado con el fin de mantener un ambiente de aprendizaje apropiado para todos los estudiantes. Al mismo tiempo, debemos asegurarnos de que los estudiantes no sean atacados injustamente debido a su raza, religión, orientación u otros factores no relacionados con los comportamientos disruptivos.

La Junta debe desarrollar un conjunto claro de políticas que describan qué tipo de disciplina se permite y cuándo. Las juntas locales deben asegurarse de que sus sistemas escolares se adhieran a esa política a fin de mantener una política de disciplina justa en todo el estado. El estado necesita monitorear efectivamente cómo se administra la disciplina, y es necesario que haya un procedimiento de informe justo y simple para que los padres denuncien las quejas sobre los procedimientos injustos de disciplina en su escuela.

Algunos comportamientos disruptivos se deben a factores en la vida hogareña del alumno (fuera del aula). Estos van desde problemas de salud mental hasta el hambre y la falta de vivienda y pueden afectar negativamente la educación de todos nuestros estudiantes.

 

3. A la luz de las recomendaciones/propuestas del administrador de Trump para recortar el financiamiento del Título II, ¿cómo podría prever garantizar que los educadores, especialmente los nuevos maestros, reciban apoyo en California en sus primeros años?

Si algo está claro es que no podemos esperar a que el disfuncional establecimiento educativo de Washington DC resuelva nuestros problemas. Necesitamos abordar financiación crítica en todo el sistema escolar, incluida la búsqueda de nuevos ingresos para apoyar a nuestras escuelas y maestros. De acuerdo con la encuesta de Quality Counts de EdWeek 2017, California ocupa el puesto 46 en toda la nación en cuanto a fondos por alumno y eso se nota.

Nuestras escuelas se están cayendo a pedazos, los maestros están comprando sus propios suministros y se han recortado los puestos críticos y los programas. Los consejeros escolares y las enfermeras son una rareza en muchas escuelas. Los programas de música y arte se han cortado en todo el sistema, aunque los estudios han demostrado repetidamente que los programas de música mejoran las puntuaciones matemáticas.

Los demócratas y republicanos no están de acuerdo en casi nada cuando se trata de armas y proteger nuestras escuelas de los tiroteos. Pero sí están de acuerdo en una cosa: la salud mental juega un papel importante para mantener nuestras escuelas seguras. Entonces, ambas partes están de acuerdo, pero ¿qué hacen? Recortan la ayuda financiera para consejeros escolares y profesionales de salud mental en nuestras escuelas. Es hora de que los padres demanden financiamiento para estos puestos como primera línea de defensa contra la violencia escolar.

Necesitamos buscar nuevos ingresos para las escuelas, incluyendo la lotería, los intereses de los juegos y el nuevo dinero de la economía del cannabis. Deben otorgarse bonos y otras recompensas a los maestros que estén dispuestos a trabajar en las escuelas más difíciles a fin de garantizar una educación de calidad para todos los niños. Necesitamos planificar para el futuro que queremos para nuestros hijos.

 

4. ¿Qué va a hacer para incorporar la voz, la participación y el liderazgo de los padres a fin de cerrar la brecha en el rendimiento académico para los estudiantes de color? 

Los padres son la razón por la cual me estoy postulando para este puesto en la Junta de Educación de California. Como padre de tres adolescentes, he estado en una variedad de escuelas, incluidas escuelas públicas, escuelas autónomas afiliadas y escuelas charter independientes. Es fácil detectar las escuelas que tienen más éxito: son las escuelas donde hay participación de los padres.

Finalmente, estamos viendo a estudiantes y padres hartos de escuelas disfuncionales en todo el país. Los estudiantes exigen estar seguros en sus propias escuelas y marchan para mostrarle al mundo lo que quieren. Muchos padres quieren una mayor participación en la administración de sus escuelas.

Es por eso que me postulo como el candidato "PARENT" (candidato de los padres) en un esfuerzo por dar una voz a los padres en la Junta Estatal de Educación. Creo que todos nuestros niños merecen 3 cosas de nuestro sistema escolar:

Escuelas seguras

Un ambiente de aprendizaje acogedor y positivo

Capacidad de estar saludable y listo para aprender

 

Para lograr eso, estoy centrado en estos tres problemas: 

Protección y seguridad

Infraestructura escolar

Bienestar de los estudiantes

Las familias son cruciales para hacer de las escuelas un lugar donde los niños quieran aprender, aunque algunos administradores escolares prefieren que los padres "se mantengan fuera del camino". Eso necesita cambiar: los padres deben ser bienvenidos como compañeros en sus escuelas. A cambio, todos los padres tienen la responsabilidad de hablar y exigir una voz en la educación de sus hijos.

Para obtener más información visite mi sitio web en: http://ireland4superintendent.com

 

5. La FAIR Education Act y la CA Youth Youth Act obligan a las escuelas de CA a incorporar un plan de estudios LBGTQ +. Sin embargo, muchas escuelas actualmente no cumplen. ¿Cómo garantizará que nuestros jóvenes reciban una educación integral sobre las identidades e historias homosexuales?

Nuestros estudiantes deben conocer las contribuciones de todos los grupos a nuestra historia colectiva, incluido LBGTQ +, como parte de una educación equilibrada. Aprender unos de otros fomenta una mejor comprensión de nuestros compañeros y conduce al respeto por otras culturas e ideas como parte de nuestro mundo moderno. Las historias de la comunidad LBGTQ + y de otros grupos deberían integrarse tanto en las lecciones de historia como en otras áreas de estudio como la música y las artes. 

Todos los estudiantes merecen respeto y la capacidad de vivir una vida feliz y saludable, incluidos los estudiantes LBGTQ +. Una discusión franca de la sexualidad, con aportes de los padres, es una necesidad para mantener a nuestros niños seguros y saludables. Todos los niños deben saber que son valiosos y que pueden hablar de sus sentimientos y hacer preguntas sin temor.

 

6. ¿Qué esfuerzos realizará para garantizar que la instrucción abierta cultural/críticamente es la norma, no la excepción? ¿Cómo planea expandir las oportunidades de educación bilingüe para estudiantes y maestros por igual?

 La instrucción cultural y críticamente abierta es crucial para las escuelas de hoy. Los estudiantes aprenden mejor cuando pueden relacionar la lección que están aprendiendo con sus propias vidas. El uso de historias de la propia cultura del estudiante ayuda a promover el interés y la comprensión, lo cual debería ser el objetivo de cualquier maestro al presentar una lección.

Ningún docente incorporará referencias culturales exactamente de la misma manera, pero existen numerosas estrategias para agregar materiales culturalmente amplios a un plan de clase. Mis dos hijos asistieron a una Academia Culinaria de la escuela media en el LAUSD. Las lecciones se enseñaban a través del lente de la comida, por lo que la historia griega incluía una mirada a lo que comían los antiguos griegos, así como un viaje al restaurante griego local. Esto ayudó a llevar las ideas de la antigua Grecia a una relevancia moderna (¡y sabrosa!).

El programa canadiense que mencioné en una pregunta anterior incluye instrucción culturalmente receptiva como parte de su proceso de aprendizaje del inglés. Utilizan alimentos, tradiciones navideñas y otras costumbres culturales para ayudar al alumno a relacionarse con su nuevo entorno y aprender inglés. Esto ayuda al alumno a sentirse más cómodo y a promover el entendimiento con otros compañeros de clase.

 

7. ¿Qué hace que cada uno de ustedes sea diferente de los superintendentes estatales anteriores? ¿Cómo y por qué deberíamos confiar en usted?

El Superintendente de Instrucción Pública es el único asiento elegido en la Junta de Educación de California. El Gobernador nombra a los otros once miembros de la Junta. Esto significa que es la única oportunidad para que los votantes decidan quién los representa en la Junta de Educación.

En gran medida se considera una posición "ceremonial", pero de hecho el Superintendente preside la Junta que supervisa un presupuesto anual de más de $ 76 mil millones de dólares y establece la dirección de todas las escuelas públicas en California. El Superintendente tiene mucho que decir sobre cómo se educa a nuestros hijos.

La Junta actual tiene 6 médicos, 1 asistente legislativo, 1 director de educación, 1 enlace de escuelas chárter, 1 enlace de sindicatos de maestros de California y 1 representante estudiantil. ¿De quién es la voz que falta? Padres.

No he tomado ninguna donación de interés especial y no estoy comprometido con ningún grupo que no sean los padres y niños que represento. Me comprometo a poner siempre a nuestros hijos primero.

No permita que intereses mezquinos compren su puesto en la Junta de Educación de California. VOTE por STEVEN IRELAND - el candidato PADRE - el 5 de junio de 2018.

 http://ireland4superintendent.com 

Steven Ireland Responses to USC Rossier School Questions

Summary

Steven Ireland's responses to the USC Questions provided by the USC Rossier Center for Education, Policy, Equity, and Governance (CEPEG).  (Edited for space limitations) 

1.      Ella T. v State of California is a lawsuit brought by public school students, former teachers, and community organizations that challenges the state's failure to provide access to literacy for all students as unconstitutional under the state constitution. What is your position on the lawsuit?

The Ella T v. State of CA lawsuit tells us what we already knew – that we are failing to provide basic instruction to a large segment of California’s children.  Failure to achieve basic literacy skills in elementary school leads to many of the issues we see in our high schools, including high dropout rates and low graduation rates. 

We need to focus our resources on these low-performing elementary students to give them the tools they need to succeed in later grades.  This means ensuring that all schools receive their fair share of school funding to create a safe and welcoming atmosphere in which children can learn. 

A program in Ontario, Canada focuses on English learners with great success.  Within three years of arriving in public schools, children of new immigrants perform as well as native born-children on proficiency tests.  They achieve this with intensive English literacy classes in the morning while integrating the students into regular classes later in the day.  Their English teacher is available to help them during regular classes in the event they need further assistance.  We must consider implementing a similar system if we expect to fix this problem. 

The Board of Education needs to create partnerships with community organizations such as the plaintiffs in this case and encourage parents to be pro-active in their children’s literacy development.  Only by working together can we address this extremely important issue.  It’s time to invest in our children’s future for the sake of California. 

 

 

2.      Secretary DeVos has indicated that she will get rid of the Obama era guidance on disproportionate use of school discipline. What will you do as superintendent to protect the civil rights of all students?

Effective discipline in schools involves a delicate balancing act between addressing disruptive behaviors in the classroom and ensuring that students are treated fairly and equally.  

Teachers and administrators must be able to remove a student who is being physically or verbally disruptive without fear of punishment in order to maintain a proper learning environment for all students.  At the same time, we need to make sure students are not being targeted unfairly due to their race, religion, orientation or other factors not related to the disruptive behaviors. 

The Board should develop a clear set of policies outlining what type of discipline is permitted and when.  Local Boards must ensure that their school systems are adhering to that policy in order to maintain a fair discipline policy throughout the state.  The State needs to effectively monitor how discipline is administered, and there needs to be a fair and simple reporting procedure for parents to report complaints about the discipline procedures at their school. 

 Some disruptive behaviors are due to factors in the student’s home life from outside the classroom.  These range from mental health issues to hunger to homelessness and they can adversely affect the education of all of our students. 

 

 

3.      In light of the Trump admin's recommendations/proposals to cut Title II funding, how might you envision ensuring educators-especially new teachers-are supported in California in their first years?

If anything is clear it is that we cannot wait for the dysfunctional Washington, DC educational establishment to solve our problems.  We need to address critical funding throughout the school system - including finding new revenues to support our schools and teachers.  According to EdWeek’s 2017 Quality Counts survey, California ranks 46th in the nation in per pupil funding and it shows.   

Our schools are falling apart, teachers are buying their own supplies and critical positions and programs have been cut.  School counselors and nurses are a rarity at many schools.  Music and arts programs have been cut throughout the system, even though studies have repeatedly shown that music programs IMPROVE MATH SCORES.  

Democrats & Republicans agree on almost nothing when it comes to guns and protecting our schools from shootings.  But they do agree on one thing – mental health plays an important role in keeping our schools safe.  So, both sides agree but what do they do?  They CUT funding for school counselors and mental health professionals in our schools.  It’s time that PARENTS DEMAND FUNDING for these positions as a first line of defense against school violence. 

We need to look for new revenues for schools, including the lottery, gaming interests and the new cannabis economy money.  Bonuses and other rewards should be given to teachers who are willing to work in the most difficult schools in order to ensure a quality education for all kids.  We need to plan for the future we want for our children. 

 

 

4.      What are you going to do to incorporate the voice, participation, and leadership from parents in order to close the gap in academic achievement for students of color?

Parents are the reason I’m running for this seat on the CA Board of Education.  As a parent of three teenagers, I’ve been through a variety of schools including public schools, affiliated charter schools and independent charter schools.  It’s easy to spot the schools that are most successful – they are the schools where the PARENTS are involved.  

Finally, we are seeing students and parents fed up with dysfunctional schools across the country.  Students are demanding to be safe in their own schools and they are marching to show the world what they want.  Many parents want a greater say in how their schools are run. 

That’s why I’m running as the “PARENT” candidate – in an effort to give a voice to parents on the State Board of Education.  I believe ALL of our children deserve 3 things from our school system: 

 

·      Safe & Secure Schools

·      A Welcoming and Positive Learning Environment

·      Ability to Be Healthy and Ready to Learn

 

To accomplish that, I’m focused on these three issues:

 

·      Safety & Security

·      School Infrastructure

·      Student Well-Being

 

Families are crucial to making schools a place where children want to learn, yet some school administrators prefer that parents “stay out of the way.”  That needs to change - parents need to be welcomed as a partner in their schools.  In return, ALL parents have a responsibility to speak up and demand a voice in their child’s education.   

Please visit my website at http://ireland4superintendent.com for more information. 

 

 

5.      The FAIR Education Act and CA Healthy Youth Act mandate that CA schools incorporate an LBGTQ+ curriculum. However, many schools are currently non-compliant. How will you ensure our youth receive comprehensive education regarding queer identities and history? 

Our students should know the contributions of all groups to our collective history – including LBGTQ+ - as part of a well-balanced education.  Learning about each other fosters a better understanding of our peers and leads to respect for other cultures and ideas as part of our modern world.  Stories from the LBGTQ+ community and other groups should be integrated into both history lessons and other areas of study such as music and arts. 

ALL students deserve respect and the ability to live a happy and healthy life, including LBGTQ+ students.  A frank discussion of sexuality – with input from parents - is a must to keep our children safe and healthy.  All children must know that they are valuable and that they are able to discuss their feelings and ask questions without fear. 

The law provides flexibility for schools in its implementation, but the Board should outline suggested ways to incorporate these important stories into the daily curriculum.  The Board needs to monitor compliance and require non-compliant districts to implement a program according to the law. 

 

6.      What efforts will you take to ensure that culturally/critically responsive instruction is the norm, not the exception? How do you plan to expand bilingual education opportunities for students and teachers alike?

Culturally and critically responsive instruction makes sense for schools today.  Students learn better when they can relate the lesson they are learning to their own lives.  Using stories from a student’s own culture helps promote interest and understanding, which should be the goal of any teacher when presenting a lesson. 

No teacher will incorporate cultural references in exactly the same way, but there are numerous strategies to add culturally responsive materials into a lesson plan.  Both of my sons attended a middle-school Culinary Academy in LAUSD.  Lessons were taught through the lens of food, so Greek history included a look at what the ancient Greeks ate, as well as a trip to local Greek restaurant.  This helped bring the ideas of ancient Greece to a modern (and tasty) relevance. 

The Canadian program that I mentioned in an earlier question includes culturally responsive instruction as part of their English-learner process.  They use foods, holiday traditions and other cultural customs to help the student relate to their new environment and learn English.  This helps the student feel more comfortable and helps to promote understanding with other classmates. 

 

 

7.      What makes each of you different from the previous state superintendents? How and why should we trust you?

 

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is the only elected seat on the California Board of Education.  The Governor appoints the other eleven members of the Board.  This means it is the ONLY opportunity for voters to decide who represents them on the Board of Education. 

It is largely considered a “ceremonial” position, but in fact the Superintendent chairs the Board which oversees an annual budget of more than $76 Billion dollars and sets the direction for all public schools in California.  The Superintendent has a lot of say in how our children are educated.

The current Board has 6 Doctors, 1 Legislative Aide, 1 Director of Education, 1 Charter School Liaison, 1 California Teachers Union Liaison and 1 Student Rep.  Whose voice is missing?  PARENTS. 

I have not taken any special interest donations and I am not beholden to any group other than the PARENTS and CHILDREN that I represent.  I pledge to always put our children first. 

Don’t let special interests buy YOUR seat on the California Board of Education.  VOTE for STEVEN IRELAND – the PARENT candidate – on June 5th, 2018. 

 

Please visit my website at http://ireland4superintendent.com for more information.  

 

 

 

 

 

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