Welcome to Essential Education, our daily look at education in California and beyond. Here's the latest:
- All L.A. Unified schools in the San Fernando Valley will be closed through Friday, as well as 17 on the Westside. After two days of closure for all Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District schools, Malibu's public schools will remain closed Friday. Santa Monica's will open. More information here.
- An outside panel hopes to help the L.A. Unified School District launch some pilot programs that could spread to all schools.
Marshall Tuck announced Monday that he will launch another bid for state superintendent of public instruction.
The position has little direct authority over California's schools, but Tuck said he would use it to set a direction for the governor, State Board of Education and Legislature.
In 2014, Tuck ran for the position against Tom Torlakson, and lost. That year, it was the most expensive election on the state ballot. Tuck was funded by backers of education reform and charter schools, while Torlakson had the support of teachers unions.
Tuck previously led Green Dot Public Schools, a Los Angeles-based independent charter school chain that operates with a teachers union contract, and the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a school turnaround organization. He has spent the last two years working as an educator in residence at the New Teacher Center.
Tuck says he hopes to address California's relatively low standing on test scores, an issue that was also part of his 2014 platform.
"Not having the urgency and the clear vision of what it will take for California to have the best public schools in the country, that lack of vision hasn’t changed at all," Tuck said. "We still accept mediocrity."
Tuck said he believes the process for dismissing teachers should be sped up; that the state needs more resources to prepare teachers; that teachers should be evaluated to some degree by their students' test scores and that the state should more clearly communicate school ratings to parents.
In his candidacy announcement, Tuck called political gridlock that prevents change in education "a moral stain on the state of California."
He also said he would give President Trump an "F" for his education policy so far, saying "school vouchers don't do anything that relates to developing incredible educators."
No other contenders have officially announced their candidacy. The primary is in June 2018.