By Marshall Tuck campaign
Three former Teachers of the Year are stepping forward today to announce their support of Marshall Tuck for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. As awarded Teachers of the Year, Bhavini Bhkata, W. Kipp Morales, and Andrew Shean have seen firsthand how current rules and Sacramento bureaucracy hold back their chosen profession.
Despite being at the top of their profession, the three teachers have been pink-slipped nine times between them because of laws like those overturned in the Vergara case that hold back the profession and harm our ability to educate kids.
“As California public school teachers and educators, we have dedicated our lives to helping students learn and achieve. We know firsthand how important it is to have leadership that understands that in order for students to be successful, teachers must be supported and given the flexibility to work with our local communities, with school leadership and with parents to create the best possible experience for every child.
“We entered the profession of teaching to make a difference in children’s lives and ensure that all California kids are given the opportunity to receive a quality education. That is why we are supporting Marshall Tuck. His plan for supporting the profession through better pay, increased training, freedom from crippling bureaucracy and changes to laws like ‘Last in, First out’ are the right steps for California’s kids.”
“We are particularly disturbed by recent attacks on Marshall’s outstanding record improving schools in some of California’s toughest neighborhoods. As you know, Marshall has led two innovative school systems in high-need areas: Green Dot Public Schools and the Partnership for LA Schools.
“These school systems–both union systems–serve as national models for parental involvement, effective technology in the classroom, and excellent teaching methods. These schools have been good for teachers and we welcome Marshall’s leadership in Sacramento.”
About Bhavini Bhkata
School: Bradoaks Elementary School, Monrovia Unified
Award: Golden Apple Teacher of the Year Award
Times Pink Slipped: 6 (pink slipped or displaced based on seniority)
Additional Comments: “I’ve been a public school teacher for 10 years, and have been pink-slipped for 6 of them …. being a Teacher of the Year, and having received 6 pink slips — that doesn’t make much sense to anyone. Marshall understands what makes sense for students, for teachers, and for public schools. He is one of the first people I have come across who believes that teacher quality outweighs a teacher’s seniority. He is 100% for the best outcomes for kids. He believes teachers have the largest impact on students during their school day, regardless of their home environments. He doesn’t give up because students live in a certain zip code, instead, he welcomes the opportunity to provide a supportive and rigorous learning environment while kids are in school. Marshall is behind great teachers, he is behind great principals, and he is absolutely behind the students in our state.”
About W. Kipp Morales
School: Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
Award: Teacher of the Year
Number of times pink-slipped: 1
Additional statement: “I support Marshall Tuck’s innovative initiatives that seek to move student achievement, teacher compensation, and…yes…teacher unions…out of the self-created quagmire and into a culture of success like my school has obtained.”
About Andrew Shean:
School: Abraxas High School, Poway Unified School District
Award: Two-time Teacher of the Year
Number of times pink-slipped: 2
Additional statement: “We have to change a system that forgoes merit [and the] difference a teacher makes in the lives of children [during] tough budget decisions. It is time to start questioning the status quo and putting kids first. I fully support marshall Tuck and am hopeful others will too!”
Current role: Vice Provost of Curriculum and Innovation, Ashford University