- Former Green Dot Public Schools President Marshall Tuck is presenting a serious challenge for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, currently leading the polls by 3%.
- Tuck has the backing of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and reform advocates like Eli Broad, whose Broad Foundation is one of the top funders of such efforts.
- He also expressed support for the controversial decision in Vergara v. California, which overturned the state's teacher job protection laws on the grounds that they create a disadvantage for poor and minority students and provided a major setback for teacher unions.
Though both Tuck and the incumbent Torlakson are Democrats, Vergara highlights their differences, as Torlakson is opposed to the court's decision and is standing behind an appeal by the state. That case will likely have implications for the country as a whole, and criticism of Tuck by Torlakson campaign manager Paul Hefner also echoes critiques of education reformers nationwide — that Tuck places the burdern of the problems faced by U.S. schools on the backs of teachers.
With both men essentially in a dead heat and having raised the same amount of campaign funding, this will likely be the education race to watch in November.