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Why #iVoted for Marshall Tuck

For the longest while I had no clue an elected position existed whose job was to oversee public education, let alone be able to articulate their name.  That was 2011.  A short three years later, this blog has covered the saga that surrounds Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) as we went into state receivership.  This position is one of the most important positions in our state and until this election, was under our radar.  Many of the candidates I voted for didn’t win, yet I feel compelled to explain why I believe Marshall Tuck is a better choice and why I hope he runs again.

Regular readers are aware that I attended schools within IUSD.  My primary school (K-3) principal, Mrs. Nancy Ichinaga and 9th grade principal, Dr. Larry Freeman, were instrumental in the creation and development of Green Dot charter schools.  Children identified as “smart” in IUSD were placed in the G.A.T.E. program which was a more accelerated teaching level.  The program is available through 6th grade.  AP classes begin in high school.  So what happens during 7th and 8th grade?  Not much.

If you were lucky enough to attend either La Tijera or Parent, and were still on your G.A.T.E. path, you either connected with A Better Chance or the nearest parochial school and you hightailed it out of IUSD as fast as you could for high school. Others were stuck.  That crucial period of continuing a child’s interest in learning diminishes when they aren’t continuously challenged and allowed the option to develop at a faster pace than their counterparts.  Us parents who lived through that in the 80’s thought these problems would be addressed some 30 years later.  Nope.  Well kind of.

Monroe Middle School became Monroe Magnet Middle School and was designed to bridge the gap between G.A.T.E. and AP. The school has an awesome principal and staff but you wouldn’t know it because the school is barely publicized.  We know the area where the school is located can be dangerous but parents were reassured the school was safe and this was a new Monroe.  Taking into consideration crime is down in Inglewood, we don’t appreciate IUSD administrators removing the campus security.

Nancy Ichinaga and Dr. Freeman were first hand witnesses to the demise of the education of Inglewood children and they did something about it.  They helped create an alternative to ensure children had the option to attend a better school without the cost of tuition.   When your school is bringing in, and having to account for, millions of dollars, you need someone who has the experience to do so.

Many of my fellow classmates children don’t attend IUSD schools for they feel they are no better than when we went there.  Sadly,  they are correct.  My disgust started during my sons 6th grade year when his teacher called out sick 90% of the year but had the audacity to show up for community, FCMAT and union meetings.

I was ready for something different and unfortunately Californians want the same.

I left IUSD after 9th grade for parochial school.  Dr. Freeman recently passed away after a long teaching career that spanned Compton and Inglewood Unified School Districts.  Nancy Ichinaga would be appointed to the CA State Board of Education by former Governor Gray Davis.

This decision was personal, not political.



About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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