Updated: Nov 13, 2018
In his hit piece, Bill Evers distorts, mischaracterizes, cherry-picks and takes out of context Tony Thurmond's school board record. I served with Trustee Thurmond during his entire service on the board, and, in fact, Tony was an effective Trustee in a large, low-income district that saw significant improvements during his tenure (2008-2012).
Tony specifically came to what was already a struggling district – academically, financially, and in terms of quality student facilities and school safety. As a school board member, Tony helped to lead efforts that helped the district improve in all areas:
West Contra Costa Unified School District increased academic achievement district-wide during the period of 2008-09 to 2012-13. For example: -The percentage of 10th grade students who passed the CA High School Exit Exam English section increased from 67% in 2008-09 to 73% in 2012-13. -The percentage of 10th grade students who passed the CA High School Exit Exam math section increased from 68% in 2008-09 to 72% in 2012-13. -The number of Advanced Placement exams increased by 14% (from 1491 in 2008-09 to 1708 in 2012-13). -The Advanced Placement exam passing rate increased from 31% in 2008-09 to 35% in 2012-13. The Cohort Graduation rate increased from 73% in 2009-10 to 80% in 2012-13. -The percentage of graduates completing A-G courses increased from 11% in 2008-09 to 40% in 2012-13. -Tony led an effort that reduced school suspensions by 27% in one year. -As a freshman school board member, Tony led the response effort after a WCCUSD student’s tragic sexual assault to strengthen protocols around school safety, get the victim support, and bring in experts to train educators and students on preventing sexual assault and promoting civility in schools. Tony also led safety improvement efforts to train more school resource officers that led to an overall reduction in safety incidents. --Allegations about a basketball coach’s behavior in the district are mischaracterized and distorted. The conditions of a school in the district were brought to the attention of board members by the ACLU and addressed. Tony supported a successful school bond program that helped to build or improve almost 40 schools in a low income school district.
Under Tony’s leadership, WCCUSD paid off a state loan 4 years early (see: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/West-Contra-Costa-school-district-pays-off-debt-3603036.php) and the District was able to exit state receivership and return control to the WCCUSD board, and local voters, in June 2012.
Tony created the first ever Youth Commission for the district and worked with students to improve academics, safety, the number of students enrolling in A-G requirements, food quality, and overall, led the effort to get student perspective into the decision making process for a district serving over 30,000 students.
Who is Williamson “Bill” Evers?
-Bill Evers is a research fellow at Stanford University’s conservative Hoover Institution. -Evers was a member of President Trump’s education transition team. See sources: Ballotpedia, Breitbart, Politico, EdWeek. -He was then shortlisted for Trump’s Secretary of Education. See sources: Politico, Stanford Daily. -His education stances are in-line with Trump’s. In 2017 he wrote an op-ed in the LA Times with the headline: “Trump's education cuts aren't 'devastating,' they're smart” -He wrote a post on FB indicating support of Betsy DeVos’s rollbacks on protections for sexual assault survivors: He’s a staunch opponent of the Common Core In May 2017, Evers spoke at a MAGA event in Southern California. -In 1980, he ran for Congress in the 12th as a Libertarian, and garnered 7.6% of the vote. -Bill Evers is a consistent donor to the California Republican Party.
Educators, parents, and community stand with Tony Thurmond! Please spread the word and don't let anyone believe the lies by the right -- those
who are trying to persuade voters with their horrible tactics.