For nearly three decades, California’s largest teachers union has all but handpicked the candidate who went on to win the race for state superintendent of public instruction.
It was pretty much a given for the candidate: Get the California Teachers Association’s campaign cash, gain the support of most other education groups in the state and win the race.
This year is different.
In a packed field of 12 candidates, three have emerged as the top contenders for the nonpartisan job. All three are Democrats, two of whom are splitting the support of the education establishment, and a third who has attracted support of non-establishment education reformers.
The three include former South Bay schools superintendent Larry Aceves; state Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles; and Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch