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Local runs for state school post

Education: Former prop maker Leonard Martin seeks support of ‘regular people’

Posted: April 11, 2010 11:27 p.m.
Updated: April 12, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Local Canyon Country resident Leonard Martin is running for state superintendent of public instruction. Even though Martin has no political background, he is a concerned citizen who is driven to make a difference in California's education.

 
Canyon Country resident Leonard Martin doesn’t have nearly the political background as the others running for state superintendent of public instruction.

He’s not a senator, nor does he have extensive teaching experience.

Martin, a former prop maker for the film industry, is a concerned parent who has launched what he calls a grass-roots campaign for the June 8 primary election to save education in California.

“People talk, talk, talk,” he said. “But who’s going to do something?”

He insists that he’s serious about winning the nonpartisan position responsible for shaping public education in California, now held by Jack O’Connell. Martin even pawned electronics to scrounge up enough money for the more than $2,000 he needed in filing fees.

“I want to be something somewhere so I can help people,” Martin said.

His platform covers all aspects of education. He supports a statewide education tax on corporations and the wealthy to support education. He opposes President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan’s plan for charter schools.

When it comes to student assessment, Martin says he is against standardized testing and feels that the emphasis on testing is “turning the schools into testing centers and not education and critical thinking centers that prepare young people for the future,” according to his platform. He would rather see a bilingual education for all students that he says will better prepare them for their futures.

If elected, Martin said he would make daily visits to schools and organize a network for school districts to share information.

Martin doesn’t have any campaign volunteers and spends his time contacting schools and districts across the state in the hopes of getting their support.

He hopes to garner the support of “regular people,” the everyday working class, he said.

“The real person that’s going to be elected is sincere and cares for the people and walks with them,” he said.

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