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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

John Hanger (for Governor) is a Mench.

 I don't throw around the term mench lightly, 
especially with politicians. 



A German word which, in Yiddish, means "a good person". A mench is a particularly good person with the qualities one would hope for in a dear friend or trusted colleague; a gentleman. 

Hanger is an attorney who served as Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Read his bio here. He has some truly decent ideas:

-Ensure marriage equality for all couples. 
-Protect reproductive choice. 
-Legalize marijuana. 
-Expand Medicaid.
-Create state health care exchanges.
-Increase mental health funding. 
-Renew our investment in open space conservation, clean air, clean water, etc.
-Increase oversight of gas drilling. 
- Enact a reasonable drilling tax.
- Invest in public education, worker skills, health care, transportation, and infrastructure.
-Reject the jobs-killing Norquist Tax Pledge and raise more than $8 billion per year for key investments.
- Reverse over $1 billion in K-12 and higher education funding cuts.
-Oppose voucher programs which undercut our investment in public education.
-Hold BOTH public and charter schools accountable for performance.



Hanger is one of those rare politicians who cares enough to want to hear from and listen to everyday people, like me. 

Last fall, John Hanger met me for coffee to discuss public education in Pennsylvania. 

As an educator and public education activist, it is easy to tell when a candidate really gets it or is just spewing the jargon d'jour. Hanger gets it, and always wants to learn more.


 Hanger's points of view on some of the most pressing issues in education today:

Agrees with the Pennsylvania NAACP that the Keystone examination is a human rights violation and should NOT be a graduation requirement.

Believes that Pennsylvania is violating our state constitution, as many children are at risk of getting an inefficient education.

Wants students to get back to "real learning" and to STOP the overtesting of our children.



Recognizes that standardized testing is "literally destroying" 
teaching and learning.

Rejects the junk science teacher evaluation, known as VAM
(Value Added Measure) which is based on student test scores. 
Read more about this flawed teacher evaluation system here and here.

Supports public locally elected school boards (Believe it or
not, local control hangs in the balance of today's political climate). 

Is very opposed to the collection of data (Grades, test scores, learning 
disabilities, suspensions and other sensitive information) on 
students without parent permission. This is happening all over the 
country due to changes in FERPA laws. 
Read about it here. Some are calling it cradle to grave data collection.

Acknowledges that cyber charter schools are taking too much money from our public schools and have abysmal performance. They are the worst schools in the state.
Even the highest performing districts (every one of them) are losing local tax dollars to
cyber charters. Ask your district...

When it comes to education, Hanger may be the only candidate who gets the big picture. He read Diane Ravitch's NY Times Best Seller, Reign of Error, and even had it signed.

Read more about this report card here: http://www.tagphilly.org/reportcards/

Not all Democrats are created equal. And on education there are some who want to privatize even our best public schools.
Read up, look out for jargon and vague responses and vote in the May primary. 

The youth of Pennsylvania are counting on you.


Any candidate who wishes to be interviewed is encouraged to contact me at:
daschwartz24@comcast.net