Monthly Archives: February 2014

Seven Questions for the Candidates

Last month, TAG released its 2014 Candidate Report Card, based on a ten-question survey that six candidates responded to.

As we prepared the report card results, we realized that we needed some more information. Many candidates were “strongly in favor” of policies that we agreed with–but as governor, what would they do to make those policies a reality?

We sent out seven follow-up questions to our candidates last week, and we need your help telling the candidates that we need more details and commitments from them. It’s easy to make claims during an election. If they want our votes, we need to know how they will follow up on those promises!

You can e-mail the document of questions to the candidates, or send individual requests and questions to them via Twitter.


The questions:

1. Philadelphia schools are struggling to make up for a $304 million dollar budget gap this year, and the prognosis for next year does not look good (The Notebook). What do you think the best solution(s) are for the School District of Philadelphia’s financial problems?

2. You identified yourself as “strongly in favor” of replacing the School Reform Commission with a locally elected school board. If elected Governor, what concrete steps would you take to making this belief a reality?

3.  Groups like the Commonwealth Foundation are seeking to undo union rights in Pennsylvania, specifically by taking away their ability to collect dues directly from member paychecks. If elected, how would you respond to this kind of legislation? What concrete steps would you take to protect unions in Pennsylvania?

  4. The new state-wide system for teacher evaluation (PVAAS) bases at least 30% of a teacher’s total rating on standardized test scores (Research for Action, Post-Gazette). What effect do you think this new system will have on teaching and learning in public schools?

5. This new evaluation system does not apply to teachers in charter or independent schools. Do you support this exemption? If not, what would you do to change it?

6. Pennsylvania currently allows a “religious exemption” for state standardized testing, which many families use as a back door to opting out (Newsworks). Do you support the rights of all families to opt their children out of state standardized exams?

7. Is there anything else you would like to tell the public about your views on education?