Well, the last 24 hours have been interesting. Responses to my post yesterday have ranged from thoughtful inquiry to get additional information on the issue to outright hostility that I would ask such questions.
As I discussed the issues with a number of candidates, it became clear to me that I needed to publish some ground rules of how I will operate over the next several months.
First, my overriding intent is to provide information and background on the many tough issues that candidates will face if elected. The more informed they are, the better they will be able to consider the issues and to begin developing responses and solutions. As I noted in a prior post, I am not looking for quick answers. I am far more interested in getting answers that are well considered, comprehensive and in context of the broad range of issues the candidates are facing. As such, I hope that candidates will review the background information, discuss it extensively with their campaign managers or other advisors and then formulate responses that address the issue in a comprehensive way.
Second, I do not want to overwhelm the candidates at this early stage with too many questions. As such, the series of at least nine background pieces and questions will be rolled out over time. Again, my intent is more to inform candidates and then to let them formulate their responses and present them when they are ready to do so.
Third, as I noted yesterday, most of the candidates are new to the political arena. They are impassioned about the school system and want to do the right thing. But they are also in a learning stage and need time to fully understand the many difficult issues that they will face if elected. My intent is to give them all the time they need to get up to speed and to thoughtfully consider the questions posed.
Fourth, I have told every candidate that I have had discussions with that the information that they relay to me is on background only until such time as they are ready to go public. At this stage, many of the candidates are seeking out information and I want them to feel free to openly discuss the issues and alternatives with me and others as they go through the learning process. It will be up to the candidates to publicly disclose their positions when they are ready. As they do so, I will maintain a comprehensive list of their public positions as I become aware of them.