I was having lunch with my Dad this afternoon and he asked me "Have you done a run down of the Board of Education candidates and their positions?" My response "Sort of."
His question made me realize that for a position that is devoid of party labels, we really should have more resources for voters to help them distinguish the candidates. Despite trying to "get French and Proudfoot to quit," former candidate David Thalheimer has done an impressive job of compiling footage from the various candidate forums for voters to review. Nonetheless, in light of his stated objectives, I think you need to be on the look out for some "creative editing" in the manner in which these candidates are presented.
For the most part, I still don't know how I'm going to vote. I agree with most of WB's picks, but I have not met Aquino (nor will I before the election) and don't know Larry Walker's positions well enough to say "why" I support him (hopefully that will change after meeting with him on Thursday). After lending all the due diligence a non-parent/non-teacher voter can give to a Board of Education race, I am far more comfortable saying who will not be receiving my vote than those who will be getting a check mark on Election Day. I also feel that the position itself is being overblown by the candidates and their supporters. At the end of the day, this Board is important, but the influence it has on our children's education, the budget that is approved, or school policy is limited. The Howard County Public School System is primarily controlled by the Superintendent and his staff. The Super serves at the direction of the Board, but I don't think the power structure is arranged so that the Board can micromanage our schools (which may be otherwise suggested by the campaign platforms of some of our candidates). The Board supervises and approves. Not necessarily implements.
I am quite certain there will be a great deal of disagreement on this one, but that's my opinion. I don't have a child in the school system and maybe that colors my view. However, I can "one-up" most of you by being a product of the Howard County school system (up to middle school) and therefore...I win or something like that.