This July IF joined forces with Ballotpedia and USATalk to conduct a series of citizen discussions on the future of the Des Moines, Iowa, public schools. The aim: enhance voter understanding of school board candidates’ stands on the issues as identified by voters rather than pollsters or reporters. The sessions were intentionally kept brief to encourage participation. Despite this, citizens voiced a wide range of concerns. Based on a summary IF report on the sessions, Ballotpedia will be soliciting feedback from school board candidates in Des Moines and posting their responses on their website well in advance of the September 12 election.
IF’s report has been well received by Ballotpedia, opening the door for replication of the pilot in other cities, perhaps even nationwide.