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The Incredibly Biased Common Core Survey

Last week someone alerted me to a survey on Common Core that was posted on UtahPolicy.com. It appeared to be sponsored by KSL and the post author was Bryan Schott. The survey was incredibly biased as you can see below. In addition, I received an email that had been forwarded out by Diana Suddreth at the Utah State Office of Education where she instructed staff to:

Please distribute this very important survey to interested stakeholders.  We won’t talk about the statistical implications of a survey dependent on people logging in to take it…unless we have to.

How embarrassing is that? Naturally, if the survey went their way, they would claim it as accurate. If it didn’t, they would talk about how it’s a not a valid representation of opinions. Fortunately for them, they got one of their own to write the survey to make sure it came out just like they wanted.

Here is how the survey was posted when people were taking it, and how it NOW appears on the UtahPolicy results page (click to see all results and leave a comment). This is a textbook example of how to intentionally deceive the public and the creator of the survey and the people that posted it should be ashamed of themselves.

When asked As now presented after tallying
An emerging debate in public education is Common Core standards.1. In your opinion, which side is right?
Supporters who say these voluntary standards were developed collaboratively by leaders in many states, not by the federal government, to establish more rigorous achievement goals that will prepare students to compete in a global economy. No change
Opponents, especially arch-conservatives, who fear Common Core standards will compromise Utah values, threaten local control of education, and impose one-size-fits-all requirements. Opponents who fear Common Core standards will compromise Utah values, threaten local control of education, and impose one-size-fits-all requirements.

Note the bolded text. The first phrase “especially arch-conservatives” doesn’t even appear in the question any more but was there for all the vote taking. Other words denote very negative feelings and the entire answer is colored in such a way as to create a negative impression. Further, it seeks to isolate Democrats who might oppose Common Core because they value local control and more freedom for teachers and students. What Democrats would want to associate themselves with “arch-conservatives?” The results bear this out as 0% of Democratic Insiders voted for the opponents of Common Core. The survey did it’s intended job.

The writer then published 39 comments, 17 in the section following this question. Only 3 on the entire page seemed clearly against common core. I personally received several emails from people who left negative comments and none of those were published. Any respectable publication would never have engaged in this type of childish politicking. For a major news organization (KSL) and a website (UtahPolicy) that claims their mission is to “help leaders in the Utah Public Policy Industry obtain those skills and insights, save time and perform their jobs better,” I give them both an “F” on this humiliating effort.

When they decide to actually do an objective job of researching and reporting, it would be interesting to see how public opinion actually sways since most of the public doesn’t even know what Common Core is. We’re still waiting for the USOE to respond to the direct rebuttal of their “fact” flier. We sent it to them, the state school board, legislators, and the media. They weren’t happy about it, which might be why they wanted to put this survey out.

 

9 Responses to The Incredibly Biased Common Core Survey

  • Mark Ellis says:

    Surveys are attempts to use a scientific or statistical method of gaining public opinion. The survey was so obviously biased that it makes me wonder what other sorts of biases will be inherent with Common Core. The survey and the inability to publish all the data speak for themselves.

  • The proponents of Common Core seem to be strangers to referenced, substantiated, verifiable research and never present the whole truth to the public. It is so curious.

  • Carol G says:

    I thought that the wording on the survey was odd. I wondered if there was some pressure from Common Core advocates to show those opposed as “weirdos”.

  • Shawn says:

    How about putting together an unbiased survey and seeing what the real results would be…never mind, that might inform someone.

  • Laura Dawson says:

    I took the survey. I did not check to see if they used my comments, but I assure you they were not supportive. I am very firm in the local control camp.

  • Chelsea Woodruff says:

    I am not only disgusted by this survey, but by the administration of it. I responded and wrote very detailed explanations in each of the boxes BEFORE the survey was closed. It is clear by mine and others comments that those who wrote a very logical and not “arch-conservative” response against Common Core had their responses deleted and were not even tallied into the results of the survey. Here is why I am against Common Core (hint: it has nothing to do with State’s Rights, Local Control, or Federal Mandates)

    1. These standards have not been proven to improve the learning abilities of minorities or children with disabilities – which is one of the biggest reasons that Utah lags so far behind in Education. Methods such as SIOP (Structured Immersion Observation Protocol) and Tiered individualized instruction HAVE been proven to improve the comprehension AND performance levels of both minorities and white children. Children with Autism and other learning disabilities ALSO perform better with such methods. Standards ARE NOT the ONLY issue at stake here. Common Core completely ignores this MAJOR ISSUE and hence will just be another NCLB.

    2. Common Core’s Standards have neither been fully developed, nor tested for validity. From what I have personally read of the new standards being developed, I fear that our students will be less capable, not more, in Math and Science, as the standards AS THEY ARE BEING WRITTEN seem to trend toward less critical thinking and more automated response.

    3. Common Core’s development is taking place in the political realm, rather than the educational realm. Teachers, parents, and students are not being consulted for feedback on a regular basis before the standards are set. I am always concerned when a group of politicians decide they know how to educate our children better than the ones actually doing the educating. I would venture to say that the majority of politicians HAVE NEVER TAUGHT a class. Education needs to be based in reality, not some political utopia that does not exist. I cannot believe that the majority of parents want our public education system to be a political indoctrination tool, but that is how it is being used.

    Chelsea Woodruff

    Candidate Utah State Senate District 1

    Read more: Utah Policy – Politics, Communication & Government Relations

  • Rick says:

    KSL long ago gave up being a legitimate news organization. They had so much conservative feedback on their comments section that they now have a censor who prevents most conservative comments from being posted. If you want to post something against Hatch, for example, you have to be very careful so that the censor does not think it is too negative. And watch them try to report anything to do with numbers. Talkabout Investigations Math. Millions, billions, trillions, they are all interchangeable to a journalist at KSL.

  • For what it’s worth, there are a lot of political and educational progressives who deeply dislike the Common Core and are vocally opposed to it. This is a much more complex battle than can readily be analyzed through simple party or “political philosophical” lines, folks. Suggesting that defenders of CCSS are progressives is naive and quite wrong-headed. The main forces behind CCSS are motivated by one thing: M-O-N-E-Y, and last I checked, no party or philosophy has the market cornered on greed.

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