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.