There’s a survey floating around out there from UNCW on education. Some folks can barely contain their glee at a survey that so conveniently fits the BlueprintNC/Moral Monday style narrative they and their cohorts have been touting for a while now. Local media of course endorsed it.
While NC Policy Watch’s Wagner is celebrating more BlueprintNC crippling and eviscerating, I say not so fast. This survey was already on my radar and a few other’s, who have noted some big problems with it:
— Pete Kaliner (@PeteKaliner) March 10, 2014
There was another survey the team of Imig and Smith put out. You can view it here. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see what the above mentioned tweets are talking about. The survey was all teachers and administrators.
• 700 teachers and administrators in 40 school systems in North Carolina participated in the survey. A total of 620 (88.6%) participants responded to every question on the survey. For each question reported, the number of respondents is also listed.
• 561 participants identiﬁed themselves as classroom teachers. The remaining participants identiﬁed as administrators, support personnel (i.e. counselor, social worker), or classroom assistants.
• Among all participants, 2.7% identiﬁ ed as working at the pre-K level, 37.0% elementary, 26.5% middle school, and 33.9% high school.
• 9.8% of respondents had between 1-3 years of experience, 46.6% between 4-14 years, and 43.6% more than 14 years of teaching/administrative experience.
• 187 participants indicated a willingness to participate in the follow-up interviews/focus groups related to this study.
Well, Smith and Imig couldn’t very well use that one to trot around to the media, now could they? To echo chamber-ish. Hence we get round two, which looks a lot like round one. Impressively so, in fact. Emphasis below is mine:
• 2,678 citizens from 70 school systems in North Carolina participated in the survey. A total of 2,352 (87.8%) participants responded to every question on the survey. For each question reported, the number of respondents is also listed.
• 85.1% of respondents were female and 14.9% were male.
• As far as participant age, 6.6% of respondents were between 18-29, 31.7% were 30-39, 35.3% were 40-49, 17.9% were 50-59 and 8.6% were over 60.
• In terms of income level, 14.8% of respondents had family incomes below $40,000, 40.4% had incomes between $40,000 – $80,000 and nearly 45% had incomes above $80,000.
• 62.4% of participants indicated they have been employed by a public school (currently or previously) and 37.6% indicated they have never been employed by a public school. NOTE: For most tables, we also report ﬁndings for this latter group.
• While 81% of respondents indicated they have had a child attend public schools in North Carolina, just 62% indicated they currently have a child enrolled in public schools in the state.
The methodology was, at best, unscientific. That’s being kind. Here is what the stated ‘Method’ was and again, emphasis is mine:
METHODS The purpose of this study was to gather opinion data from North Carolina citizens on recent education policies passed by the NC Legislature. This document offers ﬁndings from a quantitative survey of residents of North Carolina. Participants completed the survey online. A link to this survey was shared with multiple PTA organizations across North Carolina and it was posted on multiple websites, including personal Facebook and Twitter pages and the Charlotte Observer Facebook page. In addition, individual respondents also forwarded and/or posted the survey link. The survey was opened on January 23, 2014 and closed on February 10, 2014.
They might as well have called this ‘survey’ what it is — a push poll.
By the way, anyone notice the newest six figure salary earner at Wake County Schools?
— LL1885 – A.P. Dillon (@LadyLiberty1885) March 11, 2014
Thank you to Dr. Stoops of John Locke Foundation for linking.
Thank you to Carolina Plott Hound for linking!
Also, check out this breakdown of the first survey:
— Clark Riemer (@clarkriemer) March 12, 2014