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    Deborah exchanges views with a different colleague, each for a month or two.  Her current correspondent is Harry Boyte, a Minnesotan (although his roots are southern). He has always been a friend and mentor, even though we come to stuff in different ways and even disagree on and off. He is a professor and an activist, a theorist and a practitioner, with a focus on democracy—beginning a long time ago when he worked with Martin Luther King. He has written or edited ten books on the topic and founded a Center on
    democracy which is now at St Augsberg College, but formerly at the University of Minnesota.  

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    October 5–7, 2017 National Conference Progressive Education Network: Boston, MA

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Polls vs Polls vs Reality

The nice news in the Phi Delt Kappan poll on education is that after an unprecedented onslaught from the media, columnists (see Friedman’s column in today’s NYT) movies, TV shows and on and on–going back a decade or more, about half those polled are with us and half against us–or in-between. But more important is realizing how critical wording is. Had the public been asked “should schools owned by private groups, religious organization or corporations be funded by public monies?” what would the polls demonstrate? Or if we added “operated for profit” somewhere in there?

I was reminded of how deceptive polls can be by looking more closely at a headline in today’s NY Times; “Bicycle Lanes Draw Wide Support Among City Residents , Survey Says.” Read further and it turns out that between 31-47% of the respondents acknowledged that they know “nothing at all” about bike lanes! http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/08/21/nyregion/new-yorkers-views-of-bike-lanes.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha29_20120822


2 Responses

  1. I wish someone asked me about the bike lanes. I would have set their ears on fire. Polls are a sham and everyone knows it, but because the media keeps reporting them we have become ‘addicted” to reading and believing them.

  2. Often it isn’t the poll itself that is inaccurate, but the way it is reported, and especially the headlines!

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