Yesterday, ConnCAN, the charter school advocacy group released the results of a “public opinion survey” that determined that Connecticut voters overwhelming support Governor Malloy’s “education reform” proposals.
The poll was done by Global Strategies Group, the company that Roy Occhiogrosso, the Governor’s former chief advisor returned to last month. According to a memo released by the Global Strategies Group, “There is broad support for continuing education reforms. Connecticut voters are overwhelmingly in favor of continuing the education reforms passed last year (73% support). Support for reform crosses party lines (79% Democrat/64% Republican) and demographic groups. Men and women (69% men/77% women), parents and non-parents (73% parents/74% non-parents), younger and older voters (75% under 55/71% 55+), and white and non-white voters (72% white/84% non-white) all support continuing reforms.”
Christine Stuart, of the CTNewsjunkie, was finally able to get a hold of the actual question Global Strategies used in the ConnCAN survey. You can read the story here: Advocates Say Survey Shows Support For Education Reforms
It turns out that the ConnCAN/Global Strategies question read:
“The education reform bill passed last year by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor takes essential steps to close Connecticut’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gap, raise standards for educators, allows immediate action to improve failing schools, increases access to high-quality public school choices, and improves how education dollars are spent. Having heard this information, do you support or oppose continuing these reforms?”
After reading the question, one wonders about the fact that only 73% of the Connecticut voters polled said they support the legislation.
Imagine, the question informs voters that the Governor’s legislation “takes essential steps to close Connecticut’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gap, raise standards for educators, allows immediate action to improve failing schools, increases access to high-quality public school choices, and improves how education dollars are spent.”
Are you telling me almost 1 in 3 voters said they support the worst-in-the-nation achievement gap, that they want to lower standards for educators, that they refuse to support actions to improve failing schools and they want to reduce access to high-quality public school choices…not to mention that they oppose improving how education dollars are spent?
Having spent a year fighting the destructive, discriminatory, corporate education reform proposals that Malloy has been pushing, I’d even be hesitant to say I “oppose” the wonderful things that this question tells us that Malloy’s bill purportedly does.
True the bill did none of the things stated, but damn they sound good!
In the end, it is a great lesson on how pollsters can use the wording of questions to “push” a particular response. Here let’s practice by coming up with another example.
Question on the 2014 gubernatorial election;
Dan Malloy ran for Governor on a platform of transparency and honesty. He said he’d only support balanced budgets, put an end to the state’s wasteful and economically destructive use of borrowing, move the state to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and that while he opposed increasing taxes, if taxes were needed, he’d ensure that everyone paid their fair share.
Once elected, Governor Malloy proposed a $1.5 billion tax increase that placed the heaviest burden on middle-income families and completely protected those making more than a million dollars a year from having to face any increase in their income tax rate. Even with this record-breaking tax increase, Governor Malloy ran major deficits in his first two years and left the state facing a $1.2 billion projected budget deficit in his third year in office. Meanwhile, instead of moving the state to GAAP accounting, Malloy proposed a 12 year phase in of GAAP and then skipped the payments that he had promised to make for the first two years of that program. Finally, Malloy proposed borrowing over $2 billion in the last two years and this year he actually proposed postponing paying off some of the state’s debts to make next year’s budget appear balanced.
Knowing these facts, do you think the state should re-elect the governor next year or is it time for someone new to lead that state?
Survey answers choices:
- Re-elect the Governor
- Time for someone new to run the state
- Don’t know/Undecided
Now would you like to take this survey – if so, then click here: