Saturday, September 07, 2013


Howard Blume@howardblume 3 Sep

Poll gives middling marks to Calif schools, writes @larrygordonlat of PACE/USC Rossier release.

●●smf took on “middling” here:

  Barbara Jones@LADNschools 5 Sep

New poll finds people mistrust polls. I wonder if the results are skewed?

Poll finds Californians remain unhappy about public schools

By Larry Gordon, LA Times

September 2, 2013, 9:00 a.m. :: If California public schools were graded the way students are, the result would be a middling “C” grade, according to a new poll.

The PACE/USC Rossier School of Education poll found that about 45% of respondents, the largest share, said they would give California public schools a C. Fewer than 1% awarded the schools an A and about 9% judged them worthy of a B.  More than 25% went for a D and nearly 14% said a failing grade was deserved.

The “report card” was a bit better when poll participants -- 1,001 California registered voters -- were asked about their own local public schools. The largest group, with more than 37%, still gave a C but 25% went for a B and nearly 5% for an A, and only 24% combined chose a D or F.

California voters last fall approved Proposition 30, which increased state sales tax and some income taxes, with much of the money dedicated to education funding. However, more than 53% of respondents in the new poll said they saw no effect so far on public schools, while only 20% said the ballot measure helped, about 5% said it had hurt schools and 22% said they did not know.

The poll showed some improvement in opinions about public schools since last year. About 13% said they felt public schools have gotten better in the past year, about double the percentage in last year’s poll. About 48% said schools had gotten worse, down from about 57% in 2012.

Jeff Harrelson, a partner with MFour Mobile Research, a Republican-leaning firm that helped conduct the survey, said results show that voters remain upset about education despite the modest change. Across California, the survey is evidence of “a very high dissatisfaction with the state of public education,” he said.

Tulchin Research, a Democratic-leaning firm, also worked on the survey. The poll is sponsored by a partnership between the USC education school and Policy Analysis for California Education, a research center based at USC, Stanford University and the UC Berkeley.

The poll was conducted Tuesday through Friday last week and is reported to have a 3.5% margin of error.

Harrelson said respondents answered online using various devices, including laptops and smartphones. He said that the participants were chosen to reflect the state’s voters based on income, ethnicity and geography and that the online methodology did not slant results toward an upper-income viewpoint.

You’re not going to believe this poll!

By Josh Richman Political Blotter – Mercury News | Politics in the Bay Area and beyond

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 at 10:05 am ::   Prepare to get meta: A new poll shows three-quarters of Americans, across all demographic subgroups, think public opinion polls are biased.

A poll. Of people. Telling us most people don’t believe polls.

Distrust is strongest for polls conducted by candidates, political parties and automated voice recording firms, but news media polls are not widely trusted, either, according to the survey of 1,011 Americans conducted July 24 through Aug. 4 on behalf of Kantar, the research and data management division of WPP, a British multinational advertising and public relations company.

The poll, called “The Path to Public Opinion,” found that although Americans believe polls are biased, they’re not certain who they favor: A very small percentage believes they are biased toward conservatives; a slightly larger percentage believes they are biased towards liberals; and a significant majority (68 percent) just think they are biased in some way.

Also, 67 percent of Americans claim to pay little to no attention to polls when considering for what or whom to vote. Yet 59 percent of Americans say they pay attention to consumer research when considering products or services to buy.

While poll participants are harder to find, Kantar’s research shows that the identity of a poll’s sponsor is a key determinant of people’s willingness to take part. Academics and foundations have the most positive impact on willingness (41 percent say they are more likely to participate) while social media sites get only 11 percent; news organizations, at 24 percent, run about even with political parties or candidates, at 23 percent.

Surprisingly, only 11 percent of Americans say they view social media as a viable source of information about public opinion on policy and politics, and 60 percent are less likely to take a poll conducted on a social media site. Only 6 percent say they use social media to communicate about issues and causes, while 61 percent say they use it only to communicate with friends and family

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