What's New? PDK/Gallup Survey Flubs School Choice Question Once More

For being so young, it feels like I’ve really had to repeat myself a lot lately. Not “Get off my lawn”-type of repetition, but still… it gets a little annoying sometimes. Just in the last couple weeks, the theme applies to Colorado’s need for course choice and the same old results for our state from the Parent Power Index.

Thankfully for you and me both, this one will be short, sweet, and to the point. It relates to the continued bias of an important question in the PDK/Gallup annual public education survey. A couple of years ago (when I was still 5), I pointed out how the following wording fell well short of reasonable expectations of objective answers:

Do you favor or oppose allowing students and parents to choose a private school to attend at public expense?

As the American Federation of Children responded so well a couple years ago:

This question parrots the same false narrative that opponents of educational choice have been using for 30 years. It is not the school that is funded, it is a child, who then attends a school of their parents’ choice.

This year AFC, to its credit, again took the lead with a lightning response that showed how asking the question in a more straightforward manner paints a drastically different picture.

Don’t trust them because it’s their own poll? Let’s attempt some triangulation. The new Harvard/Education Next survey comes up with a result not as overwhelmingly favorable as its AFC counterpart, but much closer than to PDK/Gallup. Bottom line: A majority of Americans continue to favor school choice.

(On a side note: Interestingly, while we can see press releases from the National Education Association and stories in the Washington Post touting the new PDK/Gallup survey results, the general public — including young blogging prodigies — as of now are unable to look at them on our own.)

After all these years, at least on some key issues, the PDK/Gallup education survey once again has proved itself worthy to be taken with a grain of salt. Guess there isn’t much reason to be surprised. Man, I sure sound old and cynical!