I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Useless, Reformy Polls

While I'm sure the corporate reformers here in Jersey will be jumping up and down, this question in the latest Qinnipiac poll is basically meaningless:

32. Governor Christie wants to limit teacher tenure. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom

Good idea            60%    79%    45%    63%    62%    59%
Bad idea             32     13     46     29     31     33
DK/NA                 8      8      9      7      7      9

                     Union  HAVE KIDS....                      Philly
                     HsHlds <18    PubSch Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore

Good idea            53%    64%    68%    47%    55%    81%    57%    66%
Bad idea             40     30     25     46     35     16     35     26
DK/NA                 7      6      7      7     10      3      9      8

If we interpret this question literally, the NJEA "wants to limit teacher tenure" as well, as they have proposed extensive reforms to the current law. Given that, I'm amazed 32% are against "limiting" tenure.

Tenure is about due process - period. Teachers can and are removed from the classroom regularly under tenure, and at rates that are comparable to other professions. But Christie and far too many in the press have convinced the public that the Tenure Boogeyman is coming to eat their school.

We've seen this far too often in polling on education issues, like vouchers: phrasing the question differently can lead to dramatically different results. The only thing polls like this tell me is that teachers and their unions have not done a very good job of explaining to the public what exactly tenure is. Of course, it's tough to cut through the scary stories the corporate reformers tell every day about the Tenure Boogeyman...

I'm gonna eat your school! Yarrggghh!

ADDING: Have I mentioned lately how much I loathe Blogger? I'll try to fix it later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your great work with data -- maybe you could take this on...

Amir Kahn of Regis Academy attacked Cherry Hill schools based on state tests scores. He seemed to claim they aren't meeting needs of African American students as well as they are meeting the needs of white students. How is Lawnside school district doing? Why didn't he attack them the way he seems to go after Cherry Hill (and sometimes Voorhees)?
What does the data show about Lawnside?

Just a thougth....