If the Hart Research poll method is so reliable, then TEST only .09% of ALL children.

Dear Bill and Melinda,

There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the American Federation of Teachers’ Union [AFT] poll on their teacher’s approval/disapproval of Common Core State Standards.

Some teachers have been wondering aloud on Twitter:  “How many teachers were polled?”

@KatieOsgood_ asks:  “What is pt of polling when so much misinformation out there?”

@cjnkira says: “polling isn’t “critiquing” – the survey was biased garbage – bubble me this, no comments allowed”

@kteacherNYC asks:  “I still want to know if @rweingarten knowingly presented a sliding scale Q as a Y/N for her 74% stat?”

So many questions are being asked about this polling.  And of course, Diane Ravitch picked it up and informed us about some of the controversy.

Hart Research was hired by AFT to do the polling and Diane Ravitch blogged about their defense to an attack by Mercedes Scneider’s critique, “Weingarten Wants Me to Want the Common Core”.

Hart had this to say in their defense:

“A sample size of 800 teachers is appropriate and common. Schneider notes that “AFT/Hart only surveyed nine one-hundredths of a percent of the AFT membership (.09%),” and adds for emphasis: “Please don’t miss this. AFT did not survey even 10% of its membership before forming an opinion of teacher acceptance of CCSS.” In fact, a survey sample size of 800 is reasonable and quite common: for example, most national media surveys interview between 800 and 1,000 registered voters. Moreover, researchers understand that survey samples are not properly evaluated as a percentage of the underlying population. By randomly selecting respondents, a relatively small sample can provide an accurate measurement on a much larger population. If Schneider’s 10% standard were correct, pollsters would need to interview 20 million U.S. voters to conduct a single survey of registered voters. Needless to say, not many surveys would be conducted.”

1724 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009 202-234-5570http://www.hartresearch.com

Randi Weingarten repeatedly defends the polling process, including a random sampling of .09% of the whole, as reliable, best polling practices:

“Same as all other polls we have done-w/one of best pollsters in nation.” ~ @rweingarten

“It was a survey done based upon the best polling practices.” ~ @rweingarten

“- same as all of our other polls. Always been viewed as reliable measure…” ~@rweingarten

Hart defends the polling process, including a random sampling of .09% of the whole, as “reliable”.   Again, Hart states strongly:

“The survey employed a standard sampling methodology, used in countless surveys by many polling organizations. On behalf of AFT, Hart Research Associates conducted a telephone survey of 800 AFT K-12 teachers from March 27 to 30, 2013. Respondents were selected randomly from AFT membership lists. This process of random selection produces a representative sample, allowing us to generalize from the survey respondents to the larger population being sampled (in this case, all AFT teachers). There is nothing unusual or controversial about this method.”

But, these questions led us to a much different thinking.  Perhaps the Hart method is reliable.  Perhaps we can apply this method to some other controversial topics…

@thechalkface said: “I still don’t get how this survey could be used to justify anything.”

That got us thinking:  Why don’t we apply this SAME reliable random selection process to test our children.  Why don’t we, by a random selection process, test .09% of our children in public schools?  After all, isn’t this method standard and allows us to generalize from the testing respondents to the larger populations being sampled [in this case public school students]?  Is there anything unusual or controversial about this method being applied to our children and school testing?

My reply to @thechalkface:

“I think it justifies that we only need to test .09% of our kids.”

What do you think?  It’s reliable, after all.

Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates


About Highlighting Members' Needs

We are running for the following Renton Education Association positions because we believe in the following planks: Becca Ritchie, Candidate for REA President, Nelsen Middle School, Computer Tech Susan DuFresne, Candidate for Primary Executive Board, Maplewood Heights Elementary, Integrated Kindergarten ✅  Demanding a healthy work-load/life balance. ✅  Bargaining competitive professional compensation. ✅  Challenging the status quo test culture with: Less is more! ✅  Emphasizing our professional expertise. ✅  Prioritizing equity and access for all. ✅  Utilizing 2-way 21st century communication tools. ✅  Acting in solidarity with all unions. ✅  Supporting ALL members. ✅   Implementing developmentally appropriate K-3 curriculum/assessment.
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5 Responses to If the Hart Research poll method is so reliable, then TEST only .09% of ALL children.

  1. M.Schneider says:

    There is a greater problem with the AFT-reported result of 75% of AFT teachers “overwhelmingly approving” of Common Core: most teachers polled responded that they “somewhat approve,” not “strongly approve.” Hart/AFT erased this detail from their reporting:


    If teachers “overwhelmingly approve” of Common Core, then why won’t Hart/AFT publicize complete survey results?

    I’ll tell you why: They are playing the same data manipulation game the reformers play, and that is keep the public in the dark on details so that the AFT predetermined position of pro-Common Core can be promoted as “what teachers want.”

    I had a response on the Huffington Post regarding this issue from a woman, Jasmine D. Gary, telling me to not “nitpick the nonissue” of AFT deception in survey reporting:


    As it turns out, Ms. Gary is a former intern with AFT who has two years of TFA teaching experience and is now an “education specialist” in RI with Deborah Gist. (Check it out on linkedin.)

  2. M.Schneider says:

    I should have added above that I love the premise of your post.

    I’ll bet the testing companies would be fine with .09% of their anticipated profits.

  3. Mike C says:

    As a member of the AFT this survey and its reporting sickens me and only reaffirms my belief that the AFT is the slyest wolf of all in the latest education reform movement. Instead of leading the charge in stopping the absurdity of a nationalized curriculum, standardized testing, and a standardized evaluation tool, the AFT chooses to mislead its members with a bogus poll that is slanted to make the individual teacher who opposes the current reform measures feel as though they are in the minority.
    When the day comes when students, parents, and teachers pull their resources together and organize into a single voice and overturn these crippling educational policies, the AFT must be held accountable for their obvious support of policies that infringe upon the true teaching profession…

  4. Pingback: 20x the Testing with #CCSS: Are Teachers Being Told the TRUTH About Common Core? Is the #AFT Poll More “Junk Science”? Will #CCSS be the Most Devastating Ed Policy in US History? | Teachers' Letters to Bill Gates

  5. Pingback: 20x the Testing with #CCSS: Are Teachers Being Told the TRUTH About Common Core? Is the #AFT Poll More “Junk Science”? Will #CCSS be the Most Devastating Ed Policy in US History? | Teachers' Letters to Bill Gates

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