professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Framing the questions

I was watching a "news" show this morning where reporters were commenting on results of a survey. Once again, what I really wanted was to see the actual survey questions. Here is why.

I could have a survey item that asks:

Rank order the following strategies and activities from best (1) to worst (5):

Corporal punishment
Round robin reading
Grammar instruction in isolation
Basal textbooks
Explicit phonics instruction

Can you imagine the headlines I could create from the results of this inartful question? But if you never see the question, I could write that 75% of teachers surveyed favored round robin reading (or basalt or phonics, etc.).

Some surveys from earlier this year declared most teachers approved of CCSS. When I dug into the survey itself, this statement was a tad misleading.

And so it goes.
Tags: data
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