District Chief Poll is Not “Nationally Representative Sample”

The Gallup/Education Week poll released yesterday that surveyed district superintendents’ thoughts on the Common Core State Standards I’m sure will be used by Common Core advocates in their promotional materials.

The most important thing to note is this statement below:

Roughly 1,800 superintendents took the online survey, which was administered in May and looked at a range of issues in K-12 public schooling, including school budgets, evaluating teachers, workforce development, and technology. The survey, however, was not a nationally representative sample. (emphasis mine)

If it is not nationally representative sample then it is a flawed one.  Also the sample size of 1800 I find strange as well.

Those two things alone indicate that we shouldn’t take this poll too seriously.

One thing you will not see highlighted in this poll is that nearly 3 out of 10 district superintendents find that the standards either will have no effect or decrease the quality of education.  While that certainly is not an overwhelming number it does indicate that there is not major consensus among district superintendents.  To hear Common Core advocates talk you would think there was close to 100% agreement among district superintendents.