Letters: Advocacy research

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Before accepting at face value a phone survey by the Utah-headquartered School Improvement Network (SIN) purporting to show majority support for the Common Core national standards by parents and educators, Deseret News readers ought look at the full picture. ("Survey shows parent, educator support of Common Core," Sept. 15.)

First, it is fair to note that the SIN is a company heavily invested in Common Core. On its website can be found numerous online products being marketed to schools for implementing the national standards. One of its Common Core teacher-training programs promises a journey from "zero to mastery in one year."

Second, SIN representatives contacted 4,180 parents, but disqualified all but 500 of them — choosing to interview only those deemed to be sufficiently aware of Common Core to have a worthy opinion. The potential for biasing the outcome via such a technique is enormous. This survey should be filed away under "advocacy research," and judged accordingly.

Robert Holland

Chicago

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