Category Archives: Public Opinion Surveys

A Bad Poll, Like a Blind Hog, Finds Some Acorns

By Steve Haner

The myth of the climate catastrophe is an easier sell to younger people with their shorter memories. A recent poll of Virginia adults 18 and up showed a marked difference of opinion based on age, with older voters less likely to claim they had personal experience of “impacts from climate change.”

The poll was a recent one conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Wilder School of Government and Public Policy, released in two parts. The first part dealt with election matchups and the second with issues, frankly using some ridiculous questions. They were not so much biased as just worthless. Other examples will follow but here is the climate issue question: Continue reading

Colleges Falsely Claim Juneteenth Was ‘The Day Slavery Ended in the U.S.’

by Hans Bader

Many colleges and progressives are claiming that Juneteenth — June 19, 1865 — was “the day slavery ended” in the U.S. But slavery actually remained legal in Kentucky and Delaware until December 6, 1865, the day the Thirteenth Amendment’s ban on slavery went into effect.

Yale University has a web site titled, “Juneteenth: Remembering the day slavery ended in the U.S.” Similarly, Bill Nye, the self-proclaimed “science guy,” claimed that “the last” slaves “were not freed (officially) until June 19, 1865.”

These claims are not true. As the London Daily Mail notes, the last slaves were not legally freed until six months later, when “the 13th Amendment fully prohibited the owning of slaves, spurring states such as Kentucky and Delaware – where it had still been legal – to cease the practice.” Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation only declared slaves free if they were held in areas that had been controlled by Confederate rebels, not in slave states that remained loyal to the union, such as Delaware and Kentucky.
Continue reading

Be Careful with Survey Results, Especially About Education

Credit: iStock

by James C. Sherlock

I am a prolific reader and analyst of statistics about education. I find it constantly necessary to sort the wheat from the chaff. Chaff is the term I have chosen for this article, not the one I use in private.

The results of the latest Education Next Survey of Public Opinion (2022 poll) will appear endlessly in the press. EdNext has even graciously provided headline-ready assessments based on those results.

  • Partisan Rifts Widen, Perceptions of School Quality Decline
  • “Parental Anxieties over Student Learning Dissipate as Schools Relax Anti-Covid Measures”
  • “Hunger for Stability Quells Appetite for Change: Results of the 2021 Education Next Survey of Public Opinion”
  • “Parent Poll Reveals Support for School Covid-Safety Measures Despite Vaccine Hesitancy, Partisan Polarization”

Read the “Methodological notes” under “Notes” on the survey. Please also note that the links within those notes are both broken.

The parent sample includes oversamples of parents with at least one child in a charter school (305 respondents), parents with at least one child in a private school (310 respondents), Black parents (283 respondents), and Hispanic parents (429 respondents). The completion rate for this survey is 50%.” [Emphasis added.]

The judgments made from those data are breathtaking.

But are they justified by the data? Continue reading