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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

School district phone survey

Clarkston Community Schools had a phone opinion survey in early/mid February.  The survey was being run by Linda Zara (Jaboro), Anita Banach's former secretary, who is now apparently a "Communications & Marketing Assistant" (assistant to ?? since there is no longer a "Communications & Marketing Director") and she is not a secretary to anyone.  Anita Banach has a different secretary since becoming the human resources director.

Linda advised the survey volunteers that the district paid an outside firm to develop the random list of CCS area phone numbers.  It would be very interesting to see the phone #s of their survey respondents and the full 400 phone number list to analyze it for just how representative the list really was.

There was one adult volunteer on the first night and four or five on the third night.  The vast majority of the callers both nights were CHS Honor Society members earning credits of some sort for volunteering.  Linda Zara was making some calls on Monday, but monitoring the volunteers' calls on Wednesday.  There were many "no answer" calls (called between 6 PM and 8:30 PM).  The volunteers were told if there was no answer to not leave a message and not to call the numbers back later.   Two numbers on one call sheet alone belonged to people who lived in the Brandon Schools area!  The adult volunteer I spoke to had connected with (talked to, not necessarily completed surveys for) people who were either brand new to the district; had distant CCS contact/connections; were former teachers; or were very highly educated people (not much else - a strange finding in this community).   Many of the new residents, former teachers, and "distant school contact people" opted not to take the survey because they did not feel they had enough information to answer a current school survey.  That left only the very highly educated people who chose to answer the survey questions...  

There is no way the results of the survey can be used to interpret any community opinion, although I know that Dr Rock will try to use it to justify a new bond fund and/or a sinking fund (you would have to see the questions to understand why I say that). 

The survey verbiage was deliberately worded to prevent any "no" answers to "pet" questions.  There was no option to say, "yes, but only if...", or "depending on the amount...", or "depending on what they want to do..." , or "depending on  how the district handles this...", etc.  In my opinion, the survey questions were tilted to ensure the respondent answered positively to the choice the district wanted to record and as such the survey did not have integrity.

There were no questions on the survey in relation to opinions on School of Choice or changes in the teacher developmental days.  THOSE questions would have been more appropriate for the survey than the questions that WERE asked...  

Any attempt to utilize the opinion survey results to justify any cause of action would be indefensible.

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