Megan M. Oakes, a graduate student in the UNCW Department of Public and International Affairs, and Watson College of Education professor Janna Siegel Robertson co-authored the survey, “North Carolina Public School Teachers: Reactions to Teacher Evaluations and Merit Pay.”
The obvious selection bias invalidates the results of the survey, but I do not expect WECT or other news outlets to know or acknowledge that. I do expect, however, that university faculty will adhere to minimal standards for obtaining samples for a survey. Oakes and Robertson fail to do so in spectacular fashion.
Here is the method they uses, as explained in the report:
The survey was made available online in which the data was collected anonymously and remained strictly confidential. The survey questionnaire was distributed on SelectSurvey.net and comprised of 28 questions, 2 of which being open-ended for comments on evaluation and merit pay.
During the first 10 days, approximately forty-six North Carolina official and unofficial education associations were contacted through personal emails or posted directly on their Facebook pages in hopes that they would pass along the survey to their members and colleagues (complete list available at request). Emails that were sent to the official associations included all executive directors, board members, and publicly available staff contact information on the main website. In some cases, easily accessible teacher emails were accessed in some school districts and sent invitations. Administrators in some districts were asked to disseminate the study to their teachers. Not all counties or schools were individually reached out to due to the enormous number of NC public schools.
Three professional associations promoted the survey description and link to participate on their official websites and social media pages. They included: The North Carolina Association for Educators (NCAE), the Professional Educators of North Carolina (PENC), and the NC Civic Education Consortium (NCCEC). Other associations promoted the survey explicitly on their social media pages alone, such as: the North Carolina Association of Elementary Educators (NCAEE), Public Schools First NC (PSFNC), and the NC STEM Learning Network.
I have so many questions! For example, what is an “unofficial” education association?
And I would not consider just over 2,500 schools to be an “enormous number” of schools, particularly for researchers who should have an earnest desire to acquire as much accurate information as possible. But then again, this survey has nothing to do with accurate information. It is university-sponsored propaganda.