Asking people what they think can be important. Despite attempts by every single American to hang up every single time they were called about their political preferences, Nate Silver and the polling intelligentsia were dead-on regarding the recent presidential election.
Surveys can be useful. So can beer, but I hear tell it’s sometimes used excessively, somewhat blunting its usefulness. Right now, we in APS are on a multi-day survey bender, drinking a case of Likert Scale a day on subjects as vital to education as an unpopped zit and full of acronyms that only increase their glandular meaninglessness: EPSS, PLC, etc.
I bring this up largely due to the “news” press released the other day that “89 Percent of Parents Approve of the Quality of APS Education.”
Hey, stop laughing. This data is from a survey, people, from a very official organization called “Research & Polling!” It “found” that people like us, they really like us. So shut up with your “but, what about…?” and “huh?” already.
You know those times when you have to make the dreaded call to “customer service” and spend 45 minutes on hold, and eventually, finally, talk to the “customer service representative” who asks you for your account number, even though you punched it in way back, 45 minutes ago? The one who then re-asks all the questions the robo-“customer service” asked hours ago, forcing you to feel like a total schmuck yelling things like “billing!” into the phone?
The best part about that experience is when they ask if you’d like to “take part in a short survey” after your call. I wonder who actually spends the extra time on top of the wasted 50 or so minutes to take part in those surveys? I especially wonder this as it seems the findings to those surveys always seem to tell us that “Progressive Insurance is liked by 89 percent of its customers.” Who are these people? Forget the Romney 47 percent. Who is the 89 percent?
Like *I said, surveys are stupid.
Have a good weekend, everybody…
* And I’m a trained “social scientist,” (really!) and can therefore make such claims as an “expert.” More on how “experts” are stupid in a forthcoming post.