The headline on Thursday's Wheeling Intelligencer's front page story by Joselyn King tells us:
Poll: W.Va. Parents Want School Choice
The poll was done by the Koch-sponsored Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy. Its findings were released three weeks ago. (Isn't this old news?) Usually pollsters publish their results but I could not find the complete poll questions and results or how it was administered anywhere. King's article reads like a rewritten PR release.
(1) The article highlights some of the same points that were highlighted last month in a similar article in the State Journal. (By the way, the only other source to reference the poll is the Koch Brother's Heartland Institute. (So much for how other media see its "news" value.)
(2) While I could not find the actual poll, I did find a professionally-done PDF on the Cardinal site that argues for what the poll supports, "Educational Savings Accounts for West Virginia". What a surprise -- the poll supports what the organization advocates. How can this poll be considered fair and unbiased?
(3) Some of the poll questions that are mentioned in the article are leading. For instance:
Do you agree or disagree that parents should be able to choose education options in West Virginia that best meet the needs of their children?
82% said "yes" and given that wording, I'm surprised it wasn't 100%. I'd like to offer my own biased question. How's this:
Do you agree or disagree that, given the dire financial crisis that West Virginia currently faces, the state should allow educational options that further undermine public education funding?
The Cardinal poll isn't a real poll -- it's a biased one developed to support a political position.
These are points that should have been raised or at least questioned in the article. For the Intelligencer, however, rewriting old PR releases to support the paper's editorial position is a lot easier than doing actual reporting.
Note -- the article can be found on page 6 of the afternoon News-Register.