Monday, January 11, 2016

The real significance of the poll

A poll was released by the Bay Area Council showing strong support of Californians for funding higher ed and possibly a ballot initiative to do so.* When you read the poll question, it is clearly a push-poll, i.e., designed to suggest both a problem and a solution:

"To guarantee admission for qualified California students, place strict limits on tuition increases, continue tuition-free education for low-income students, and increase access to courses needed to graduate at University of California and California State Universities, should the state constitution be amended to establish a minimum level of state funding with accountability and oversight?"

It would be hard to imagine NOT getting endorsement of what is being suggested. But does that inevitable outcome mean that the poll has no significance? It does have significance in that the poll was paid for and supported by the Bay Area Council, a Bay Area business group with a lot of high-tech representation. In short, influential folks in a high profile sector are uneasy about how the state is managing its higher ed institutions and think that something better could be done.

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