Some D.C. public school teachers say that questions they got this week in a telephone survey sounded as if they were designed to encourage opposition to D.C. Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's big money-for-tenure proposal. But the American Federation of Teachers, which hired Peter D. Hart Research Associates, said it was merely trying to help its local affiliate, the Washington Teachers Union, get a better handle on member sentiment.
That's not how it sounded to D.C. Teacher Chic, a blog authored by a southeast Washington elementary school teacher. "I was just push polled!" she declared Tuesday, describing some questions that she found tendentious.
Push polling is a tactic usually employed by political campaigns to spread negative information about a person or an issue. More likely, the Hart survey was a "message testing" poll, which can include positive and negative information about an issue or a candidate.