Peek at Probolsky Research survey of Mission Viejo school district

Topic. Mission Viejo city Council Agenda Item #25. Probolsky Research survey asking voters if we should create our own Mission Viejo school district.

After listening to pollster Adam Probolsky share his survey results at the Oct 19th Mission Viejo city council meeting RW&G  attorney Bill Curley responded to a valid question presented by council member Cathy Schlicht. She questioned his selection of Probolsky Research to survey our residents regarding the question of creating a single school district in that the city has been using True North, a known entity, who has conducted several recent surveys for our city for which they were  commended..

  Attorney Curley responded acknowledging that there are several professional survey polling firms that do this day in and day out. Bill added that “I’ve found it’s good practice to use a multiplicity of professionals…you don’t want to get bound to someone who says..than there’s the criticism that the fix is in…or you know how to mandate what they do. I went to a highly respected professional who would know this community.”
Mind you True North knows this community. Last year they conducted a $22,725 Community Opinion Survey that surely could have included questions about our schools if the city council broadened that effort. All but Council Member Schlicht were in office at that time. This is nothing but a knee jerk reaction to a school closure.
True North also conducted another opinion survey for Mission Viejo four months ago.

As you read the emails from Probolsky Research notice the comment where Adam states “we found some number errors, all in our favor, none called out in the city or other blogs.” Note: The council did not receive this input prior to the meeting.
Oct 19, 2009 3:18 p.m. “Bill, [Mission Viejo city attorney Bill Curley]

 Here is the updated DRAFT report (see changes noted below)…we found some number errors, all in our favor, none called out in the city or other blogs.


Oct 19, 2009 3:40 p.m. Email from Adam:
“Please update the link online for this report ASAP…we updated it today. Note that it is still draft and will be finalized AFTER the council meeting. Thanks. ap”

Read the following email from the city clerk to the council after the council meeting and AFTER Adam Probolsky’s single school district survey results were discussed. Note: This additional data added over 150 additional pages for the council to digest.

 Oct 19, 2009 10:33 p.m   “This afternoon we received an updated copy of the draft survey results which Adam Probolsky referred to during his presentation this evening.  That updated PDF is posted on-line with the Agenda materials and I am transmitting a copy of the same here. Karen”

Professional survey with results all in our favor? Adam, was your Contract directions from our city to sway the people whom you contacted? Anyone can watch and listen to Adam on your computers 24/7 and decide for yourself if his survey was not slanted to achieve a designed outcome.
Another point to consider is that Adam’s  firm contacted 325 voters yet two-thirds of them admit not having any children” who currently attend K-12 schools.”

So how are the 2/3rds without children in our K-12 schools in a position to honestly and accurately respond to questions #5 through #10 which ask if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of:
SVUSD, CUSD, Orange County Board of Education, SVUSD Superintendent Dr. Steven Fish, Capistrano Education Association or the Saddleback Valley Educators Association.
Hello. My sense is that 99% of our residents have never met or heard the name Steven Fish.

Question #12 “Thinking about the job that the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Education is doing, would you say they are doing an excellent, good, fair or poor job?”

Question #13. Same question using the Saddleback Valley Unified School District Board of Education.
Same argument applies. How can these voters know of the performance of these two voter elected boards if the Mission Viejo voters do not have children in the corresponding programs?

What caught my attention, and led to my decision to write this post, is the attorney’s point about multi-sourcing. Stay tuned. I have another interesting post in the pipeline.

About Larry Gilbert