Just got Rahm’s nasty anti-teacher push poll

Just got the push poll from Rahm. Oh, I mean, For a Better Chicago, the secret PAC run by Gary Goldner, who owns the PR firm Resolute Solutions, which may or may do push polls.

According to Wikipedia,

A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll. Push polls may rely on innuendo or knowledge gleaned from opposition research on an opponent. They are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning.[1] The term is also sometimes used inaccurately to refer to legitimate polls which test political messages, some of which may be negative. Push polling has been condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants,[2] and is illegal in New Hampshire.[3]

Anyway, minutes after I blogged about the PR campaign Rahm is launching against the CTU, I got the call – Rahm’s nasty little poll. Here’s what they asked me:

1) What do you think is the most pressing issue facing Chicago today?

  • The city budget crisis
  • Gangs and violence
  • Improving schools
  • Waste and corruption
  • There was one other but I wasn’t fast enough to write it down.

2) What is the most pressing issue facing the Chicago Public Schools?

  • School budget
  • Length of the school day
  • Gangs and violence
  • Teacher performance
  • That was it – there were no other choices

3) How satisfied are you with your child’s school? (Scale)

4) How satisfied are you with your child’s teachers? (Scale)

5) This question began with a long statement about how short the Chicago school day is in comparison with schools in Illinois and in Houston, blah blah blah, then asked if you think your child spends enough time in school. (Choices – Yes/No/Not sure)

6) This question started with a statement about the 200+ schools in CPS that are consistently underperforming and asked who you blame the most:

  • The state of Illinois
  • The Chicago Public Schools
  • The Chicago Teachers Union
  • Parents
  • Teachers

7) This question started off with a statement about “open enrollment schools” that admit students “of all abilities” and don’t have the “limitations” of “rules and regulations” of regular schools, then asked if you would like to enroll your child in a charter school. (Choices: Yes/No/Not sure)

8) This question started off with a statement about how some schools mandate parent involvement through such programs as parent contracts (a favorite campaign idea of Rahm’s – never once did he mention LSCs which offer authentic, meaningful parent involvement and empowerment). Then they asked, would you like to see a program like that in your child’s school? (Yes/No/Not sure).


Just want people to know how Mayor Rahm responds when parents stand shoulder to shoulder with teachers.

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Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.