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Did The DOE Try To Rig A Poll For Klein?

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One way to make sure your boss triumphs in an online poll is to alert the employees that they should go vote for the boss.

A reader has forwarded to me an email from City Department of Education (DOE) spokesperson Julia Levy, sent on Saturday, August 18, alerting senior DOE officials across the City about two online polls seeking to grade Chancellor Joel Klein on his performance over the first five years of his tenure. The email reads as a not-so-subtle suggestion that recipients should go vote themselves and encourage others to do the same.

The first poll was NY1's "snap poll" from Friday, August 17, a poll that asked voters to give Klein a letter grade rating on his performance. Internet voting in that poll is now closed (you can also vote through your television when the poll is first announced), but Klein eventually pulled out a victory, receiving an A-B grade from 40% of all respondents. The results of that poll are [here].

The second poll is on the United Federation of Teachers blog, EdWize, and that poll is still open. Right now, Klein is tied with 36% of respondents giving him both the highest and the lowest grade possible. That poll can be found [here].

In her email, Levy urges recipients members to pass the polls along to others, though she never implicitly tells anyone to go give Klein a high rating in either poll.

While there's nothing scientific about either poll and their results don't really matter all that much, it is interesting that the DOE would put so much effort into influencing their outcomes.

DOE spokesman Andy Jacob responds by noting that both polls are public, and that he was not sure that the email would qualify as the department going out of its way to do anything. He also noted that the UFT poll, as of right now, has seen less than 70 voters. The NY1 website does not publish voting tallies for its online polls.

The full text of the email is after the jump.

From: Levy Julia
Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2007 8:37 AM
Subject: NY1 grading the chancellor
Hi all,
NY1 is asking NYers what grade they'd give Joel for his five-year tenure as schools chancellor. If you're interested in voting, please visit http://www.ny1.com/ny1/Polls/index.jsp?pollactivequestionintid=2905[https://mail.nycboe.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.ny1.com/ny1/Polls/index.jsp?pollactivequestionintid=2905>](https://mail.nycboe.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.ny1.com/ny1/Polls/index.jsp?pollactivequestionintid=2905%3E); . (Feel free to pass this along to your teams.)
Also, you have another chance to grade the chancellor -- this time on edwize, the UFT's blog. Please visit http://www.edwize.org/ <[https://mail.nycboe.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.edwize.org/>](https://mail.nycboe.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.edwize.org/%3E); to vote. Please share this with your colleagues and friends.

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