Different Perceptions

It was perfect timing, I suppose.  It’s the day that the Report "Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services" on cost savings ideas in Ontario.  The Huffington Post posted this article about how students see budget cuts affecting them.  It’s not directly comparable as the survey data is from the US but it is interesting to see perceptions.  The article is an interesting read – take the time – and at the end, a survey from students asked them where they thought that cost savings could be made in education. 

Their top 12 list is:  (top of the list is the first recommended for cuts…)

  1. School Newspaper or Broadcast Outlet
  2. Summer School
  3. Field Trips
  4. Security Guards
  5. Custodians
  6. Libraries
  7. Arts and Music
  8. Sports
  9. Guidance Counselors
  10. Other
  11. Administrators (like principals and assistant principals)
  12. Teachers

It’s an interesting list.  I could comment on each of the topics but will reserve one – it’s great to see that Administrators and Teachers fall below "Other".

Now, that’s the perspective from inside the school walls.  What I found interesting is that readers were invited to complete a poll and share their own ideas where money could be saved.  This time, instead of a student audience, it’s anyone with a computer, internet connection, and a mouse.  Everyone has an opinion about school because everyone has been to at least one.  The current results from the public opinion response is:

  1. Administrators
  2. School Newspaper or Broadcast Outlet
  3. Sports
  4. Field Trips
  5. Summer School
  6. Security Guards
  7. Guidance Counselors
  8. Libraries
  9. Other
  10. Teachers
  11. Custodians
  12. Arts and Music

One of the powerful things about news sources putting their content on the web is enabling the general public by letting them  have a say.  It adds so much to the power of the media when it becomes interactive instead of just one way.

In this case, we have the word from students versus everyone else.  It sure looks like principals need to hire a public relations firm to sell their worth to the world!  One can only speculate what would fall into the "Other" category.

What do you think?  Who is right in their opinions?  Students or the General Public?

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