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Letter: Headline on data story's too broad

Students listen to a lecture on May 1,

Students listen to a lecture on May 1, 2013. Credit: Heather Walsh

The news story "Most on school boards oppose data-share plan" [Dec. 12] cited "a survey of more than 600 school board members," when there are in fact about 5,100 board members statewide in 691 school districts and 37 BOCES districts.

I question the validity of the conclusions in this article. First, the sample is self-selected. An email was sent out by the New York State School Boards Association with a link to the poll. Those who wanted to participate did. I would imagine that, for the most part, those who participated feel passionate about this subject.

Aside from that, how do we know that all the school board members throughout New York even had an opportunity to respond? Furthermore, a self-selected sample is most likely not representative of the entire population of school board members.

In addition, the 75 percent who said they oppose the state's data-storage contract with inBloom Inc. amount to about 450 school board members, or 8.8 percent of the total statewide. I don't think that the opinion of 8.8 percent can be considered the opinion of "most." I find the headline misleading with the intent to sensationalize.

Shari Bardash-Eivers, Farmingdale