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No Presentation Without Representation

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You hit on a huge problem that I think would make a great topic for a full post. You state, "It’s very tough to assess these possibilities without a scientific survey, which is costly and difficult." You are correct--although I would argue its not prohibitively costly or difficult--and that's fine if the study's results are used for information purposes only. The real problem is when survey results that are not from high-quality studies are used as support of policy recommendations that otherwise have no empirical support. The NCTQ ratings are a prime example. NCTQ claims it cannot afford to do a good study, they can only afford to do what they did. That's fine--we have all been in that situation. But knowing that, the funder and researcher have a moral and ethical duty to caution about how the results should be used. This is a HUGE problem in today's climate, with every shoddy "study" being used to support some per-ordained policy decision. Is it any wonder we end up with poor policy decisions?

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