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How are we doing with the SMOB Election?

As suggested by a random sampling of high school students collected by MoCo Student staff writers over the last two days, Rachit Agarwal of Richard Montgomery High School is ahead in this year’s race for Student Member of the Board of Education.

378 students were randomly sampled in total, with 20-30 students surveyed per school. Schools represented are Poolesville HS, Northwood HS, Wheaton HS, Richard Montgomery HS, Clarksburg HS, Blake HS, Magruder HS, Bethesda Chevy Chase HS, Walter Johnson HS, Wootton HS, Whitman HS, Einstein HS, and Blair HS.

Equal numbers of students were randomly surveyed at Richard Montgomery High School and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, the home schools of the candidates. Data suggest that Guerci has a greater home school advantage at BCC than Agarwal with his home school at RM. Schools in the Downcounty Consortium, particularly Blake and Blair, showed significant preference for Agarwal.

Because “Meet the Candidates” was filmed and released later than usual this year, many schools have yet to air the video. Yet due to the fast approaching May AP/IB exam season, the video is not being aired as frequently or consistently. Although all social studies teachers are required to show the video to their students, it is ultimately at the discretion of teachers when to devote class time for it. The video can be found at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/studentaffairs/smob/candidates_video.shtm.

Learning about each candidate is crucial to making an informed decision. The SMOB election will take place on Wednesday, April 29, and all MCPS middle and high school students are eligible to participate in the election. All students make their decisions on election day, and votes can well deviate from these poll results, especially as a vast majority of respondents said they had not seen the “Meet the Candidates” video (some respondents commented that their schools only present the video the day before or the day of the election itself). In addition, this poll lacks responses from most upcounty schools, due to time and resource constraints. Middle schools, an important voting population, were not surveyed.

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About The MoCo Student

In 2012, Student Member of the Board of Education John Mannes created a countywide press network to help build a conduit to share fresh and relevant information written by youth to the wider Montgomery County student body.

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5 Responses to How are we doing with the SMOB Election?

  1. Jacob Rains Reply

    April 26, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    This does not seem like a scientific or random poll in anyway. You failed to interview a single middle school student (they are a very large portion of the people who vote). You didn’t explain how you “randomly” polled people. You only polled students at 11/66 schools eligible to vote. And there is no margin of erorr on this poll, any good poll would have a margin of error. By publishing this inaccurate and unreliable poll you are doing a huge diservice to the 80,000 MCPS students who will vote on April 29th. Students deserve to be informed about the candidates not fed inaccurate polling that was done at the last minute to get your website more traffic and help gain momentum for Mr. Agarwal’s campaign.

    • Anonymous Reply

      April 26, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      Chill. You wanna go do a poll to represent 80,000 students from a humongous county? Please go ahead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      But if not, just appreciate the effort.

      • Jacob Rains Reply

        April 26, 2015 at 4:34 pm

        I appreciate MOCO Student’s effort, to my knowledge this is the first poll that’s ever been done for a SMOB election. I just think only polling 11 of the 66 schools eligible to vote fails to make the poll reliable. Also providing some more detail on how students were randomly selected to be polled would have been nice.

    • BJ Reply

      April 26, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Kudos to Mocostudent for covering the election. As to the baseless accusations presented by Mr. Rains, need I remind you that the editor in chief of this creditable newspaper is on Mr.Guerci’s campaign. If any favoritism would to be shown, it would be given to Eric. As for the poll, sure, it could have been more transparent, but it still shows the clear image of the opinion of some High School voters across the county.

  2. Hal Zeitlin Reply

    April 26, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    The primary conclusion of this survey, in my eyes, is that one out of every four students sampled didn’t watch meet the candidates at the time of taking the sample (slightly over). I, and I am sure other visitors of this website, are very open to hearing a counter argument to my statement. This is an awesome exercise, and I commend mocostudent.org for running a poll like this, but I feel it would be potentially irresponsible to say that this sampling has any serious statistical power to predict this election. Of course, my statistical background is only limited to an Economics undergraduate degree, so I admit that I myself may not have much legitimacy to make this statement. Again, kudos to mocostudent.org

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