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The Delphi Technique. What Is It?

"The goal of the Delphi technique is to lead a targeted group of people to a predetermined outcome, while giving the illusion of taking public input and under the pretext of being accountable to the public."

The Delphi Technique is a calculated method some administrators (such as school superintendents), committees (such as a school committee or school building committee), group facilitators and special interest groups (some ballot question groups and less-than-honorable architectural firms) use to achieve "consensus." Through the use of the Delphi Technique and the promotion of an "us" vs "them" mentality among the citizens of a community, dissenting voices are identifed, marginalized and discredited and the (often hidden) agendas of various groups and controlling individuals promoted.

Lynn M. Stuter's web site includes what is perhaps the finest comprehensive explanation of the Delphi Technique on the 'net: "About Consensus and Facilitation."

Since the redesigned learn-usa website's javascript and frames react incredibly badly with some browsers... here's a copy of the incredibly useful information on the site - follow the link:

Lynn Stuter / Learn USA Consensus Information

Such information should always be made available to as many people as possible!

Delphi Audio Recordings - Lights, camera, action!

sc_03_18_03_architect_selection_concerns.mp3 [3.35 MB] - If you can't prove the speaker's points are wrong or invalid, attack him personally. Also, accuse him of doing exactly what you are doing.

sc_03_18_03_public_input.mp3 [4.15 MB] - You've got to confuse the issue, make it hard for the opposing speakers to get their points across. Remember that everyone has their own equally valid opinions and suggestions (that can be disregarded).

sc_03_18_03_designer_selection_process.mp3 [442 KB] - Create your own reality. Say what you need to say to achieve your goals, other people can check the validity of your statements later. If no one questions you, you must have been right.

[According to a May 30, 2002 legal opinion from Town Counsel, Ms. Joan Langsam, requested by Dr. Harutunian on his inquiry into the procedures for Designer Selection (for the School Building Committee), Ms. Langsam clearly states that three finalists need to be selected after the ranking process occurs.

Following the 03/18/03 meeting and after futher investigation by questioning School Committee Members, the concerned resident received a call from the Superintendent confirming that, after consulting with counsel, three finalists needed to be selected and that an additional firm would be asked to participate in the re-interview process (and publicly stated this at a 3/20 School Committee Meeting).]

sc_03_14_03_classic_delphi_technique_bandwagon.mp3 [1.51 MB] - Everybody's doing it. It may not be right but everybody's doing it. You should too. Help us achieve a comfortable consensus...

sc_03_14_03_school_concerns_no_comment.mp3 [1.59 MB] - Ignore all questions that make you feel foolish or uncomfortable. Meeting adjourned.



The Delphi Technique: What Is It?

How To Disrupt The Delphi Technique, tips on how to protect yourself from those who would use the "Delphi Technique."

How To Deal With Difficult Parents describes how some administrators are trained to deal with questioning, opposing and dissenting individuals.

Dealing With Difficult People, the information referenced in "How To Deal With Difficult Parents" from the Association of California School Administrators, EDCAL - Volume 25, - April 22, 1996

Unmasking The Crime Against Parents: In many ways, the experiences described in this article about Plano, Texas parallel those encountered by parents and community members in Reading, Massachusetts. Reading school administration "mantra" says one thing but their actions reveal a different intent.

A Reference Guide For Recognizing Political / Social Control Tactics - Useful for recognizing the tactics of some school officials and school administrators.

Are You Being Delphied? - The goal of the Delphi technique is to lead a targeted group of people to a predetermined outcome, while giving the illusion of taking public input and under the pretext of being accountable to the public.