A Quinnipiac University poll released today is sure to turn some heads in the education debate as it found New York State voters trust Governor Andrew Cuomo more than the teachers’ union by a 50% to 38% margin “to protect the interests of New York State public school students.” This all comes as the state is in last-minute negotiations over teacher evaluations.
“The teachers’ union is a political punching bag these days, and New York voters share that negative view,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in the press release. “Support for the union isn’t high even in union households.”
Indeed, while the poll found most New Yorkers have a positive opinion of teachers themselves, they also think by a 50% to 37% percent margin that their union plays a negative rather than a positive role in the state education system.
“New York City voters did not provide that level of trust for Mayor Michael Bloomberg when they told us they trusted the teachers’ union more than the mayor to look out for the kids,” Mr. Carroll added.
The deadline for a deal between teachers and the Cuomo administration over a new teacher evaluation system is today. Gov. Cuomo has threatened to pull funding for school districts in places where a deal can’t be reached.
While voters gave Mr. Cuomo a mediocre 45% approval rating for the way he has been handling education so far, his position goes way up when looking at Mr. Cuomo’s specific reform proposals:
- 64% support for merit pay for “outstanding” teachers
- 67% support for making it easier to fire teachers
- 87% support for basing teacher layoffs on performance rather than seniority
View the full results below: