June 16, 1999 - New Yorkers Give CUNY University Passing Grade, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Biggest Problem Is Seen In Public School Failures
Despite the negative publicity surrounding the City University of New York (CUNY), 18 percent of New York City voters say it's a "very good" educational institution, while 47 percent say CUNY is "fairly good," according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today. A total of 18 percent of New Yorkers say CUNY is "fairly bad" or "very bad."

While 32 percent of New Yorkers say they or a family member are CUNY graduates, 59 percent of voters say they would recommend CUNY to a friend or relative, while 30 percent say they would not.

Asked what factor is most to blame for problems at CUNY:
  • 54 percent point to the public schools' failure to prepare students for college;
  • 22 percent point to lack of funding for CUNY;
  • 15 percent point to low standards at CUNY.
"CUNY gets mediocre grades, something like a C+, but that's a lot better than Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who both get failing grades for the way they're handling CUNY," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute.

"Most New Yorkers think the biggest problem is not with CUNY, but with the public schools. New Yorkers want CUNY to do a better job. But most of them still would recommend CUNY, and think it should get more government money."

Gov. Pataki gets a negative 18 - 45 approval rating for the way he's handling CUNY, while Mayor Giuliani gets a negative 20 - 45 percent.

By an 18 - 13 percent margin, New Yorkers have a favorable opinion of newly appointed CUNY Chairman Herman Badillo, while 14 percent have a mixed opinion and 54 percent say they don't know enough to form an opinion.

Despite dissatisfaction with public schools, Chancellor Rudolph Crew's favorability is 38 - 10 percent, with 29 percent mixed and 21 percent having no opinion.

Asked how they rate different steps to improve CUNY:
  • 65 percent say it is very important and 21 percent say it is somewhat important to increase city and state funding;
  • 68 percent say it is very important and 21 percent say it is somewhat important to improve standards at CUNY;
  • 96 percent say it is very important to improve New York City's public schools.
By a 60 - 36 percent margin, New Yorkers support open enrollment, where every high school graduate is guaranteed acceptance at a CUNY community college.

By a 71 - 24 percent margin, New Yorkers want to continue remedial programs, or high school level programs, for students unprepared for college level work, in CUNY community colleges.

By a 72 - 23 percent margin, New Yorkers say it's a good idea to raise admission standards at some of CUNY's four-year colleges.

"New Yorkers say it's important to increase funding for CUNY and they feel just as strongly that it's important to raise standards at the school," Carroll said.

"And in the closest thing to unanimous that we've ever seen in a Quinnipiac College Poll, New York City voters say, `Fix the public schools.'

"As long as we were talking education, we asked New Yorkers if they would want to take a political science course taught by Mayor Giuliani. By a 38 - 59 percent margin, they declined."

From June 8 - 14, Quinnipiac College surveyed 1,019 New York City residents who say they are registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. The Quinnipiac College Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu

2. Is your opinion of Schools Chancellor Rudolph Crew favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                          May 19
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     1999


Favorable 38% 37% 41% 37% 41%

Unfavorable 10 11 9 6 7

Mixed 29 30 30 24 24

Hvn't hrd engh 21 20 19 32 27

REFUSED(VOL) 1 2 - 1 1



5. Is your opinion of Chairman of the CUNY Board of Trustees Herman Badillo favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Favorable 18% 23% 13% 18%

Unfavorable 13 8 20 11

Mixed 14 11 17 17

Hvn't hrd engh 54 56 50 52

REFUSED(VOL) 1 1 - 1



7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mayor Giuliani is handling education?

                                                          May 19
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     1999


Approve 30% 39% 15% 27% 31%

Disapprove 59 47 78 65 59

DK/NA 11 14 8 8 11



8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mayor Giuliani is handling CUNY, the City University of New York?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Approve 20% 26% 11% 14%

Disapprove 45 28 66 58

DK/NA 35 46 23 27



9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Governor George Pataki is handling CUNY, the City University of New York?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Approve 18% 17% 16% 23%

Disapprove 45 37 53 52

DK/NA 38 47 30 25



22. Now I would like your views on the City University of New York, known as CUNY. How much have you heard or read about CUNY? A lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                                                          Feb 12
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     1998


A lot 21% 20% 22% 20% 30%

Some 27 26 26 29 28

A little 35 38 34 26 23

None at all 17 15 18 24 18

DK/NA - 1 - - 1



23. How would you rate CUNY as an educational institution? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?
                                                          Feb 12
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     1998


Very good 18% 12% 24% 25% 18%

Fairly good 47 46 50 49 47

Fairly bad 12 15 6 7 8

Very bad 6 8 5 5 3

DK/NA 17 20 15 13 24



24. Would you recommend CUNY to a relative or friend or not?

                                                          Feb 12
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     1998


Yes 59% 50% 70% 70% 56%

No 30 38 22 22 28

DK/NA 11 13 8 8 16



25. How important do you think it is that that the state and city government increase funding for CUNY? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Very important 65% 55% 78% 74%

Somewhat important 21 28 13 13

Not too important 5 7 2 5

Not important at all 4 5 3 2

DK/NA 5 6 4 7



26. How important do you think it is to raise the standards at CUNY? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Very important 68% 67% 68% 64%

Somewhat important 21 22 18 24

Not too important 4 3 5 4

Not important at all 2 2 3 2

DK/NA 6 6 5 6



27. How important do you think it is to improve New York City's public schools? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Very important 96% 95% 99% 96%

Somewhat important 3 4 1 2

Not too important - - - -

Not important at all - - - -

DK/NA - 1 - 2



28. Which do you think is most to blame for problems at CUNY:.(A) The city's public schools failing to prepare students for college, (B) Low standards at CUNY, or (C) Lack of funding for CUNY.

                                  Tot     Wht     Blk     His


A) The city's public schools failing to prepare students for college. 54% 55% 56% 53%

B) Low standards at CUNY. 15 19 7 12

C) Lack of funding for CUNY. 22 15 31 29

DK/NA 9 11 6 6



29. As you may know, every New York City high school graduate is automatically guaranteed admission to a CUNY community college. Do you favor or oppose this policy? * Question wording was "As you may know, every New York City high school graduate is automatically guaranteed admission to a CUNY community college. Do you favor or oppose this open admissions policy?"

                                                          Feb 12*
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     1998


Favor 60% 48% 78% 76% 65%

Oppose 36 50 19 20 31

DK/NA 4 3 4 4 4



30. Currently, CUNY community colleges offer remedial programs - which are high school level courses - for students unprepared to do college work. Do you think these remedial programs should be continued or eliminated?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Continued 71% 60% 83% 86%

Eliminated 24 34 14 11

DK/NA 5 6 3 2



31. There is a proposal to raise admission standards at some of CUNY's four year colleges. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Good idea 72% 81% 58% 72%

Bad idea 23 13 40 27

DK/NA 5 5 3 2



32. Would you want to take a Political Science course from Mayor Rudolph Giuliani or not?
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Yes 38% 53% 21% 24%

No 59 43 75 75

DK/NA 4 4 3 1



36. Have you or any member of your immediate family graduated from CUNY?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His


Yes 32 32 33 36

No 67 67 67 63

DK/NA 1 1 - 1