February 12, 1998 - New Yorkers Want More Class Days And School Bonuses, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Build Minor League Fields, But Not With Tax Dollars
By a 54 - 40 percent margin, New Yorkers want to extend the school year for all students from 180 to 200 days, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today. They oppose, 44 - 50 percent, the idea of year-round schools, with students getting vacations at different times.

New Yorkers also support 59 - 36 percent a plan to used private funds to pay principals and teachers bonuses when they improve student test scores.

By a 50 - 43 percent margin, New Yorkers support teacher tenure and by a 45 - 32 percent margin, they say teachers' unions play a positive role in improving City schools.

"New Yorkers support a longer school year, but they reject different schedules for different kids as a way to decrease overcrowding," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute.

"That proposal from the New York City Partnership to pay bonuses to teachers and principals who do a good job wins solid support. In general, New Yorkers feel good about their local schools and their teachers."

Looking at schools citywide, 36 percent say they are very good or fairly good, while 55 percent say they are fairly bad or very bad. Asked about schools in their own community, 56 percent ranked them very good or fairly good, while 31 percent said fairly bad or very bad.

New Yorkers like the teachers in their local schools, with 62 percent ranking them very good or fairly good and 14 percent ranking them fairly bad or very bad.

Looking at the City University of New York, 65 percent of New Yorkers say it is very good or fairly good, while 11 percent say it is fairly bad or very bad, with 24 percent undecided. Eighteen percent say it is getting better, while 19 percent say it's getting worse and 32 percent say it is unchanged.

And 56 - 28 percent, New Yorkers would recommend CUNY to a relative or friend.

They also support 65 - 31 percent CUNY's open admissions for community colleges. And by a 65 - 29 percent margin, they say CUNY should be tuition-free.

An overwhelming 93 percent of New Yorkers say CUNY students should pass an English writing test to graduate and by 77 - 21 percent, they believe students should pass an English writing test before they can attend CUNY.

"People aren't persuaded by the bad headlines about CUNY. They admire the university," Carroll said. "In fact, they'd retain open admissions and restore free tuition."

New Yorkers support 45 - 30 percent a proposal to have a Yankees Minor League team play in Staten Island. But they reject 33 - 60 percent using taxpayer funds to build a ball field for the Yankees farm team.

Support is stronger, 56 - 22 percent, for having a Mets Minor League team play in Coney Island. By a narrower, 39 - 53 percent margin, voters reject the idea of using taxpayer funds to build the Mets a ball field.

"New Yorkers would love to bring baseball back to Brooklyn. They'd support a Mets farm team in Coney Island, but they don't want to foot the bill," Carroll said.

"A Yankee farm team on Staten Island wins support, too, but it's not as solid."

From February 3 -9, Quinnipiac College surveyed 942 New York City residents who say they are registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 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.

22. How would you rate the quality of New York City's public schools? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Very good 3% 4% 3% 2% 3% 3%

Fairly good 33 30 39 41 33 32

Fairly bad 34 35 29 45 37 32

Very bad 21 19 26 13 18 24

DK/NA 9 13 3 - 9 9



23. How would you rate the quality of the public schools in your community? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Very good 11% 15% 6% 10% 11% 12%

Fairly good 45 43 48 50 42 48

Fairly bad 19 17 21 20 22 16

Very bad 12 8 19 16 12 13

DK/NA 12 17 5 4 13 12



24. How would you rate the quality of the teachers in the public schools in your community? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Very good 14% 15% 11% 20% 14% 14%

Fairly good 48 42 56 58 47 48

Fairly bad 10 9 10 14 10 10

Very bad 4 2 8 5 4 4

DK/NA 24 32 15 3 25 24



25. Generally speaking, do you believe the teachers' unions are playing a positive or a negative role in improving New York City's educational system?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Positive 45% 43% 47% 51% 48% 43%

Negative 32 32 30 32 34 31

DK/NA 23 25 23 17 18 27



26. Do you favor or oppose extending the school year for all students by a month - from 180 days to 200 days?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 
 
Favor                     54%     51%     53%     66%     58%     51%


Oppose 40 42 43 33 37 42

DK/NA 6 7 4 1 5 7



27. In order to reduce overcrowding in the New York City public schools there is a proposal to convert the public schools to a year round schedule where different students get their vacations at different times during the year. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 
   
Good idea                 44%     46%     36%     47%     43%     44%


Bad idea 50 47 58 51 50 50

DK/NA 6 8 5 2 7 6



28. Do you favor or oppose granting public school teachers tenure, that is guaranteeing teachers a job after they have worked a certain number of years?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Favor 50% 43% 65% 61% 47% 52%

Oppose 43 50 33 32 46 41

DK/NA 6 7 3 6 6 7



29. Some people say that teachers who have tenure are no longer accountable for the education that they provide. How convincing do you find this argument against tenure? Very convincing, somewhat convincing, not very convincing, or not convincing at all?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Very convincing 23% 23% 25% 19% 25% 23%

Smwht convincing 37 39 32 36 35 38

Not very convincing 18 16 21 24 17 19

Not convincing at all 17 17 18 18 20 16

DK/NA 4 4 4 2 3 5



30. Some people say that the job security that tenure provides allows public school teachers to be more independent and creative in the classroom. How convincing do you find this argument in favor of tenure? Very convincing, somewhat convincing, not very convincing, or not convincing at all?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Very convincing 15% 14% 16% 21% 14% 15%

Smwht convincing 39 34 46 43 40 39

Not very convincing 23 27 18 16 22 23

Not convincing at all 19 20 14 18 20 18

DK/NA 4 4 5 4 4 5



31. Do you favor or oppose paying performance bonuses, with money provided by private businesses, to principals and teachers who improve their student test scores?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Favor 59% 58% 58% 66% 57% 60%

Oppose 36 36 36 32 37 34

DK/NA 6 6 6 2 6 5



32. Some people say that performance bonuses would improve the quality of education by rewarding excellence. How convincing do you find this argument in favor of performance bonuses? Very convincing, somewhat convincing, not very convincing, or not convincing at all?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Very convincing 32% 31% 34% 31% 34% 31%

Smwht convincing 32 34 28 34 29 34

Not very convincing 15 15 15 18 15 16

Not convincing at all 18 17 21 18 21 16

DK/NA 3 3 3 - 2 4



33. Some people say that principals and teachers might give their students the test answers or otherwise cheat to qualify for the bonuses. How convincing do you find this argument against performance bonuses? Very convincing, somewhat convincing, not very convincing, or not convincing at all?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 


Very convincing 17% 15% 25% 15% 19% 16%

Smwht convincing 30 28 30 30 32 28

Not very convincing 26 31 16 24 24 28

Not convincing at all 22 20 26 31 20 24

DK/NA 5 6 3 - 5 5



35. 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 nothing at all?

                                                                         Aug 6
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     1997


A lot 30% 28% 33% 31% 30% 30% 31%

Some 28 31 20 30 33 25 28

A little 23 22 26 19 24 22 24

Nothing at all 18 19 22 20 13 22 16

DK/NA 1 1 - - 1 - -



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

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom 
  
Yes                       33%     34%     35%     26%     33%     33%


No 66 65 65 72 67 66

DK/NA 1 1 - 1 1 1



37. How would you rate CUNY as an educational institution? Very good, fairly good, fairly bad, or very bad?

                                                                          Aug 6
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     1997


Very good 18% 15% 24% 24% 16% 19% 20%

Fairly good 47 44 48 47 49 46 48

Fairly bad 8 11 2 7 12 5 8

Very bad 3 4 2 - 4 2 3

DK/NA 24 26 24 23 19 28 22



38. Do you think CUNY has been getting better, getting worse, or staying the same?

                                                                         Aug 6
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     1997


Getting better 18% 16% 19% 28% 19% 17% 16%

Getting worse 19 22 13 9 24 15 24

Staying the same 32 27 39 33 33 31 28

DK/NA 32 35 30 30 25 37 32



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

                                                                         Aug 6
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     1997
   
Yes                       56%     49%     67%     66%     54%     57%     55%


No 28 36 17 18 33 25 28

DK/NA 16 16 16 16 13 18 16



40. 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? (* 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 policy?")

                                                                         Aug 6*
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     1997
  
Favor                     65%     55%     86%     82%     60%     69%     70%


Oppose 31 40 13 16 37 27 25

DK/NA 4 4 2 2 3 4 4



41. As you may know, CUNY used to be tuition free? Do you think that CUNY should be tuition free now or not?

                                                                         Aug 6
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     1997
 
Yes/Tuition free          65%     55%     79%     84%     64%     66%     62%


No/Not free 29 40 17 13 31 28 32

DK/NA 5 6 4 3 5 6 6



42. Do you favor or oppose requiring CUNY students to pass an English writing test before they can graduate from CUNY?

                                                                         Aug 6
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     1997


Favor 93% 95% 89% 92% 93% 93% 92%

Oppose 6 4 11 7 6 6 6

DK/NA 1 1 - 1 1 1 2



43. Do you favor or oppose requiring students to pass an English writing test before they can attend CUNY?

                                                                         Aug 6
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     1997


Favor 77% 77% 74% 80% 75% 78% 80%

Oppose 21 20 25 17 23 19 17

DK/NA 2 3 1 3 2 3 3



44. Turning to a different topic...Would you like to see a New York Yankees minor league baseball team play in Staten Island or not?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     


Yes 45% 51% 34% 44% 52% 39%

No 30 22 44 39 27 32

DK/NA 25 27 22 17 21 28



45. Would you like to see a New York Mets minor league baseball team play in Coney Island or not?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     
 
Yes                       56%     58%     57%     54%     63%     52%


No 22 19 26 29 20 24

DK/NA 21 23 17 17 18 24



46. Do you favor or oppose the New York City government contributing funds for a new stadium in Staten Island for a New York Yankees minor league baseball team?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     


Favor 33% 36% 32% 31% 39% 29%

Oppose 60 57 61 64 56 63

DK/NA 7 8 8 5 5 9



47. Do you favor or oppose the New York City government contributing funds for a new stadium in Coney Island for a New York Mets minor league baseball team?

                          Tot     Wht     Blk     His     Men     Wom     


Favor 39% 40% 41% 34% 41% 37%

Oppose 53 52 51 60 53 53

DK/NA 8 8 8 7 5 10