March 14, 2012 - New Yorkers Back Release Of Teacher Scores, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Eating Up 6-1 Letter Grades For Restaurants

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New York City voters approve 58 - 38 percent the release of public school teacher evaluations, with 59 - 36 percent approval among parents of public school students, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Support for releasing the teacher evaluations is 58 - 39 percent among black voters, 51 - 44 percent among white voters and 69 - 25 percent among Hispanic voters, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Voters in union households split 48 - 47 percent. Support ranges from 55 - 40 percent in Queens to 62 - 32 percent in The Bronx.

The teacher evaluations are flawed, 46 percent of New York City voters say, while 20 percent trust the results, with 34 percent undecided. Parents of public school students say 52 - 21 percent that the evaluations are flawed.

Teachers who score high on the evaluations should get higher pay, voters say 54 - 40 percent. But voters oppose 55 - 33 percent dismissing teachers who score low. There is no group in support of firing low-scoring teachers.

Voters in union households split 46 - 48 percent on rewarding high-scoring teachers and oppose 57 - 28 percent firing low-scoring teachers.

"Those teacher evaluation rankings are suspect, voters think. But, whatever their opinion of the validity of the numbers, voters would reward high scorers. Should low scorers be fired? Not so fast, New Yorkers say. A majority thinks releasing the evaluations was a good idea," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

New York City voters approve 43 - 31 percent of the job Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is doing, up from 34 - 37 percent February 8 and Walcott's highest score since his appointment.

Parents of public school students approve of Walcott 54 - 37 percent. The chancellor's approval ranges from 35 - 29 percent on Staten Island to 55 - 26 percent in The Bronx.

But voters disapprove 59 - 32 percent of the way Mayor Michael Bloomberg is handling public schools.

By a 50 - 21 percent margin, New York City voters have a favorable opinion of public school teachers. Voters are divided 44 - 43 percent on whether the teachers' union plays a positive rather than negative role in improving public schools.

And voters trust the teachers' union more than Mayor Bloomberg, 50 - 38 percent, to protect the interests of public school students. Parents of public school students trust the union more than Bloomberg 54 - 33 percent.

Voters still support 84 - 10 percent a Bloomberg initiative to base any teacher layoffs on performance rather than seniority. Even voters in union households support performance-based layoffs 74 - 16 percent. Parents of public school students support it 90 - 5 percent.

"Teachers score high; their union not so high. But New Yorkers would trust the union more than Mayor Michael Bloomberg to protect the interests of school kids," Carroll said.

Restaurant Letter Grades

By an overwhelming 82 - 14 percent, New York City voters support the use of letter grades to evaluate restaurants.

Voters say 67 - 28 percent they consider these grades when they decide where to eat.

"A lot of restaurant owners said those letter grades are unfair, but New Yorkers give the program an A," Carroll said.

From March 6 - 11, Quinnipiac University surveyed 964 New York City voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Dennis Walcott is handling his job as New York City Schools Chancellor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              43%    33%    47%    43%    46%    40%    36%    49%    49%
Disapprove           31     39     30     32     25     36     28     31     39
DK/NA                26     28     24     25     29     23     36     20     13
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Approve              55%    39%    45%    41%    35%    40%    50%    54%
Disapprove           26     32     27     38     29     40     32     37
DK/NA                19     29     29     21     35     20     17      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Dennis Walcott is handling his job as New York City Schools Chancellor?
                     Mar 14  Feb 08  Dec 14  Oct 19  Jul 27  May 11
                     2012    2012    2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              43      34      33      39      37      31
Disapprove           31      37      34      33      24      21
DK/NA                26      29      33      28      39      48
 
 
16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling the public schools?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              32%    44%    30%    33%    39%    27%    37%    24%    32%
Disapprove           59     47     61     57     52     64     50     67     63
DK/NA                 9      9      9     10     10      9     13      9      5
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Approve              30%    30%    41%    28%    32%    27%    37%    35%
Disapprove           60     59     51     64     61     66     58     63
DK/NA                10     12      8      8      7      7      5      2
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Michael Bloomberg is handling the public schools? (*Low Approve also 25% Mar 2011)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Mar 14  Feb 08  Jul 27  May 11  Mar 18  Jul 29  May 11
                     2012    2012    2011    2011    2011    2009    2011*
 
Approve              32      26      32      25      25      57      25
Disapprove           59      61      58      64      64      30      64
DK/NA                 9      13      10      11      11      13      11
 
 
17. Is your opinion of New York City's public school teachers favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about them?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Favorable            50%    46%    55%    42%    50%    49%    55%    47%    42%
Unfavorable          21     27     17     27     20     22     21     15     25
Hvn't hrd enough     24     24     23     23     24     24     19     33     24
REFUSED               5      2      4      7      6      4      4      5      8
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Favorable            42%    55%    48%    47%    60%    64%    50%    57%
Unfavorable          22     18     21     23     24     14     23     21
Hvn't hrd enough     29     20     28     26     11     17     24     18
REFUSED               6      7      3      4      5      5      3      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of New York City's public school teachers favorable, unfavorable, or haven't you heard enough about them?
                     Mar 14  Feb 08  May 11  Mar 18
                     2012    2012    2011    2011
 
Favorable            50      47      53      54
Unfavorable          21      22      18      17
Hvn't hrd enough     24      26      26      25
REFUSED               5       5       3       4
 
 
18. Generally speaking, do you believe the teachers' union is playing a positive or a negative role in improving New York City's educational system?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Positive             44%    30%    51%    38%    43%    44%    40%    47%    47%
Negative             43     57     37     51     46     41     48     38     38
DK/NA                13     12     12     11     11     15     12     15     14
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Positive             44%    47%    42%    42%    36%    54%    39%    41%
Negative             43     39     45     43     58     33     50     48
DK/NA                13     14     13     15      6     13     11     11
 
TREND: Generally speaking, do you believe the teachers' union is playing a positive or a negative role in improving New York City's educational system?
                     Mar 14  Feb 08  May 11  Mar 18  Sep 22  Feb 12
                     2012    2012    2011    2011    2005    1998
 
Positive             44      47      43      46      48      45
Negative             43      39      44      41      29      32
DK/NA                13      14      13      13      22      23
 
 
19. Who do you trust more to protect the interests of New York City public school teachers, Mayor Bloomberg or the teachers' union?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Mayor Bloomberg      23%    36%    17%    32%    28%    19%    23%    14%    31%
Teachers' union      68     52     78     57     62     74     66     80     63
DK/NA                 8     12      5     12     10      7     10      6      6
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Mayor Bloomberg      26%    18%    27%    23%    30%    17%    26%    17%
Teachers' union      69     72     65     71     57     74     64     74
DK/NA                 6     11      8      6     13     10      9      9
 
TREND: Who do you trust more to protect the interests of New York City public school teachers, Mayor Bloomberg or the teacher's union?
                     Mar 14  Feb 08
                     2012    2012
 
Mayor Bloomberg      23      18
Teachers' union      68      73
DK/NA                 8      10
 
 
20. Who do you trust more to protect the interests of New York City public school students, Mayor Bloomberg or the teachers' union?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Mayor Bloomberg      38%    51%    32%    44%    47%    30%    47%    28%    34%
Teachers' union      50     33     58     43     42     57     40     65     55
DK/NA                12     16     10     13     11     13     13      8     11
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Mayor Bloomberg      36%    31%    45%    38%    42%    26%    42%    33%
Teachers' union      58     52     44     51     44     61     47     54
DK/NA                 6     17     11     11     14     13     11     13
 
TREND: Who do you trust more to protect the interests of New York City public school students, Mayor Bloomberg or the teacher's union?
                     Mar 14  Feb 08
                     2012    2012
 
Mayor Bloomberg      38      31
Teachers' union      50      56
DK/NA                12      13
 
 
21. Some people say that public school teachers who do an outstanding job should be rewarded with additional pay, so-called merit pay. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Good idea            69%    69%    71%    68%    72%    67%    66%    74%    72%
Bad idea             26     27     25     25     24     27     30     20     22
DK/NA                 5      4      4      7      4      6      4      6      6
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Good idea            66%    72%    73%    69%    50%    57%    77%    77%
Bad idea             27     25     21     27     37     35     20     19
DK/NA                 7      2      6      4     13      7      3      4
 
TREND: Some people say that public school teachers who do an outstanding job should be rewarded with additional pay, so-called merit pay. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Mar 14  Feb 08  May 11  Mar 18
                     2012    2012    2011    2011
 
Good idea            69      71      66      63
Bad idea             26      24      31      33
DK/NA                 5       5       3       4
 
 
22. Some people have suggested that firing public school teachers should be made easier. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Good idea            59%    68%    56%    62%    61%    57%    69%    45%    54%
Bad idea             34     26     36     30     31     35     24     46     38
DK/NA                 8      6      8      8      7      8      7      9      8
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Good idea            53%    56%    65%    57%    66%    59%    56%    48%
Bad idea             38     34     26     39     29     35     40     46
DK/NA                 8     11      9      4      5      6      5      6
 
TREND: Some people have suggested that firing public school teachers should be made easier. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                     Mar 14  Feb 08  May 11  Mar 18
                     2012    2012    2011    2011
 
Good idea            59      54      59      54
Bad idea             34      38      34      40
DK/NA                 8       8       7       6
 
 
23. If public school administrators need to lay off teachers, do you think they should lay off teachers based on seniority or based on their performance?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Seniority            10%    10%    10%    11%    11%     9%    12%     8%    10%
Performance          84     78     85     83     83     85     83     88     85
DK/NA                 6     12      5      6      7      6      5      4      6
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Seniority            14%     9%     8%     8%    19%    16%     7%     5%
Performance          82     85     84     86     76     74     89     90
DK/NA                 4      6      8      6      5     10      4      5
 
TREND: If public school administrators need to lay off teachers, do you think they should lay off teachers based on seniority or based on their performance?
                     Mar 14  Feb 08  May 11  Mar 18
                     2012    2012    2011    2011
 
Seniority            10      11      13      16
Performance          84      81      82      78
DK/NA                 6       7       5       5
 
 
24. As you may know, charter schools are operated by private or non-profit organizations. The schools are paid for with public funds. Do you think there should be an expansion of charter schools in New York City or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  53%    60%    49%    57%    56%    50%    44%    56%    57%
No                   38     34     40     35     37     38     47     36     26
DK/NA                10      7     11      7      6     12      9      8     16
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Yes                  62%    50%    51%    51%    55%    44%    61%    61%
No                   29     37     36     45     40     47     33     34
DK/NA                 9     13     12      4      4      9      6      4
 
TREND: As you may know, charter schools are operated by private or non-profit organizations. The schools are paid for with public funds. Do you think there should be an expansion of charter schools in New York City or not?
                     Mar 14  Feb 08  Nov 23  Mar 24  Feb 25
                     2012    2012    2010    2009    2009
 
Yes                  53      52      59      62      67
No                   38      38      32      29      26
DK/NA                10      11      10       9       8
 
 
25. Do you approve or disapprove of releasing to the public the results of evaluations of public school teachers?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Approve              58%    73%    52%    62%    64%    53%    51%    58%    69%
Disapprove           38     27     43     32     32     42     44     39     25
DK/NA                 5      -      5      5      5      5      5      4      6
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Approve              62%    56%    58%    55%    58%    48%    60%    59%
Disapprove           32     39     37     40     35     47     36     36
DK/NA                 6      4      4      5      7      5      4      6
 
 
26. If a candidate for mayor opposes releasing teacher evaluations to the public are you more likely to vote for that candidate, less likely to vote for that candidate, or doesn't it make a difference?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
More likely          13%     5%    16%    11%    12%    14%    15%    13%    10%
Less likely          25     32     20     32     26     24     25     21     28
No difference        59     59     61     54     58     59     57     63     55
DK/NA                 4      3      4      3      3      4      2      3      7
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
More likely          16%    14%    12%    13%     6%    20%    14%    20%
Less likely          20     25     26     24     30     23     26     21
No difference        60     57     60     59     58     53     56     54
DK/NA                 5      4      2      4      6      4      4      5
 
 
27. Do you think teachers who score low on evaluations should be dismissed or don't you think so?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  33%    41%    29%    37%    37%    30%    37%    25%    34%
No                   55     50     60     47     50     58     48     64     55
DK/NA                12      8     11     16     14     12     14     11     11
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Yes                  38%    27%    34%    34%    40%    28%    34%    30%
No                   53     59     53     54     50     57     59     61
DK/NA                 9     14     13     12     11     15      7      8
 
 
28. Do you think teachers who score high on evaluations should be rewarded with additional pay or don't you think so?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Yes                  54%    55%    55%    54%    60%    49%    52%    55%    56%
No                   40     41     39     40     35     44     41     38     40
DK/NA                 6      3      6      7      5      7      7      6      4
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Yes                  54%    52%    58%    54%    47%    46%    58%    54%
No                   40     41     35     42     46     48     38     41
DK/NA                 7      7      7      4      7      6      4      5
 
 
29. Do you trust the results of the recently released teacher evaluations or do you think the teacher evaluations were flawed?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    Hsp
 
Trust results        20%    28%    19%    18%    24%    17%    19%    17%    26%
Results flawed       46     45     47     45     44     47     47     43     47
DK/NA                34     27     34     36     32     36     34     40     27
 
                                                        Union  HAVE KIDS....
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  HsHlds <18  InPubSch
 
Trust results        21%    18%    20%    23%    17%    17%    24%    21%
Results flawed       42     42     46     50     55     54     46     52
DK/NA                37     40     34     27     28     29     30     26
 
 
35. Do you approve or disapprove of New York City's system of using letter grades to measure cleanliness in restaurants?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    
                                                               
Approve              82%    79%    82%    84%    85%    79%    
Disapprove           14     18     14     14     13     16     
DK/NA                 4      3      4      3      3      5     
 
 
36. Do you consider these letter grades when you decide where to eat or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    
                                                               
Yes                  67%    59%    65%    75%    66%    69%    
No                   28     36     29     23     30     25     
DK/NA                 5      4      6      2      4      6     
 
 
 

Demographic Summary