March 1, 2001 - New Yorkers Give Schools C, D And F Grades, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Support For Term Limits Is 2 - 1
Only 2 percent of New York City voters give public schools an A, while 13 percent give schools a B, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 36 percent give schools a C, while 24 percent give a D grade and 16 percent flunk public schools.

But by a 70 - 21 percent margin, voters say it would be a "bad idea" to eliminate the Board of Education and turn control of the schools over to New York's next mayor and the City Council.

Only 14 percent of New Yorkers are satisfied with the quality of public schools city-wide, while 75 percent are not satisfied. Looking at schools in their neighborhood, 40 percent are satisfied, while 41 percent are not satisfied.

"New Yorkers aren't satisfied with public schools and don't see them getting better, but they don't want to scrap the Board of Education. Personalities aside, because New Yorkers don't know who the next mayor will be, they don't want to turn control of the schools over to the mayor and City Council," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"This follows a long-standing tradition in New York and elsewhere: Keep politicians away from the schools."

New Yorkers rated some proposals for improving schools:
  • Smaller class size - 79 percent say "very effective" and 14 percent say "somewhat effective;"
  • Requiring teachers to pass competency tests - 68 percent say "very effective" and 21 percent say "somewhat effective;"
  • Higher pay for better performing teachers - 65 percent say "very effective" and 22 percent say "somewhat effective;"
  • More money for schools - 65 percent say "very effective" and 21 percent say "somewhat effective;"
  • Requiring students to pass standardized tests before promotion - 52 percent say "very effective" and 30 percent say "somewhat effective;"
  • Weekend classes for struggling students - 50 percent say "very effective" and 31 percent say "somewhat effective;"
  • Higher pay for all teachers - 47 percent say "very effective" and 29 percent say "somewhat effective;"
  • Longer school day - 24 percent say "very effective" and 28 percent say "somewhat effective;"
  • Longer school year - 25 percent say "very effective" and 31 percent say "somewhat effective.
"Smaller class sizes, competency tests for teachers and better pay for better teachers gather the most support, while plans for longer school days and a longer school year get a mixed reaction," Carroll said. Term Limits

New Yorker back term limits 67 - 28 percent and oppose 63 - 34 percent extending term limits from eight years to 12 years.

Looking at their own City Council member, 55 percent of New Yorkers say it's a "good thing" that the Council member is forced out after two four-year terms, while 30 percent say it's a "bad thing."

From February 20 - 26, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,087 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

The Quinnipiac University 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 or call (203) 582-5201
20. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mayor Giuliani is handling education?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Approve 36% 66% 27% 44% 46% 21% 28%

Disapprove 50 18 60 43 38 70 62

DK/NA 14 16 13 13 16 10 10

21. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Harold Levy is handling his job as New York City Schools Chancellor?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Approve 51% 58% 52% 48% 56% 52% 39%

Disapprove 20 17 21 19 17 22 31

DK/NA 28 25 27 32 27 26 30

22. Are you generally satisfied with the quality of the public schools in New York City, or are you not satisfied?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Yes/Satisfied 14% 19% 13% 15% 15% 9% 15%

No/Not satisfied 75 62 78 75 70 85 79

DK/NA 11 19 9 10 15 6 5

23. Students are often given the grades A,B,C,D, and Fail to denote the quality of their work. Suppose the public schools themselves, in New York City, were graded in the same way. What grade would you give the public schools in New York City - A,B,C,D, or fail?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


A 2% 1% 2% 1% 1% 3% 3%

B 13 19 12 13 11 14 15

C 36 33 37 38 39 34 29

D 24 18 26 23 24 20 31

(F) Fail 16 16 16 16 12 23 17

DK/NA 9 13 8 9 12 5 5

24. Do you think the New York City public schools are getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Better 20% 23% 19% 20% 19% 20% 20%

Worse 32 28 34 31 29 34 41

Staying the same 40 37 40 41 41 42 36

DK/NA 8 12 7 8 11 3 3

25. How much do you think Rudolph Giuliani has done to improve the public schools in New York City - has he done a lot, some, only a little, or nothing at all?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


A lot 10% 17% 7% 12% 11% 6% 11%

Some 32 46 29 33 37 27 33

Only a little 33 18 38 34 30 38 34

Nothing at all 19 10 22 16 14 28 19

DK/NA 5 10 4 5 8 2 3

26. Are you generally satisfied with the quality of the public schools in your neighborhood, or are you not satisfied?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Yes/Satisfied 40% 51% 38% 40% 46% 29% 37%

No/Not satisfied 41 28 45 40 29 60 51

DK/NA 19 22 17 19 25 11 11

27. What grade would you give the public schools in your neighborhood - A,B,C,D, or fail?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


A 7% 11% 6% 7% 9% 5% 3%

B 29 35 27 29 33 20 31

C 26 19 29 24 22 33 28

D 13 10 14 15 10 19 16

(F) Fail 10 6 12 9 5 17 16

DK/NA 14 20 12 17 20 6 7

28. Do you think the public schools in your neighborhood are getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Better 18% 22% 16% 17% 14% 16% 25%

Worse 18 12 21 15 14 25 23

Staying the same 49 46 51 51 51 50 47

DK/NA 15 19 12 17 21 9 5

32. Would providing weekend classes for academically struggling students be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 50% 52% 50% 49% 41% 59% 59% Smwht effective 31 30 32 31 38 24 22

Not too effective 11 10 10 12 12 10 7 Not effective at all 6 5 6 5 6 5 11

DK/NA 3 3 2 3 3 2 1

33. Would spending more money on schools be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 65% 52% 71% 59% 58% 76% 71% Smwht effective 21 24 19 25 24 17 15

Not too effective 6 8 4 10 7 3 6 Not effective at all 6 13 5 6 7 4 7

DK/NA 2 3 2 2 4 1 -

34. Would increasing the length of the school day be very effective, somewhat effective,not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 24% 24% 26% 21% 19% 29% 30% Smwht effective 28 36 27 26 31 23 23

Not too effective 23 19 23 23 23 24 21 Not effective at all 23 18 22 26 22 22 25

DK/NA 3 3 3 3 5 2 1

32. Would increasing the length of the school year be very effective, somewhat effective,not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 25% 27% 26% 23% 22% 31% 25% Smwht effective 31 32 32 30 32 29 30

Not too effective 18 18 18 18 19 17 17 Not effective at all 23 18 21 27 22 22 26

DK/NA 3 5 3 3 5 2 2

35. Would reducing class sizes be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 79% 71% 81% 76% 77% 83% 78% Smwht effective 14 18 12 16 15 11 13

Not too effective 3 5 3 3 3 2 4 Not effective at all 3 4 2 5 3 2 3

DK/NA 2 2 2 1 2 2 2

36. Would increasing pay for teachers who demonstrate high performance be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 65% 64% 66% 64% 62% 71% 74% Smwht effective 22 24 22 22 25 19 17

Not too effective 5 5 5 4 6 4 2 Not effective at all 5 7 4 7 6 3 6

DK/NA 2 1 2 2 2 3 1

37. Would increasing pay for all teachers be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 47% 31% 52% 44% 41% 55% 60% Smwht effective 29 26 31 28 30 29 26

Not too effective 13 22 9 18 16 9 9 Not effective at all 9 19 6 9 10 4 5

DK/NA 2 2 2 1 2 2 -

38. Would requiring students to pass standardized tests in order to move on to the next grade be very effective, somewhat effective,not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 52% 63% 49% 55% 46% 62% 55% Smwht effective 30 28 32 28 36 23 25

Not too effective 9 5 10 8 9 8 9 Not effective at all 6 2 6 8 6 5 9

DK/NA 3 2 3 2 2 2 3

39. Would requiring teachers to pass a competency test be very effective, somewhat effective,not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Very effective 68% 78% 66% 70% 65% 71% 67% Smwht effective 21 15 23 21 25 19 18

Not too effective 5 5 5 5 5 3 7 Not effective at all 3 1 3 3 2 5 5

DK/NA 3 1 3 1 3 3 2

40. Some have suggested that the Board of Education be eliminated, with complete control of New York City schools turned over to the next Mayor and the City Council. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Good idea 21% 40% 16% 23% 24% 11% 24%

Bad idea 70 48 77 64 64 83 65

DK/NA 9 12 7 12 11 6 11

45. Generally speaking, do you favor or oppose setting limits on the number of years elected officials can hold office?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Favor 67% 72% 66% 68% 70% 65% 57%

Oppose 28 26 29 28 27 28 35

DK/NA 5 3 5 4 3 7 7

46. Currently, there is an 8 year time limit for all elected New York City officials. Do you favor or oppose extending this limit to 12 years?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Favor 34% 32% 35% 31% 35% 28% 39%

Oppose 63 62 61 68 61 69 58

DK/NA 4 6 4 1 4 3 3

47. If the New York City Council member representing your district had to leave office after 2 four year terms, do you think that would be a good thing or a bad thing?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Wht     Blk     Hisp


Good thing 55% 56% 55% 55% 52% 61% 53%

Bad thing 30 30 30 29 32 28 33

DK/NA 15 14 14 15 16 11 14