August 3, 2000 - Little Support For Giving Kids More Time In Bad Schools, New Yorkers Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Increase In Immigration Is Good For The City
New York City voters give the public schools very low grades, and there is little support for increasing the amount of time children spend in these schools, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Only 14 percent of voters give the schools an A or a B, while 19 percent give schools a failing grade; 35 percent give a C grade and 24 percent give schools a D.

Only 16 percent are satisfied with schools, while 71 percent are not satisfied; 19 percent of voters say schools are getting better, while 31 percent say they are getting worse and 42 percent say they are staying the same.

Looking at schools in their own neighborhood, 38 percent of voters are satisfied, with 45 percent not satisfied.

Voters also give local schools better grades, with 33 percent giving an A or B, 25 percent giving a C , 15 percent giving a D and 12 percent giving a failing grade.

"Are New Yorkers saying they don't want more of a bad thing? They give schools very poor grades and, when offered a list of potential improvements, the lowest numbers by far favor keeping kids in school longer, by increasing the length of the school day or the school year," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"As always, New Yorkers give better grades to their local schools than to the school system in general, but we're still very short on A's and B's," Carroll added.

Rating the effectiveness of possible steps to improve the schools:
  • 82 percent say it would be "very effective" to get parents more involved;
  • 26 percent say it would be "very effective" to increase the length of the school day or school year;
  • 61 percent say it would be "very effective" to spend more money on schools;
  • 73 percent say it would be "very effective" to reduce class size;
  • 63 percent say it would be "very effective" to increase pay for successful teachers;
  • 43 percent say it would be "very effective" to increase pay for all teachers;
  • 58 percent say it would be "very effective" to require students to pass standardized tests;
  • 73 percent say it would be "very effective" to require teachers to pass competency tests.
By a 54 - 36 percent margin, New York City voters say it's a "good idea" to allow for- profit corporations to operate some of the city's worst schools.
Immigration

The increase in the number of foreign-born immigrants in New York City is a "good thing," 53 percent of New York City voters say, while 28 percent say it is a "bad thing."

But only 44 percent of voters favor conducting public school classes in a second language for students who don't speak English, while 53 percent oppose the idea.

By a 66 - 31 percent margin, New York City voters say all high school students should learn a foreign language in order to graduate.

"We're happy to welcome our new neighbors from around the world. But we're not anxious to teach foreign-born children in their native language. Even 30 percent of Hispanic voters say, `Learn English,'" Carroll said.

"We are a cosmopolitan city and two-thirds of our voters say our children all should know two languages."

From July 25 - 31, Quinnipiac University surveyed 753 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.6 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

4.What do you think is the most important problem facing New York City today?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Crime/Violence 16% 15% 16% 28% 12% 20% 20%

Drugs 3 1 4 6 3 2 4

Police (general) 5 5 5 7 7 4 6

Racial profiling 1 - 2 - 1 - 1

Police brutality/ Racism 6 2 12 1 4 7 9

Economy 1 1 - 1 1 - 1

Unemployment/Jobs 5 3 7 6 5 4 9

Taxes 1 2 - 1 2 - -

Racism/Race Relations 9 8 13 5 8 9 7

Poverty/Homelessness 4 4 4 4 4 4 5

Housing costs/ Availability 6 6 5 3 5 6 6

Overcrowding 1 1 1 - 1 1 1

Welfare 1 1 - 2 1 1 1

Class inequality 1 1 1 1 2 1 1

Immigration 1 1 - - 1 1 1

Children's issues 1 1 2 2 1 1 1

Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 1 1 2 1 1 2 -

Medicare 1 1 1 - 1 1 -

West Nile Virus 1 1 - 1 1 1 1

Education 15 19 12 12 16 14 12

Lack of quality mass transit/Public transportation 1 1 - 3 2 - 1

Traffic 1 2 - 1 2 - 1

Politicians/Government 1 1 1 - 1 1 1

Mayor 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Other 7 8 5 4 6 7 4

DK/NA 6 8 2 6 5 6 4



16. Are you generally satisfied with the quality of the public schools in New York City, or are you not satisfied?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Yes/Satisfied 16% 15% 14% 25% 14% 17% 23%

No/Not satisfied 71 66 80 66 72 70 71

DK/NA 13 19 5 9 14 13 5



17. 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?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


A 2% 2% 3% 3% 3% 2% 5%

B 12 10 14 18 11 12 17

C 35 36 33 35 37 34 33

D 24 25 24 16 25 24 22

Fail 19 16 22 22 17 20 20

DK/NA 8 11 4 6 8 8 4



18. Do you think the New York City public schools are getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Better 19% 21% 15% 20% 20% 17% 29%

Worse 31 26 42 27 27 34 32

Staying the same 42 41 40 50 44 40 38

DK/NA 8 12 4 3 9 8 1



19. How much do you think Rudolph Giuliani has done to improve the public schools in New York City - has he done a lot, some, little, or nothing at all?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


A lot 8% 10% 2% 18% 10% 7% 12%

Some 36 39 27 36 39 33 29

A little 31 27 39 27 29 32 29

Nothing at all 20 16 28 13 16 22 27

DK/NA 6 7 4 5 6 6 3



20. Are you generally satisfied with the quality of the public schools in your neighborhood, or are you not satisfied?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Yes/Satisfied 38% 41% 32% 40% 36% 40% 36%

No/Not satisfied 45 35 60 52 46 45 60

DK/NA 17 24 8 8 18 16 4



21. What grade would you give the public schools in your neighborhood - A,B,C,D, or fail?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


A 7% 9% 5% 9% 5% 9% 10%

B 26 27 21 25 25 26 27

C 25 23 28 26 28 23 23

D 15 10 20 19 15 15 16

Fail 12 8 19 14 11 13 20

DK/NA 15 22 7 7 16 14 3



22. Do you think the public schools in your neighborhood are getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Better 17% 16% 17% 24% 19% 16% 24%

Worse 16 11 24 14 14 18 21

Staying the same 52 51 53 53 53 51 51

DK/NA 15 22 7 9 14 16 5



23. Would you say that students who are undisciplined and disruptive are a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem, or not a problem at all?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very serious problem 70% 65% 74% 77% 67% 72% 72%

Smwht serious problem 22 24 20 14 23 20 22

Not too serious a problem 4 5 4 5 5 4 4

Not a problem at all 1 1 - 2 1 1 1

DK/NA 4 5 2 2 5 3 1



24. Would you say that low academic standards are a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem, or not a problem at all?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very serious problem 64% 61% 68% 64% 61% 67% 66%

Smwht serious problem 25 26 24 25 26 24 24

Not too serious a problem 5 6 3 6 6 4 6 Not a problem at all 2 3 1 3 2 2 3 DK/NA 4 4 3 2 5 3 1



25. Would you say that overcrowded classrooms are a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem, or not a problem at all?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very serious problem 73% 69% 78% 78% 69% 76% 83%

Smwht serious problem 19 21 17 14 21 18 15

Not too serious a problem 3 4 2 3 4 2 1 Not a problem at all 2 2 1 3 2 1 1 DK/NA 3 4 2 2 4 3 1



26. Would you say that school classrooms that are in poor physical condition are or not a problem at all?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very serious problem 61% 57% 68% 63% 56% 65% 65%

Smwht serious problem 26 29 21 25 30 22 26

Not too serious a problem 7 6 7 7 5 8 6 Not a problem at all 2 2 1 3 2 1 2 DK/NA 5 6 3 3 7 4 1



27. Would you say that lack of computers and technology are a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem, or not a problem at all?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very serious problem 43% 34% 59% 42% 42% 45% 56%

Smwht serious problem 32 39 24 30 33 32 24

Not too serious a problem 14 14 13 17 15 13 14 Not a problem at all 4 4 1 5 3 4 4 DK/NA 7 9 2 6 8 6 1



28. Would you say that violence and lack of school safety are a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem, or not a problem at all?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very serious problem 71% 69% 73% 73% 69% 72% 73%

Smwht serious problem 20 22 20 15 20 20 19

Not too serious a problem 5 5 4 6 5 4 5 Not a problem at all 2 2 1 5 2 1 1 DK/NA 3 3 3 1 4 2 1



29. Would you say that lack of parental involvement is a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem, or not a problem at all?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very serious problem 65% 65% 71% 64% 63% 67% 63%

Smwht serious problem 24 25 22 20 25 23 25

Not too serious a problem 5 4 4 9 5 5 6 Not a problem at all 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 DK/NA 5 4 2 5 6 4 3



30. Would you say that poor quality teachers are a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem, or not a problem at all?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very serious problem 50% 47% 57% 47% 50% 50% 56%

Smwht serious problem 33 32 29 37 32 33 29

Not too serious a problem 7 8 6 9 6 8 9 Not a problem at all 5 7 3 4 5 5 5 DK/NA 5 5 4 3 7 4 1



31. Would you say that poor school administration is a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem, or not a problem at all?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very serious problem 52% 50% 53% 52% 51% 53% 60%

Smwht serious problem 31 31 30 30 33 29 25

Not too serious a problem 8 7 9 9 6 9 10 Not a problem at all 3 3 2 6 2 4 3 DK/NA 7 9 5 3 9 6 2



32. Would getting parents more involved be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 82% 78% 87% 87% 79% 83% 85%

Smwht effective 14 18 10 8 15 13 10

Not too effective 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Not effective at all 1 1 1 2 1 1 3 DK/NA 2 2 1 1 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?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 61% 55% 68% 63% 55% 66% 71%

Smwht effective 25 29 19 27 26 24 21

Not too effective 7 8 6 6 10 5 4 Not effective at all 3 3 2 2 5 2 3 DK/NA 4 5 3 2 4 4 1



34. Would increasing the length of the school day or the length of the school term be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 26% 21% 32% 38% 26% 27% 35%

Smwht effective 32 34 30 25 33 32 29

Not too effective 21 24 18 19 22 21 20 Not effective at all 16 15 18 16 16 16 15 DK/NA 4 6 1 2 3 5 3



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?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 73% 66% 82% 75% 69% 76% 79%

Smwht effective 20 26 14 16 22 18 16

Not too effective 3 3 3 6 4 3 2 Not effective at all 2 3 1 2 2 2 2 DK/NA 2 2 - 1 2 1 -



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?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 63% 60% 66% 70% 62% 64% 71%

Smwht effective 22 22 23 20 23 22 17

Not too effective 6 7 5 3 6 6 6 Not effective at all 5 7 3 5 5 6 4 DK/NA 3 4 2 2 4 2 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?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 43% 37% 51% 47% 40% 45% 51%

Smwht effective 32 35 28 25 30 33 24

Not too effective 14 16 12 15 16 13 13 Not effective at all 9 10 7 10 12 6 11 DK/NA 3 3 2 3 2 3 1



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?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 58% 56% 57% 66% 59% 56% 59%

Smwht effective 28 30 27 19 29 26 26

Not too effective 8 8 11 10 6 10 10 Not effective at all 4 3 4 3 2 5 4 DK/NA 3 3 1 3 4 2 1



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?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 73% 73% 74% 72% 72% 74% 75%

Smwht effective 19 19 19 18 21 18 18

Not too effective 3 3 2 5 3 3 4 Not effective at all 2 2 1 2 1 2 2 DK/NA 3 2 4 3 4 2 1



40. Would creating alternative schools for students who have discipline problems be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 53% 50% 57% 58% 50% 56% 65%

Smwht effective 30 33 28 25 30 29 23

Not too effective 8 8 8 9 9 8 8 Not effective at all 5 6 5 2 6 4 4 DK/NA 3 4 1 6 5 3 1



41. Would making students take more academically challenging required courses and fewer electives be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 44% 38% 50% 52% 41% 46% 53%

Smwht effective 37 39 35 34 39 35 34

Not too effective 11 12 9 11 10 11 9 Not effective at all 4 6 1 1 4 4 2 DK/NA 5 5 5 2 6 4 2



42. Would giving teachers more authority to discipline students be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 41% 41% 40% 50% 45% 38% 42%

Smwht effective 29 33 24 27 31 28 22

Not too effective 15 14 18 12 11 18 15 Not effective at all 9 6 13 9 7 11 15 DK/NA 5 6 5 3 6 5 6



43. Would providing more after school programs for students be very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all in improving the public schools in New York City?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Very effective 67% 61% 77% 76% 62% 72% 75%

Smwht effective 23 27 16 18 26 20 16

Not too effective 6 8 3 3 7 5 6 Not effective at all 2 1 1 2 2 1 3 DK/NA 3 3 3 1 4 2 1



44. What grade would you give New York City's summer school program? A,B,C,D, or Fail?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


A 6% 2% 8% 14% 4% 7% 12%

B 15 11 17 23 14 15 25

C 27 26 29 33 28 26 26

D 14 14 16 12 15 14 5

Fail 11 11 14 9 12 11 13

DK/NA 26 35 17 9 28 25 20



45. Do you think it should be legal or illegal for parents to let their children skip summer school?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Legal 30% 30% 31% 28% 33% 29% 33%

Illegal 56 55 56 62 53 58 54

DK/NA 14 15 12 10 14 14 14



46. Do you think the Board of Education should or should not be allowed to use truancy officers to look for students who skip summer school?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Should be allowed 69% 71% 68% 77% 69% 70% 75%

Should not be allowed 23 21 25 21 25 22 20

DK/NA 7 8 7 2 6 8 5



47. Some people have suggested that New York City should contract with a private, profit-making corporation to operate some of the city's worst performing schools. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?
                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Good idea 54% 51% 57% 57% 48% 59% 60%

Bad idea 36 38 35 34 42 31 35

DK/NA 10 11 8 9 10 10 5



48. Recent Census figures indicate that the percentage of foreign born residents in New York City increased from 28 percent in 1990 to 40 percent today.

Do you think that the increase in the percentage of foreign born residents has been a good thing or a bad thing for New York City?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Good thing 53% 50% 57% 55% 59% 49% 52%

Bad thing 28 30 27 29 26 30 36

DK/NA 19 19 16 17 15 21 12



49. Do you favor or oppose having classes conducted in a foreign language as well as English for children who don't speak English?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Favor 44% 31% 55% 68% 40% 47% 56%

Oppose 53 67 40 30 56 50 42

DK/NA 3 3 5 2 4 3 3



50. Do you think that all high school students should or should not be required to learn a foreign language in order to graduate?

                                                                        Have kids
                                                                        in Public
                        Tot     Wht     Blk     Hisp    Men     Wom     School


Yes/Should require 66% 68% 64% 69% 61% 70% 68%

No/Should not require 31 29 35 28 36 27 32

DK/NA 3 3 1 3 2 3 1