Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Yorkers Speak

A Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday offered a glimpse into the minds of New Yorkers, and they seem fine with the idea of firing bad teachers to help close the state's massive budget deficit.
With the prospect of teacher layoffs now seeming inevitable in the wake of record cuts to education funding, voters are being asked to examine the old way of executing teacher layoffs. The idea of "last in, first out" is being reexamined by New Yorkers, and 85 percent would like to abandon that system in favor of deciding layoffs based on performance. Even amongst families with a union member, the idea that seniority doesn't ensure security has 75 percent support.
"By a huge majority, voters from every group oppose LIFO - last-in-first-out," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Voters, especially voters with kids in public school, want to keep the best teachers on the job, and to heck with seniority."
But while parents may like their teachers, they don't like their teachers' union, with 56 percent of public school parents having a negative view of teachers unions.
Voters also claim to be concerned with the potential that budget woes will distract from the passage of ethics reform and redistricting legislation. Yet, while voters express concern for these issues and don't want them forgotten, it would be interesting to see them prioritize and weight these issues, which would presumably show how little they actually care about things that don't impact their bank accounts.
From February 15 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,457 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

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