A majority of New York City voters may want to put Mayor Michael Bloomberg on academic probation. While 34% approve of his handling of the city’s public schools, 56% disapprove. 10% are unsure. This is Bloomberg’s lowest approval rating on this issue since March of 2011 when 27% approved of how he was addressing the issue.
When NY1-Marist last reported this question in September, 41% approved of the mayor’s performance on education while 48% disapproved. 11%, at the time, were unsure.
“Dissatisfaction with New York City’s public schools remains high,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “New Yorkers want the next mayor to move in a different direction.”
- Bloomberg’s approval rating on education has dropped in the Bronx – 29% — and in Manhattan — 37%. In September, those proportions were 40% and 48%, respectively.
- In Queens and Staten Island – 36% — and in Brooklyn — 34%, there has been little change from September when 40% and 38%, respectively, gave Bloomberg high marks on his handling of education.
Many New York City residents are not thrilled with the public schools in their neighborhoods. Only 38% of adults citywide give their local schools good grades. Included here are 9% who rate their public schools as excellent and 29% who say they are good. 35% believe they are doing a fair job while 18% rate them poorly. Nine percent are unsure. Identical proportions of registered voters in the city share these views as well.
In NY1-Marist’s September survey, 43% of those living in New York City thought well of their neighborhood schools. 30% gave them a fair rating while 18% reported they fell short. Nine percent, at the time, were unsure.
Looking at households who have a child in the New York City public schools, 45% believe the public schools are doing either an excellent — 11% — or good — 34% — job educating their children. 37% think the schools are doing an average job while 15% believe they are falling short. Two percent are unsure.
More Than Six in Ten NYC Residents Want Next Mayor to Make Changes in Education
62% of adults in New York City want the city’s next mayor to take the public schools in a different direction. 27%, however, want Bloomberg’s successor to continue with Mayor Bloomberg’s education policy, and 11% are unsure.
- Nearly two-thirds of households with a child in the New York City public schools — 65% — want the next mayor to change the direction of education policy in the city.
- 69% of adults in the Bronx, 65% of those in Brooklyn, 60% of residents in Queens and Staten Island, and 55% in Manhattan desire changes in public schools.
Dennis Walcott’s Approval Rating at 34%
34% of adults citywide think the city’s top educator, Dennis Walcott, is doing either an excellent — 6% — or good — 28% — job as New York City Schools Chancellor. 35% rate Walcott as fair while 14% give him a poor rating. 17% are unsure or have never heard of him. In NY1-Marist’s September survey, Walcott’s approval rating was 31%. 38% thought he was doing an average job while 9% thought he missed the mark. 22%, at that time, were unsure.
Majority Approves of Kelly’s Job Performance
As speculation continues about a mayoralty run by New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the commissioner enjoys a 55% job approval rating. This includes 21% of adults who believe Kelly is excelling in his position and 34% who report he is doing a good job. 28% rate the Police Commissioner’s performance as fair while 13% believe he is performing poorly. Four percent are unsure.
Kelly’s approval rating is 70% among white residents, 48% among Latinos, and 42% among African American residents in the city.
The views of registered voters reflect those of the overall population in the city. 56% of voters give Kelly high marks. 28% think his performance is average while 13% say he has missed the mark. Three percent are unsure.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is receiving slightly better grades on his handling of the New York City public schools. 48% of registered voters disapprove of how the mayor is handling the issue while 41% approve. 11% are unsure.
Although 48% of voters disapprove of how Bloomberg is dealing with the issue, fewer voters now have this view. In August, a majority — 54% — thought the mayor was failing the city’s public schools while 36% said he was doing a good job. One in ten — 10% — was unsure.
- Fewer Brooklyn voters have a negative view of how Bloomberg is handling the city’s schools. 47% currently have that impression while 55% thought this way in August.
- In the Bronx, 52% disapprove of how Bloomberg is handling the public schools while 62% said the same last month.
- 42% of Manhattan voters think the mayor needs to do better when it comes to the education system. 50% shared this opinion in August.
- Half of voters in Queens and Staten Island – 50% — disapprove of the mayor’s handling of the New York City public schools while 52% said the same in NY1-Marist’s previous survey.
City’s Top Educator Still Unknown to More than One in Five Residents
New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott needs to work on his name recognition. When it comes to his job approval rating, 31% of residents now give Walcott high marks. Included here are 3% who believe he is doing an excellent job and 28% who say he is doing a good one. 38% report Walcott is doing a fair job in his position while 9% rate him poorly. A notable 22% have either never heard of Walcott or are unsure how to rate him.
In NY1-Marist’s survey earlier this month, 28% of adults in New York City thought Walcott was doing an above average job, 33% gave him average grades, and 13% thought he fell short. About one in four residents — 26% — were unsure how to rate him at that time.
There has also been little change on the rating of the public schools themselves. 43% of city dwellers describe the schools in their community as excellent — 7% — or good — 36%. 30% think they are fair, 18% give their neighborhood schools a poor rating, and 9% are unsure how to rate them.
When reported earlier this month, the same proportion of adults — 43% — thought well of their local public schools, 28% rated them as fair, and 19% thought they fell short. 10%, at the time, were unsure how to rate them.
A new school year is here for a new schools chancellor. As New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott faces his first full school year in his post, what do New York City residents think of the job he has done since his appointment in April? A notable proportion of New Yorkers have yet to form an opinion.
According to this NY1-Marist Poll, 28% believe Walcott is doing either an excellent or good job as chancellor. Included here are just 2% who say he is doing an excellent job and 26% who report he is doing a good one. About one-third — 33% — gives Walcott fair marks while 13% report he is performing poorly. Slightly more than one in four — 26% — has either never heard of Walcott or are unsure how to rate him. Households with a child in the city’s public schools have similar impressions of the schools chancellor.
“This will be a year when New Yorkers become much more familiar with Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. ”The big question is whether he can impact favorably upon the mayor’s education policy.”
In the boroughs, 34% of residents in the Bronx, 30% of those in Manhattan, 29% of adults living in Brooklyn, and 25% of those in Queens and Staten Island rate Walcott’s job performance as excellent or good.
What about the schools themselves? Only 43% of adults in New York City give the public schools in their community above average grades. This includes 10% who rate them as excellent and 33% who say they are good. 28% report the schools in their area are fair while 19% think they are performing poorly. One in ten — 10% — is unsure.
When NY1-Marist last asked this question in April, 38% thought the school in their community was either excellent or good. 34% reported they were average while 20% rated them as poor. Eight percent, at the time, were unsure.
- Nearly half of those in Queens and Staten Island — 48% — praise the city’s public schools. 42% shared this view in April.
- More than four in ten Manhattan residents — 42% — rate the public schools in their area as excellent or good compared with 37% in NY1-Marist’s previous survey.
- Almost four in ten in the Bronx — 39% — currently give the schools high marks while 34% did so in April.
- In Brooklyn, 39% approve of the public schools in their community. This compares with 35% who thought the same in April.
Teachers Top Spending Priorities
Budgetary constraints are an issue for New York City’s public schools. 38% of adults in the Big Apple believe providing a sufficient number of qualified teachers should be the highest spending priority. 23% want money allocated to expanding classroom resources while nearly one in five — 19% — thinks reducing class size should top the list of expenditures. One in ten — 10% — views the need for increased school safety and security as paramount while only 4% think school infrastructure should top the list. Six percent are unsure.
- Spending on qualified teachers tops the priority list for residents living in Manhattan — 43% — those in Queens and Staten Island — 42% — and in Brooklyn — 34%.
- In the Bronx, there is less of a consensus. In fact, 30% in this borough place expanding classroom resources as the most important expenditure while 28% believe providing qualified teachers is.
- A plurality of residents without children — 40% — thinks the city should spend money on making sure there are enough qualified teachers. However, there is less of a consensus among those with children in their households. Here, about one-third — 33% — share this view. 23% place the most importance on reducing class size while 22% think providing more resources is the key.
- Looking at households with a child in the public schools, 32% say money should be put toward qualified teachers. 25% think reducing class size is the most important while 21% believe providing more resources is the top priority.
Charter Schools Still Popular, But Drop in Approval
Nearly six in ten adults in New York City — 58% — think charter schools are a good thing because they provide families with more of a choice. 27%, however, say they are a bad thing because they take resources away from public schools. 15% are unsure.
Although 58% of New Yorkers currently believe charter schools are a benefit, fewer residents share this view compared with Marist’s September 2010 survey. At that time, about two-thirds of adults citywide — 66% — were for charter schools while 24% were against them. One in ten — 10% — was unsure.
There are age differences. 65% of adults younger than 45 years old back charter schools while 52% of those 45 and older agree.
Lack of Respect for Public School Teachers
66% of adults citywide think teachers today receive less respect now compared with when they were in school. 18% believe they have the same amount of respect while 7% say they get more respect. Only 9% are unsure.
In NY1-Marist’s April survey, similar proportions of New York City residents had these views. At that time, 65% thought teachers are not given as much respect, 20% said they receive the same amount of respect while 7% reported they are respected even more. Eight percent, at that time, were unsure.