March 18, 2015

Poll: New Yorkers say Cuomo wrong on public education

Source: NYSUT Media Relations
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ALBANY, N.Y. March 18, 2015 - New York State United Teachers said today a new Quinnipiac University poll clearly shows that New Yorkers value their public schools and trust teachers and their unions to do what's right for students, rejecting by wide margins Gov. Andrew Cuomo's false narrative about public education and condemning his corporate-backed "reforms."

By a 63-28 margin, New Yorkers disapprove of the way Cuomo is handling public education, the poll said. By a 55-28 margin, New Yorkers said they trusted teachers' unions more than the governor to improve public education. And, by 71-25 - nearly three-to-one - New Yorkers soundly condemn using state test scores for making high-stakes decisions about teachers. Clear-cut support for NYSUT's position cuts across every demographic group. The poll can be found here:

"Today's poll affirms what we have been saying all along. New Yorkers unquestionably trust teachers - and trust NYSUT - to do what's right for students and what's best for public education. New Yorkers recognize that educators - not the governor - know what works in our schools and what's needed. And, they see what we see - a successful public education system that is suffering from years of chronic under-funding and the governor's meddling in an area he knows little about," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "The public is saying to the governor: Put your 'test-and-punish' agenda and other proposals that reward the billionaire hedge fund managers who contributed to your campaign in the trashcan and start working with parents and teachers to address the real needs of our schools."

NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said the Quinnipiac poll underscores that New Yorkers understand that teachers and teaching are so much more than a test score. He noted that, by margins of better than two-to-one, voters oppose making high-stakes decisions on teachers' careers based on how students do on standardized testing.

"Legislators have been hearing it from their constituents who have been packing education forums. And, they are hearing it today from New York voters. It's hard to imagine a more resounding rejection of the governor's executive budget and the 'reforms' that hedge fund billionaires are trying to buy on the backs of our students and public schools," Pallotta said. "The budget deadline is approaching. Legislators of both parties - and in both the Assembly and Senate - must follow the will of the people and support what's right for students and public education by soundly rejecting the governor's ill-conceived plans."

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New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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