New SFNY Poll Finds New Yorkers Won't Accept Excuses for Inaction on Teacher Evaluations

Glen Weiner // November 29, 2012

Recently StudentsFirstNY asked the Democratic polling firm Anzalone Liszt Research to survey New Yorkers on their views of a new teacher evaluation system. The results could not be more definitive –support for a new teacher evaluation system is robust and resilient throughout the poll.

Evidence of this overwhelming and persistent support includes:

  • Four-out-of-five New York City voters (80%) support a new teacher evaluation system based on both classroom observations and test scores, with 56% supporting such a system strongly.

  • After voters hear a detailed description of the plan, support remains strong, with 74% continuing to back such a plan and just 17% opposing it.

  • Among parents of children in the city’s public schools, support for the plan following a description is just as strong (73%), with just under half (49%) backing it strongly.

  • When presented with a balanced debate, with statements from both supporters and opponents of a new teacher evaluation system, voters favor the new system by a 48-point margin (69% support / 21% oppose), with over two-thirds continuing to support it.

  • Intensity is clearly on the side of supporters as well, with nearly four times as many voters strongly supporting a new evaluation system (44%) as strongly opposing it (12%).

  • Support for the system also transcends both geographic and demographic lines; as over 60% of voters in each borough and across every major demographic group support a new teacher evaluation system after hearing statements from both supporters and opponents.

  • Even among households with a teacher, a new evaluation system is supported by a 26-point margin (58% support / 32% oppose) after a debate.

Other interesting findings from the poll include:

  • Having a quality teacher in every classroom is seen as the most important factor in providing a good education of the twelve factors that were tested.

  • More than three quarters of voters (77%) who were aware of New York City’s current teacher evaluation system said it needed improvement.

  • Three quarters of City voters said they support the use of student feedback. (Despite a recent news report indicating that student feedback is not likely to be included in New York City’s new teacher evaluation system)

  • More than seven in ten City voters agreed that officials up in Albany have a responsibility to make sure a deal gets done and New York City doesn’t lose the $300 million for its schools -- sending a strong message to Albany that inaction will not reflect well on them.

Read the press release announcing the poll.

View the poll results.

View an outline of the poll results.

Read a report on the new poll from the Daily News.