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Long Island News

Quinnipiac Poll Results Favor NY Teachers' Unions, Fewer Tests

Mike Groll

Two new Quinnipiac University polls show that New York voters trust the teachers’ unions more than Governor Andrew Cuomo to improve education in the state, and two thirds of New York State voters say the Common Core aligned standardized tests are not an accurate way to measure how well students are learning.

Of the registered voters polled, 54 percent said they trust teachers unions more. 31 percent say they trust Cuomo to improve education for their children.

Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, said that in a lot of polls the teachers unions are not very popular with voters, but when it came to trust, they chose teachers over Cuomo.

"The teachers are there in the room with the kids, and people trust the teachers to take care of the education better than the governor who, let’s face it, is several steps distant," he said.

The Quinnipiac poll also showed that voters are evenly split when it comes to parents opting their children out of standardized tests.

48 percent of registered voters say parents should be allowed to opt their children out of the tests, while 47 percent say parents should not be allowed to opt their kids out.

Statewide, around 200,000 eligible students sat out the tests in the spring. Some parents objected to the tests, saying there were too many of them and that they didn’t offer an accurate measure of student development. Some parents also didn’t want the tests to be tied to teacher evaluations and pay.

The poll released on Monday shows that almost 70 percent of voters say that teacher pay should not be based on how well students perform on the tests.

Just about the same percentage of voters say teacher tenure should not be based on test scores either.

The polls have a margin of error of about plus or minus 3 percentage points.