The NY Times is hawking a Siena poll today that shows Bill de Blaiso with a 50 percentage point lead over Joe Lhota, but says the poll shows notes of caution for de Blasio because some of his signature policy positions are in opposition to what a majority of New Yorkers feel about things.
One of those policy positions is on charter schools.
The Times asks "Do you support or oppose the creation of more charter schools?"
56% of NYers say they support the creation of more charters, 34% oppose.
This question will be used by education reformers and charter school chain operators as proof positive why the Bloomberg position on charter schools - (i.e., charter school growth should be widespread and ever present in NYC) should continue into the de Blasio era.
But here's the problem with this poll.
The charter school operators, the education reform movement, the corporate education media have been beating up on traditional public schools for over 10 years and touting charter schools as the better alternative.
We know from study after study that this meme bears no relation to reality.
Many charter schools are no better than traditional public schools, some are worse, a few are better.
We know that charter schools here in NYC performed about the same on the vaunted new Common Core tests as traditional public schools did.
But after 10+ years of the relentless beating traditional public schools have taken in the media and have taken at the hands of politicians like Mike Bloomberg and George W. Bush and Barack Obama and Andrew Cuomo, of course the public thinks charter schools are better.
That's what happens when you wage a p.r. campaign to sell the public on something like charter schools and school choice - they tend to believe what they've been sold.
Same thing happened with the Iraq war.
But if you ask parents of children in the school system, especially parents who have seen how charter school operators like Eva Moskowitz steal so many of the resources for themselves and their charter operations, I bet the disparity between those who say they want more charters and those who say they don't is much closer.
Even there, the ayes on charters might be more than the nays.
Again, this is due to the relentless p.r. campaign selling charters and destroying public schools that has been waged in the public sphere over the last decade+.
In reality, the findings of this poll show two things:
1) How much money and energy has been spent tearing down public schools and hawking charter schools and
2) The Times' agenda in doing the very same thing on this issue.