On the eve of Gov. Cuomo's deadline for a deal on new teacher evaluations, voters are split on his handling of education policy, a Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found.
Among the state’s voters, 45% approved while 42% disapproved. The difference was within the margin of error.
Approval for Cuomo's education policy was higher in the city, where he earned a 47% approval rating.
Disapproval was higher among voters with children in the public schools, with 51% of them giving him a thumbs-down.
Cuomo has markedly higher approval ratings over all, with 69% of voters giving him positive marks in the most recent poll.
Unlike a recent poll on Mayor Bloomberg, Cuomo trounced the teachers union among voters asked whom they trusted more. Half of voters trusted Cuomo to protect the interest of public school students, while 38% picked the union.
At the same time, 49% of voters had a favorable view of public school teachers versus 23% who had an unfavorable one.
I say, let Cuomo impose his teacher evaluations based upon test scores today.
He will then own the new teacher evaluation system.
When it proves to be a nightmare - and it will - he will own that nightmare too.
Once voters - and especially parents - see that the new evaluation system will require new standardized tests in every grade in every subject, they are going to hate the system because students are going to do nothing in school but prep for tests or take tests.
Once they see that because Cuomo has decided to institute "competition" among teachers, ranking each individual teacher among his/her peers and firing the bottom 10%, with the likely consequence that teachers will no longer cooperate with each other, they are going to hate this system.
Once they see just how much this new "straight-forward" evaluation system poisons schools, turns teachers against each other, and turns children into nothing but test scores, they are going to hate this system.
And Cuomo - The Sun King - will own it.
This will be his system that he forced onto the state.
He will attempt to deflect responsibility for it, of course - he will say teachers screwed it up or the unions worked against it or something along those lines.
But make no mistake - if voters already don't like his education polices (and you know they don't when he only gets 45% approval for his ed policies but gets 69% approval overall), they will know this is his fault.
So the unions should do nothing today and let Cuomo impose his system.
He will come to regret it.