Friday, February 04, 2011

Voters: Ax the worst

Speaking of DFER, Education Reform Now commissioned a poll which shows that NY state voters overwhelmingly oppose layoffs strictly by seniority:

New York state voters overwhelmingly oppose the "last in, first out" law, which forces schools to fire the most recently hired teachers during a budget crisis -- regardless of classroom performance, a new poll shows.

Of the 800 statewide respondents surveyed, 61 percent said they rejected the seniority-based LIFO policy while 37 percent supported it, according to the poll conducted for the advocacy group Education Reform Now.

The opposition was broad-based -- 63 percent of men and 61 percent of women gave thumbs down, as did 60 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of registered independent voters.

And by a 2-to-1 ratio, New York City voters gave the LIFO policy a failing grade.

"New York voters clearly understand the difference a good, effective teacher makes in the public-school classroom for schoolkids. And, it is exactly that sentiment that is driving voter support to change the current 'last in, first out' law," said pollster Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted the survey from Jan. 29 to 31.

"Voters want the best teachers teaching, regardless of whether they are veterans or rookies," Newhouse said. "Simply put, there is a statewide consensus that changing the system will be better for the kids."

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