Study released as Gov. Cuomo plans kids-first agenda aimed at ending unacceptable status quo and empowering teachers to help kids succeed.
NEW YORK… A clear majority of New York parents believe teacher protections including tenure, LIFO, and teacher dismissal policies are ineffective, if not unconstitutional, and in need of reform, a new poll released today by the Partnership for Educational Justice found.
The results come as a dual-pronged effort to improve teacher quality is underway with a number of parents filing a lawsuit in Staten Island and Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling on Albany to pass legislation in the 2015 session.
“Whether it is through the courts or through the legislative process, New York parents clearly want change in our education system,” said Campbell Brown, Founder of the Partnership for Educational Justice. “Outside of the home, a teacher is the most important person in a child’s life, and the brave parents who went to court to ensure their kids have a quality teacher at the front of every classroom stand shoulder to shoulder with Gov. Cuomo as he fights for that same cause.”
Both the governor and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking to have the probationary period for granting tenure increased to five years from the current three. The parents who filed suit are additionally seeking the end of the “Last in, First out” policy that allows for firing decisions to be made strictly on the basis of seniority. They are also suing to end the 3020-A teacher dismissal statute that has allowed dozens of sexual predators found guilty of a slew of unconscionable acts to return to schools with just a slap on the wrist.
Among the findings in the poll:
· Two out of three parents believe either a “complete overhaul” or “major reform” is needed to fix the school system. Just two percent believe no reform whatsoever is necessary.
· A majority of those surveyed believe the process by which teachers can be fired is “too long and complicated,” and just 23 percent believe the process is “appropriate.”
· Of those who have heard or read about the lawsuit, 65 percent believe the parents should emerge victorious, while just 12 percent believe the state should win the case.
The poll of 800 registered voters (all of whom are parents of children 24 year old and younger) was conducted from December 12-15, 2014 and had a margin of error of +3.5%.
Partnership for Educational Justice
CONTACT: CHAPIN FAY, 212.681.1380