ERNA NY Poll Shows Voters Want the Next Mayor to Focus on Persistent Opportunity Gaps in NYC Schools
June 16, 2021
ERNA NY Poll Shows Voters Want the Next Mayor to Focus
on Persistent Opportunity Gaps in NYC Schools
New York voters want assessment of learning loss, investments in innovative programs,
& overwhelmingly support a return to in-person learning this fall
NEW YORK, N.Y. (June 16, 2021)—Education Reform Now Advocacy New York (ERNA NY), a partner organization of Democrats for Education Reform New York (DFER NY), released a poll today that illustrated voters’ hopes for change via the leadership of the incoming Chancellor for the New York City Department of Education and New York City Mayor.
“New York’s voters are tired of education structures that do not fulfill their children’s needs,” said Shavar Jeffries, National President of Democrats for Education Reform. “Voters want our students safely back in school. They want to assess learning loss to gauge the depth of opportunity gaps exacerbated by COVID, and they want a Mayor and Chancellor who have been proven capable of closing these gaps and will work toward resolving inequities by eschewing traditional and ineffective curricula in favor of investing in innovative programs. It would be remiss for candidates to ignore what voters are clearly telling them.”
The poll found that a staggering 89% of respondents feel we need to assess learning loss in a first step toward making improvements to New York’s education system. Approval was particularly strong amongst African American and Hispanic or Latino voters, with 92% of both respondent groups respectively indicating assessments were either important or very important.
A plurality of voters also illustrated that, even more than direct teaching experience, Democratic primary voters strongly prefer that the next Chancellor for the NYC Department of Education has a track record of successfully addressing inequities for low-income students and students of color. Likewise, 50% of all respondents indicated that a commitment to closing educational gaps was the most important education policy when considering a candidate for the next Mayor.
84% of respondents—and 82% of parents—stated they would support using additional state and federal funding for new High-Impact Tutoring programs—daily instructional tutoring for small groups of one to four students—for disadvantaged students as a means to address any existing gaps.
Voters also overwhelmingly agree with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to not offer a remote schooling option this fall. 58% of all voters backed this choice—close to three times the number that disagreed with in-person learning (20%). However, of note was the variation amongst race and gender in the level of support. While 65% of White respondents support returning to school in-person in the fall, 57% of Hispanic or Latino respondents and 49% of African American respondents do. Similarly disparate, the poll found that 64% of respondents who identify as a man supported not having a remote option in the fall, whereas only 53% of respondents who identify as a woman showed the same level of support.
Methodology: From June 8 – 9, 2021, Public Policy Poling conducted a poll among 752 likely New York Democratic primary voters, on behalf of Education Reform Now Advocacy New York, to explore voters’ priorities for academic post-pandemic recovery, qualities and experiences preferred in candidates running in New York primary races, and more. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.6%.
About Education Reform Now Advocacy New York
Education Reform Now Advocacy New York is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that believes deeply in the power of communities and leaders to drive innovation in public education, and works to ensure that all children have access to a world-class education. ERNA is a partner of Democrats for Education Reform New York (DFER NY), a political action committee that seeks to elect leaders who will support policies that benefit all students—particularly Black and Latino students.
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