Law & Courts

Poll: Seniority Doesn’t Rule

By Caroline Cournoyer — February 24, 2011 1 min read

With plans for massive teacher layoffs in New York looming, a recent Quinnipiac University poll reveals that 90 percent of public school parents in the state think performance—not seniority—should be the basis for such firings, reports the Buffalo News. Eighty-five percent of all registered votes polled agreed, compared with just 12 percent who favored the seniority-based system.

“Voters, especially voters with kids in public school, want to keep the best teachers on the job, and to heck with seniority,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, told the paper.

And some politicians agree. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg—who plans to cut more than 6,000 teaching jobs—recently called for a change in the state law that requires layoffs to be based on seniority. He hopes to make merit a factor as well. The four other largest school districts in the state have all expressed interest in such a change, reports the Buffalo News.

And while half of the 1,457 registered voters polled view teachers positively, 51 percent think teachers unions have a negative effect on education, according to the paper.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.