Poll: Many NYers, most parents against chancellor pick

Cathie Black and Joel Klein during a news conference at City Hall in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. ((AP Photo/Seth Wenig))

November 23, 2010 9:04:15 AM PST
Mayor Michael Bloomberg hasn't convinced New Yorkers that magazine executive Cathie Black is the right person to lead the city's public school system.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found that 51 percent of New York City voters surveyed said Black does not have the right experience to be chancellor.

Just 26 percent said she does. Twenty-three percent were undecided.

Those polled said the schools chancellor should have education experience instead of management experience. Bloomberg's approval is also at its lowest point in five years.

Black is the chairwoman of Hearst Magazines. Because she has no educational credentials, she would need a waiver from the state Education Department to serve as chancellor.

An eight-member advisory panel is scheduled to weigh her qualifications at a meeting Tuesday.

The poll shows that 47 percent of voters disapprove of Black running the city's schools. That percentage jumps to 62 percent for parents with children in public schools.

The poll also showed that New York City voters approve of the job Mayor Bloomberg is doing, 55 percent to 35 pecent, his lowest score since a 55 - 36 percent rating June 22, 2005.

Voters disapprove 48 - 41 percent of the way Bloomberg is handling the public schools and say 63 - 25 percent that they are dissatisfied with public schools citywide. Voters also are dissatisfied 46 - 38 percent with public schools in their own community.

But voters say 46 - 35 percent that Chancellor Joel Klein's tenure has been a success.

"The City Hall spin machine better shift into high gear. So far, all the negative news stories are murdering Cathleen Black - and not doing Mayor Michael Bloomberg much good, either," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Do New Yorkers approve of the Black appointment? Does she have the right experience? No and no, voters say. The only positive sign for her is that about one quarter of voters don't know enough to say whether they approve or disapprove of her appointment. So there's some room for the spinners to make Bloomberg's case.

New York City voters say 61 - 29 percent that Bloomberg would not make a good president and think 57 - 29 percent that he will not run for president. Voters say 65 - 24 percent that talk of Bloomberg-for-president is "political gossip" rather than a "serious political movement." The so-called movement comes up short among every political or racial group and in every borough.

But voters say 58 - 26 percent that it's good for New York City when Bloomberg speaks out on national issues. Democrats like the mayor speaking out even more than Republicans.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly continues to lead all citywide officials, with a 67 - 19 percent approval rating, including 79 - 11 percent among white voters, 52 - 31 percent among black voters and 64 - 21 percent among Hispanic voters.

Approval ratings for other New York City officials are:

  • 50 - 24 percent for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn;
  • 48 - 16 percent for Comptroller John Liu, with 37 percent undecided;
  • 36 - 16 percent for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, with 48 percent undecided.

    From November 16 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,287 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points