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Schools Chancellor Cathie Black Scores Low Marks, Poll Shows

Monday, April 04, 2011

Schools Chancellor Cathie Black Schools Chancellor Cathie Black (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

A new poll finds the new Schools Chancellor Cathie Black isn't making the grade with New Yorkers.

Black's approval rating was 17 percent among registered city voters, according to the poll by NY1 and Marist College.

Last week, the same polling firm also found two thirds of New Yorkers disapprove of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's handling of the schools.

But the latest poll finds 38 percent of residents think their local public schools are excellent or good. Among parents of public school children, that figure is 53 percent.

"The majority of families are happy with their child's school, which is a testament to the progress we've made over the last nine years," Department of Education spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz said in a statement. "So our work today — from the chancellor on down — is focused on ensuring that every child in this great city has access to high-quality schools and a first-rate education."

When it comes to teachers, the NY1-Marist poll found 55 percent of residents think the teachers union does more good than harm for the schools.

No similar polls were conducted by Marist and NY1 of the previous chancellor, Joel Klein. But Quinnipiac University's polling institute has questioned New Yorkers about both chancellors. It found Black's approval rating at less than 20 percent in March, while Klein was often in the 30s and 40s during his tenure.

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