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Siena poll: 'Jury's out on Common Core'

Kevin Coyne, President of the Brentwood Teachers Associaction,

Kevin Coyne, President of the Brentwood Teachers Associaction, chants "Get It Right" during the Common Core Education Forum at WardMelville High School in East Setauket. (Nov. 12, 2013) Credit: Newsday/ Thomas Ferrara

More than half of New Yorkers say there is too much testing in public schools and nearly half think the state's controversial education reforms have had little impact, according to a Siena College poll released Monday.

The poll, conducted by telephone calls Thursday to 806 of New York's registered voters, showed residents are closely divided on whether the Common Core standards will make students more college or career ready, with 45 percent confident they will and 49 percent not confident.

"There's no consensus at all on whether the standards are too demanding, not demanding enough or just right," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. "There is a consensus on testing of students. Only one in eight New Yorkers would like to see more testing in the schools but a clear majority believes that there's currently too much testing in the schools.

"The jury's out on Common Core but if standardized student tests were reduced, most New Yorkers would not object."

About a third of voters (34 percent) think Common Core standards are too demanding, while about one-quarter (27 percent) think they are not demanding enough and one-quarter (23 percent) think they are about right.

Twenty-eight percent say that efforts to improve education in the last three years have moved New York schools in the right direction; 22 percent say they have moved schools in the wrong direction; and a plurality, 44 percent, think they have had little impact.

There is too much testing in public schools, 52 percent say, while 12 percent say there is not enough and 28 percent say it's the right amount.

The poll also said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has the lowest job-performance rating he's had since becoming governor. Forty-four percent give him a positive job performance rating while 56 percent give him a negative rating -- down from 52 percent to 47 percent positive last month.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a 63 percent to 25 percent favorability rating. In a potential 2016 presidential matchup, Christie trails Hillary Clinton 56 percent to 40 percent and he leads Cuomo 47 percent to 42 percent.

The poll has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.5 percentage points.

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