There’s a brand-new survey out today from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and AP-NORC which takes a look at Americans’ views of education. Particularly, the survey asked how individuals feel about school boards and how they feel about what is being taught in their schools. Not remarkably what it discovered was some argument.
“Americans are deeply divided over how much children in K-12 schools should be taught about racism and sexuality, according to a new poll released as Republicans across the country aim to make parental involvement in education a central campaign theme this election year.
Overall, Americans lean slightly toward expanding — not cutting back — discussions of racism and sexuality, but roughly 4 in 10 say the current approach is about right, including similar percentages across party lines…
About 4 in 10 Republicans say teachers in local public schools discuss issues related to sexuality too much, while only about 1 in 10 say too little. Among Democrats, those numbers are reversed.”
Over at the Washington Post, Paul Waldman has a piece about the survey entitled The silent majority against Republicans’ moral panic on schools.” Here’s how he framed the outcomes:
“A new poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research suggests a genuine silent majority of people who think what’s happening in schools is just fine — and many of them believe there should be more discussion of race and sexuality…
By 58 percent to 12 percent, Americans oppose “prohibiting books about divisive topics from being taught in schools.” (The rest are undecided.)
By 53 percent to 21 percent, they oppose “prohibiting teachers from teaching about sex and sexuality in schools.”
71 percent say their local school system is either focusing too little on racism or focusing the right amount, while just 27 percent say it is focusing on it too much.
71 percent also say teachers in their local schools are either discussing issues related to sex and sexuality the right amount or not enough. Only 23 percent say teachers are discussing sex and sexuality too much.”
Yes, a bulk of Americans are against restricting and prohibiting books sex education in schools. While one can believe it’s reasonable to state a majority hold these views in basic, it is not reasonable to believe you can presume from that data that a quiet majority would be fine with, for clarity: teaching gender identity to first graders. Had that question actually been asked, likely you ‘d discover that a vast majority would not support it.
A poll on the Florida education law which the media fallaciously called the “Don’t Say Gay” law discovered that a large majority supported the aspects of the law that restricted instruction on gender identity to young kids (51-35) and which mandated that later instruction be age suitable (52-33). You might state that a not-so-silent majority of Democrats support these views however, not a bulk of people in general.
When it comes to concentrating on bigotry, the method Waldman provides is, once again, a bit deceptive. Here’s how AP-NORC framed the outcomes:
When it comes to discussion of racism in the United States, 37% feel their public schools are focusing on it the right amount. Again, the rest of the public is split with 27% who feel their local schools are focusing on racism too much and 34% who feel there is not enough focus.
The biggest group is those who believe the present focus is already the ideal quantity. There’s a split (34-27) between those who believe students require more focus on race and those who believe they require less. That’s essentially an argument for the status quo. Hence another dishonest framing by mainstream media sources.
More to the point, if parents had actually been asked if they supported teaching specific, controversial items, such as the 1619 Project or Robin DiAngelo’s views, the outcomes may have been extremely different. This is a distinction that the media has actually worked hard to ignore. There is a nuance in between supporting the teaching of slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow, and so on and teaching a few of the more current, CRT-praxis-inspired indoctrination on these subjects.
The survey did consist of questions about a couple of hot-button issues such as renaming schools named after historic figures who owned slaves. The survey discovered 33% of participants supported the concept while 39% opposed it with 27% uncertain.
The survey did also reveal that about half of participants think educators and parents need to have more control of what’s taught in schools and almost the exact same number stated the state and federal governments ought to have less control. As for regional boards of education, who’ve been the topic of ire from parents near-universally, 49% of participants stated they had some confidence in boards and 16% were extremely positive about them.