Poll shows support for teaching history of U.S. racism

By: | October 14, 2020

Between July 30 and Aug. 1, we fielded a nationally representative poll of 1,273 U.S. adults with the survey firm Prolific, and our instrument includes a key question that helps us answer this question. We asked respondents whether they agree or disagree that, “all schools should feature curricula that teaches kids about the history of racism in the United States.” We randomly assigned respondents into two groups. One group received the aforementioned statement for evaluation and the other group received that exact statement with the additional clause, “regardless of whether their parents consent.”

We find overwhelming support for the idea that curricula should teach kids about the history of racism in the United States — 81 percent of parents either strongly agree, agree, or somewhat disagree. Factoring in parental consent made virtually no difference, with 80 percent of respondents who received the additional clause still expressing agreement. Parents of school-aged children showed similarly high levels of support (82 percent) as non-parents (80 percent).

The most noticeable differences in support and opposition center on differences in partisan affiliation, political ideology, and racial identity. To the latter, 88 percent of Black Americans support teaching about the history of racism in schools. Meanwhile, just 56 percent of Republicans stand in agreement, as do just 59 percent of respondents who lean ideologically conservative.

Read more from The 74.