A survey conducted by the Heritage Foundation found most American parents and school board members oppose teaching children overt left-wing narratives.
The survey last year included questions regarding whether respondents felt that popular left-wing narratives on race, history, sexual orientation and gender should be promulgated within the classroom.
For conservative and classically liberal parents, the results of the survey yielded promising results.
The Heritage Foundation commissioned Braun Research to conduct the nationally representative survey of parents of K-12 students, along with a separate sample of school board members across the country.
For the parents, 1,001 were surveyed from April 3 to May 28. The survey had a response rate of 22.1 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.
Additionally, school board members were surveyed from May 1 to June; 566 participated out of 24,347, for a response rate of 2.4 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.
With regard to race, the survey found that a plurality of parents and a majority of school board members did not want K-12 schools to teach that slavery is the “center of our national narrative.”
A commanding majority of parents and school board members — 59 percent and 73 percent, respectively — disagreed with an assertion pushed by The New York Times’ 1619 Project that “the birth of the nation is 1619, the year the first slaves landed in the English colonies.”
Instead, parents and school board members felt that students should be taught “that the birth of the nation is 1776, the year the colonists declared independence.”
Parents (including a majority of African-American parents) and school board members also agreed that children should be taught “that slavery was a tragedy that harmed the nation, but our freedom and prosperity represent who we are as a nation, offering a beacon to those wanting to immigrate here.”
When it comes to sex and gender, a plurality of parents and majority of school board members responded “no” when asked if the federal government should require schools to provide students with “unfettered access” to “bathrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities aligned with their professed gender identity.”
Additionally, majorities of both groups agreed that schools should inform parents if their children identify as transgender or have questions regarding their gender identity.
One of the report’s authors, Jonathan Butcher, senior policy analyst for education policy at the Heritage Foundation, spoke with The Western Journal about the survey and its many implications.
While Butcher noted that there was “some concern about where we are right now” as a country, the results of the survey were “largely positive” especially when it came to “issues about values.”
“I think what that means is that the path forward really for everybody, no matter which side of the aisle you’re on, is that we’re going to need to rebuild, I think, some sense of shared values around human flourishing, around what it means to have a heritage of liberty and freedom and what that means to everyone,” he told The Western Journal.
Among the survey’s findings, Butcher found the response to one question particularly promising.
When asked if they believed that schools should engage with character and virtue, 83 percent of parents and 89 percent of school board members responded “yes.”
“I think that people understand the importance that schools play as a part of a community,” Butcher said.
In his opinion, this survey’s results demonstrate that people on all sides are willing to come behind a unifying narrative about America.
“Especially around some hard and fast ideas like 1776 being the birth of the nation instead of 1619,” Butcher said.
“I do think that there are some shared values that we need to go back to right now,” he said.
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