The most recent Mood of the Nation Poll, conducted May 12-18, finds nine in ten American adults think that schools have a responsibility to teach children about slavery, but only half think those lessons should extend to “the ongoing effects of slavery and racism in the United States.”
Americans are split on whether schools should teach about the ongoing effects of slavery and racism:
Half of American adults (49%) indicate that schools have a responsibility to ensure that all students learn about the ongoing effects of slavery and racism.
Forty-one percent indicate that schools have a responsibility to ensure that all students learn about the history of slavery and racism, but should not teach about race relations today.
Eleven percent indicate that schools do not have a responsibility to ensure that all students learn about the history of slavery and racism.
These results are virtually identical to the results when the same question was included in the December 2021 Mood of the Nation Poll.
The survey also asked respondents to indicate their preferences on who should shape curriculum rated to slavery and racism, with results showing that American adults are most supportive of parents having influence, followed by social studies teachers.
In response to the findings, poll director Eric Plutzer said, “Half of all Americans want schools to go beyond the 19th century and provide children with an opportunity to learn about race and society today, while the other half is clearly uncomfortable with that. The 50-50 split helps explain why these issues are so divisive in school districts across the nation.”