Today, the American School District Panel released the latest results in a report, 2022 American School District Panel survey, reflecting the country’s political divides.  Key findings include:

  • Political polarization about LGTBQ+ issues, critical race theory, and Covid-19 has disrupted schooling. 51% of district leaders reported at least one of these issues was interfering with their ability to educate students as of fall 2022.  Leaders of districts serving predominantly white students were more likely to report political polarization was interfering with schooling.
  • Political polarization has led to public requests for information, instructional opt-outs, and book removals.  45% reported more Freedom of Information Act requests than the year prior, with leaders in districts with low-poverty more likely to report requests to remove books from libraries and to opt-out children from instruction about controversial subjects.
  • Political controversies have resulted in threats against educators. Nearly 1/3 of district leaders reported threats being made against educators about politically controversial topics, either verbally or in writing.
  • District leaders acted to quell political controversy. 46% of those who confronted political controversies in their district reported taking actions that included new processes for teaching controversial content, proactive management of controversies, and increased information sharing. Though few changed instructional content or services in response to political controversy.

“Public schooling has always been politically fraught, but current disagreements over issues related to race, sexuality, gender, and Covid-19 have reached a tipping point. According to a new report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education and RAND, half of school system leaders say that these disagreements are disrupting schooling.”

Join a 30-min webinar to learn what teachers and district leaders nationally say about political polarization in schools. RAND and the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) will present findings from their latest nationally-representative survey data and interviews with district leaders to cover the following:

  • where political polarization is taking the most significant toll on educators
  • what actions districts have assumed that they say have reduced polarization
  • an offer of recommendations for state and district leaders

Tues. Feb. 7 from 12 -12:30 p.m. PST