Rand Corporation Reports Examines Teachers’ Response to Curriculum Restrictions on Race

At least 17 states have prohibited the teaching of certain topics relating to race or gender in K-12 classrooms. Most of these states are in the South or the upper Midwest.

A new study by the Rand Corporation examines teachers’ awareness of and responses to limitations on how they can address race- or gender-related topics in their instruction. The authors found that teachers experienced limitations that infringed on their instructional autonomy, which included their choice of curriculum materials and topics for classroom discussion. These limitations originated from a variety of sources, including state, school, and district leaders and family and community members, and encompassed a wide span of topics, including, but not limited to race- or gender-related topics.

Roughly one-quarter of teachers reported not knowing whether they were subject to restrictions on how they can address topics related to race or gender, and only 30 percent of teachers in states with restrictions reported them as being in place. About one-quarter of teachers reported that limitations placed on how teachers can address topics related to race or gender have influenced their choice of curriculum materials or instructional practices.

The report offers several recommendations including:

* State and district leaders should collaborate with teachers when crafting local policies and guidance.
* School and district leaders should provide teachers with the appropriate guidance, resources, and supports to address contentious topics in the classroom and message their support for teachers.
* School and district leaders and educators should strive to engage families in productive conversations about race and gender.
* School, district, and state leaders should tie potentially contentious topics to concrete learning objectives and emphasize their educational benefits for students.

The full report, Walking on Eggshells — Teachers’ Responses to Classroom Limitations on Race- or Gender-Related Topics, may be viewed here.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The Rand Corporation need to conduct research on itself and its historical and current systemic racism against “native born Black Americans” who currently work at Rand and even those who applied for various positions. For example, somebody need to ask personnel from the HR Department at Rand on the number of native born Black American summer fellows, analysts, or researchers they’ve hired within the past 10 years. Lets not stop with the Rand Corporation because similar claims can be made about the GAO, OMB, etc.

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