Ever since the COVID-19 shutdowns led to Maine parents gaining greater awareness of what kids are learning in school, parental rights advocates have been pushing for greater transparency of schools’ curricula.
A recent Maine Wire poll of almost 2,000 respondents throughout the state finds an overwhelming number of likely voters now support a requirement for a school to post its curriculum online.
Overall, eight out of ten respondents favor posting the curriculum online, while 15 percent oppose doing so and another five remain undecided. While there is a significant ideological margin on this question between conservatives – 92 percent of whom say yes to online posting – more than half of liberals (53 percent) agree also, suggesting broader consensus.
Opposition grows slightly with advanced education, the survey shows. Nearly three-in-ten (29 percent) respondents with graduate degrees said no to fully disclosing all that’s being taught, or twice the overall average.
Also, residents of the 2nd Congressional District are three points (83 percent) more likely to support the idea than those is the 1st (77 percent).
Sen. Lisa Keim (R-Oxford) is one of multiple Maine Republicans who has introduced a bill this session for more transparency on how schools adopt their curricula. There are at least half-a-dozen bills before the Joint Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs calling for more clearly defined parental rights when it comes to schools.
But of all the questions posed on the parental rights survey, this notion that the curriculum should be out there for all to see enjoyed the highest support. On other questions about who should have the final say over what’s being taught, where the greatest influence on schools should be coming from, age-appropriate materials, and opt-outs on contentious material, significant majorities of respondents came down on the side of parental rights.
The survey was fielded between February 28 and March 1 via mobile phones, landline, and text messaging by Coefficient, a research firm with national reach. The Maine Wire will continue to report on its findings in-depth.