Poll: Most NJ Adults Say Parents Should Help Decide What’s Taught in Schools
More than bullying and student safety, more than mental health, and more than testing, New Jersey adults say their top concern with K-12 education today is the curriculum, according to the latest Stockton University Poll.
In fact, the percentage of respondents who cited what kids are taught and the difficulty of the material (24%) as their top concern more than doubled the next most popular response.
Two-thirds of adults in the survey said they believe parents should be more involved in deciding what children are learning in school. Twenty-six percent said the involvement level should stay the same.
What should kids be learning in school?
Not all non-core subjects were treated equally by survey respondents.
While an overwhelming majority of adults said it's either somewhat or very important to include topics like financial literacy (97%), media literacy (85%), race and racism lessons (76%), and sex education (74%) into the school curriculum, just 59% said the same about gender identity and sexuality.
"And those divides on gender become even more stark when you break it down by party," said Alyssa Maurice, research associate. "Republicans were less supportive of these gender and sexuality subjects being taught in schools."
Twenty-one percent of survey respondents said gender identity and sexuality should never be introduced by teachers in schools, compared to 4% of respondents who said that social and emotional well-being should never be part of the curriculum.
Among the poll respondents with children in grades K-12, 62% said their children's school does a good job keeping parents informed about what's being covered in schools, including potentially controversial topics.