Poll: Families prioritize many issues over “curriculum transparency”


March 3, 2022

Keating Research finds that families are concerned about real education issues, not Republican talking points

An education-focused poll released this week by highly reputable pollster Keating Research shows that Colorado families prioritize common-sense, student-focused issues over divisive, Republican-driven rhetoric and legislation in public education.

Keating’s “Colorado K-12 Issues” asked respondents to weigh in on the importance of issues impacting education – as well as bills in the state legislature to address these issues. The poll shows that Colorado families continue to prioritize increased resources for students and educators as schools regain their footing coming out of the two-year pandemic.

“Colorado K-12 Issues” shows Colorado families trust Democrats over Republicans on education issues. In terms of priorities within the education landscape, families first and foremost are demanding policies that address pandemic-related learning loss. They also want more resources for students, teachers, mental health and special education, as well as more funding to decrease classroom size and expanded concurrent enrollment programs.

Additionally, families want expanded free meals for students, security upgrades to schools, and policies that measure student academic performance.

The Keating poll refutes a recent Republican-backed “poll” that is really a cynical ploy to prop up red-herring arguments currently prevailing in right-wing circles. Specifically, the deeply flawed Republican poll purports to show that Colorado families are concerned with a national right-wing talking point called “curriculum transparency.”

That issue finished dead last in the scientific Keating poll.

The Republican poll – which did not provide respondents with real choices – is a weak attempt to buttress right-wing legislation that would require school districts to publicly post any and all curriculum materials. House Bill 1066, the definition of a solution looking for a problem, would be a back-breaker for schools and educators who are already strapped for time, resources, and money, and would do little to increase meaningful parental engagement.

Results of the Keating poll put out by Democrats for Education Reform and other Colorado education partners shows that families place many things above the non-issue of making school districts post every document related to curriculum.

Why would Republicans in Colorado support such wrong-headed legislation? It’s about creating confusion and controversy where there is none.

“I believe deeply in the importance of parental engagement and parental involvement in public education,” said UCLA education professor John Rogers in a recent Chalkbeat Colorado article. “What we’re seeing now is invoking that, but not for the purposes of creating a shared dialogue between parents and educators but to heighten conflict. Conflict becomes an intended outcome of a lot of these efforts.”

Families, legislators and activists must fight back against this Republican demagoguery masquerading as education policy. Let us instead focus on what families prioritize and pass legislation in the best interest of Colorado students.