Grantee Resources

Educating for a Diverse Democracy: The Chilling Role of Political Conflict in Blue, Purple, and Red Communities

A study that assesses how the partisan context of schools relates to their political conflict and democratic practices.

This report highlights the urgent need to prepare young people for active participation in a diverse democracy by fostering dialogue, understanding varied perspectives, and promoting civil liberties. However, the study reveals that US public high schools face increasing limitations in supporting these goals. Political conflicts, conservative groups targeting topics like Critical Race Theory and sexuality, and growing partisan divides have created a chilling effect that restricts opportunities for respectful dialogue and teaching about race and diversity. The study, conducted by the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access at UCLA and the Civic Engagement Research Group at UC Riverside, is unique in examining the impact of partisan context on schools and comparing changes in school practices over the past four years.