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Expand chart
Data: The Generation Lab; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Nearly half of college Republicans support public schools teaching about institutional racism — and six in 10 don't think state legislatures should be able to stop it —according to a new Generation Lab/Axios poll.

Why it matters: The findings suggest that younger, educated Republicans think much differently about racism and academic freedom than GOP-led state legislatures seeking to censor the teaching of critical race theory.

By the numbers: 93% of college students overall — including 73% of college Republicans — say their high school's curriculum was flawed for focusing insufficiently, rather than too much, on the impact of racism on U.S. history.

  • 82% of college students overall say public schools should teach "that patterns of racism are ingrained in law and other institutions" — including 97% of Democrats, 74% of independents and 46% of Republicans.
  • 77% of college students overall say that state legislatures should not be able to limit how public schools or universities teach history.

Between the lines: 41% of respondents said they don't really understand the term "critical race theory."

  • 85% said they first heard about it within the last year and for 30%, this survey was their first time hearing of it.
  • Critical race theory holds that racism was ingrained into the country's foundation and has manifested throughout society's institutions.
  • In the early months of the Biden administration, the topic has bubbled up in the culture wars, and 26 states have introduced bills "or taken other steps that would restrict teaching critical race theory or limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism," Education Week reports.

Methodology: This study was conducted June 24-28 from a representative sample of 810 students nationwide from 2-year and 4-year schools. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points. The Generation Lab conducts polling using a demographically representative sample frame of college students at community colleges, technical colleges, trade schools and public and private four-year institutions.

Go deeper

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Jun 30, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Poll: Most Iowans oppose law restricting lessons on racism

Last day of school in Berlin. Photo: Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images

The majority of Iowans oppose a new law restricting how teachers talk about racism and sexism in classrooms, according to the latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll.

By the numbers: 56% of Iowans said they oppose the new law, 34% are in favor and another 10% are unsure.

  • The majority of Republicans approved of the law, with 57% supporting. But most Democrats (76%) and independents (58%) oppose it.

What the bill does: It bans schools from teaching that the U.S. or any particular people are inherently racist or sexist.

  • Though it doesn't mention critical race theory, when signing the law, Gov. Kim Reynolds said she opposes that concept and any "labels and stereotypes."

Between the lines: Because the bill's language is vague and subjective, most Iowa school districts are waiting for guidance from the state on how it actually influences classrooms.

  • But most don't believe it will change their lessons.

For example: Samantha Aukes, spokesperson for Ankeny schools, previously told Axios the district doesn't believe their curriculum will change. The bill says "stereotyping" and "scapegoating" are not allowed, which doesn't happen in classrooms.

  • "That has not been found to be an effective teaching and learning strategy," Aukes said.

What's next: The law goes into effect Thursday.

Of note: Selzer & Co. conducted the poll of 807 Iowa adults, June 13-16. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. 

Women are leading the new Latin American literature boom

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: David Levenson, Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Gone are the whimsical elements, and in come the suspense, the gothic and the noir. The new Latin American Boom is here, and it is being led by women.

What’s happening: Writers like Argentines Samanta Schweblin and Mariana Enríquez, Mexican Fernanda Melchor and Chilean Lina Meruane have made international waves with books that comment on quotidian violence — gender and otherwise — as well as othering through pulse-racing, enthralling and occasionally beautiful horror.

Updated 28 mins ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Suni Lee. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

🥇 : U.S. gymnast Suni Lee wins gold in the women's individual all-around

🤸🏾‍♀️: Simone Biles reacts to "love and support" after withdrawing from all-around gymnastics and team finals, citing her mental health

🏃: U.S. pole vaulter Sam Kendricks withdraws from Games after positive coronavirus test

🏊‍♂️: Caeleb Dressel wins gold in men's 100m freestyle —Bobby Finke wins gold in first men's Olympic 800m freestyle

📷: In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 6 highlights

🗓: The Olympic events to watch today

🏃‍: Female Olympians push back against double standard in uniforms

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage