College graduates, high income earners most likely to feel helped by government during pandemic

Latinos, those with only high school education, and under-30s hit harder by layoffs than other groups, according to new Tufts University national survey

This is the latest from the Tufts Priority Research Area on Equity, which I co-lead.

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (July 30, 2020)—College graduates and high earners with incomes between $85,000 and $150,000 are most likely to feel that the government has helped them during the pandemic or that other individuals have assisted them, according to a national survey from Tufts University.

At the same time, the national survey found that Latinos, people under the age of 30, and those with only a high school diploma were more likely to have been laid off than other groups.

“The survey results provide insight into Americans’ differing perceptions of who is helping them through these unprecedented times, and who is bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s economic impacts,” said Wenhui Feng, assistant professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, who contributed to the study. “Layoffs have affected all population subgroups, but the economic toll of COVID-19 has hit particularly hard a segment of the population that was struggling even before the pandemic.”

The survey was designed and analyzed by Tufts University’s Research Group on Equity in Health, Wealth and Civic Engagement. The research group previously released data showing that only 57 percent of Americans would get vaccinated for COVID-19 if a vaccine were available. It also has released additional research about who has been more likely to self-isolate and to be tested for the virus during the pandemic.

Government, nonprofits provide assistance

About one third (33%) of survey respondents say that the government has helped them deal with COVID-19 or its effects. The survey did not ask specifically how people were helped, but the federal government has provided financial assistance to some individuals and companies, and various federal, state and local governmental entities have provided testing, information and healthcare.

Individuals with higher education levels are more likely to feel that they have received assistance. About a quarter of people (24.5%) without a high school degree, 29% of high school graduates, 32% of people with some college, and 39% of people with at least a bachelor’s degree say they feel they have been helped. People from households with incomes between $85,000 and $150,000 are most likely to report that the government has assisted them. 

By contrast, the study reveals that nonprofits have been a critical source of assistance for underserved segments of the population. Overall, 6% of Americans say a nonprofit has helped them with the virus or its impact, but that rate is triple (18%) among those with an income below $20,000/year. Latinos are most likely to report receiving assistance from nonprofits (13%), compared with 8% of non-Latino Black individuals, 4% of non-Latino white individuals, and 8% of those with less than a high school degree.

Employment also impacted

About one in seven (14%) of those surveyed say they were laid off due to COVID-19. Layoffs are more than twice as common for people with only a high school degree than for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (17% versus 9%). Layoffs have been more common for Latinos (20%) than for African Americans (13.5%) or whites (12%). They have been most common for people under 30 (23%) and least common for those 60 and older (8.5%).

Other research conducted by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, part of Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life, has also documented the adverse economic impacts of COVID-19 on youth—particularly on youth of color.

About the study

The survey was designed and analyzed by Tufts University’s Research Group on Equity in Health, Wealth and Civic Engagement. It was fielded online by Ipsos between May 29 and June 10, 2020, using its KnowledgePanel. The sample was nationally representative, and the number of complete responses was 1,267 non-institutionalized adult residents of the United States.

More technical information about the survey is at https://equityresearch.tufts.edu/the-survey/.

Tufts University’s Research Group on Equity in Health, Wealth and Civic Engagement was established in 2019 as part of a strategic effort to use resources and expertise across the university to address major global issues. It brings together researchers from across the university to discuss and investigate aspects of equity and inequity in the United States and the world. The research has been funded by Tufts University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Research as one of several such initiatives.

The group’s principal investigators are Jennifer Allen, professor of Community Health in Tufts’ School of Arts and Sciences; Peter Levine, associate dean for academic affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts; and Tom Stopka, an epidemiologist and associate professor at Tufts School of Medicine. Other members of the group can be found here.

By September 2020, the Research Group will launch a website at https://equityresearch.tufts.edu that will allow anyone to explore numerous dimensions of equity and inequity with an interactive data-visualization tool. Tufts’ Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life is funding the data-visualization tool.

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For more information o, contact: Robin Smyton robin.smyton@tufts.edu 617.627.5392 or Jen McAndrew jennifer.mcandrew@tufts.edu 617.627.2029.

About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university’s schools is widely encouraged.

FJCC Senior Fellow Wins Award!

The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship  is delighted to have relationships with a number of excellent civics and social studies scholars. Among them is our own senior fellow out of the University of South Florida, Dr. Michael Berson.

michael-berson

Dr. Berson has been heavily involved in civic education for many many years, and with his wife, the excellent scholar Dr. Ilene Berson, helped to create Kid Citizen, a resource for K-5 students that we cannot recommend enough.

We were thrilled, then, when the news came down that our dear friend Dr. Berson had been awarded the Irving Morrissett Award for Outstanding Contribution to Social Science Education this month at the Social Science Education Consortium’s (SSEC) 2020 Annual Meeting!

morriset award

Congrats to Dr. Berson. It is well deserved!

Join us TODAY for our Special Confab Call on Planning D&D Pedagogy in an Uncertain Fall!

In just a few hours, NCDD is excited to host a special Confab Call on Planning D&D Pedagogy in an Uncertain Fall: Using this as a time to collaborate, discover, and create shared resources!  

Register ASAP for this free event happening TODAY from 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific. All who are working with students using dialogue & deliberation are welcome to join. We encourage participants to complete this survey so that we can better tailor the session to respond to your needs!

The upcoming fall semester is full of uncertainties. Even if there will be in-person instruction, it seems for many in Higher Education that online components will be a significant part of courses. For those who teach dialogue and deliberation to students, this presents some challenges. How can we do this work with students smoothly in a hybrid or fully online format?

The special NCDD Confab Call is intended to help Higher Ed folks – faculty and student affairs staff working with dialogue & deliberation pedagogy – share and explore together resources for transitioning to a predominantly online format in the fall (and perhaps beyond). On the call, participants will share resources they have been using, as well as talk about what the kinds of resources are needed to assist in this new format. NCDD hopes to utilize this event to help boost collaborative efforts and identify many resources, tools, and approaches that can be cataloged as a resource for everyone going forward.

If you have developed lessons, or tools, or have experience with student dialogues in an online format, join us and share! If you are still figuring out what you will do, bring your questions and needs to the discussion! This Confab is all about working together to make everyone’s work easier, as well as to help show just how connected and vibrant this field is and reinvigorate D&D studies in Higher Ed. We’ll share and explore perhaps what still needs creating for the fall and beyond.

Unable to join us? Fill out the brief survey we have created so we can learn more about your needs and offerings.

Don’t miss this collaborative event – register today!

About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

Update on Civics360.org

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Whats New on Civics360?

Good evening, friends in civics! We have been spending this summer updating our Civics360 platform in a number of ways and wanted to take a few minutes and share that with you.

New Embed Platform: Schooltube

One thing you may notice is that is that all of the videos on Civics360 have been replaced with a new service: Schooltube.  We found that Schooltube offers a great deal more flexibility in support, with adfree videos and full embed capabilities, and you should check it out. SchoolTube is available for use directly by all K12 schools and districts. You can check out Schooltube here.

One of the nice benefits of Schooltube is that the videos are automatically captioned. Captioning was a constant request and we are excited to finally be able to offer that (though because it is automatic, there are still some minor issues with it).
preamble captioned

You can also visit our new Civics360 Schooltube Channels. We encourage you to check out Schooltube and our new channels, and we are excited about this new platform that improves Civics360!

New Topic Area: The High School US Government Classroom

HSUS Gov

This new topic area is aligned with the new Civic Literacy Assessment for high school and college. Like the ones for middle school civics, it contains videos and resources for the 4 main areas of the assessment (and for US government in general), as well as one module that provides an overview of US government and the Civic Literacy Assessment.

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The activities provided are beyond what we see with most (though not all) Civics360 modules, with a focus on high school government learning. The resources are primarily ones referenced in our new teacher professional development course for this!

actuvities amgov

We encourage you to share it with your high school friends, or if you have kids heading to college!

Coming in Late August: New Supports and Resources for Some Modules
text supports

We have spent some time the past few months working on a grant with Orange County Public Schools, funded by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation. As a part of this grant, teachers have developed new reading resources and activities for some modules (as you can see pictured above!). We are excited to be able to share these with you! The goal here is to provide supports through more leveled texts and engaging activities that helps all students grasp the content. We hope that you will find them useful. We are currently in the process of edits and revisions and expect to have them up in August.

COMING SOON
These changes are in the works, mostly around registration. We are approaching beta testing with this, and is in response to requests we have gotten since launch.
1. NO MORE STUDENT NAMES AND EMAILS. Students will register with an autogenerated name and number (420,69, and 666 automatically blocked. ha), their own password, and, most significantly, a class code. YOUR class code. That is IT. We will collect no other info from students and there is no personal information at all we get from them. There is also a clear statement that they must have parent permission to register, provided to the teacher, if they are under 13 as we seek to comply with COPPA guidelines.
2. You will register and be given a class code and be able to have class rosters. You’ll need to be sure to have your kids tell you their log in names (you will hopefully be able to print out the class roster with a dedicated space to type or write it in), because we will not collect that information. You WILL be able to reset student passwords yourself! Once we launch a revised assessment platform, you will be able to track student grades on that as well. Mike is writing the code for that feature. Need to wait until we replace the quiz platform for it to work, though (that’s next after the new registration). This roster should autopopulate as students register using your classcode (so you’ll need to create your account first).
3. No more ‘I cant find my school’. We have uploaded the most recent database of Florida K-12 schools, but you will also have the option to ‘Create New School’ if you can’t find it, and be able to request it be added to the database for others. This allows folks in private, Catholic, and newer charters, as well as other states, to actually associate with a school.
4. Working to ensure that teachers have different access than students so that we can have answer keys actually on the site instead of needing to email me. Still working out the kinks on that.
5. Targeting single sign on as well, as we know that is a demand. We have sign on working with Google right now. This may take some extra time.
6. No more annoying security questions. If you forget your password, you should just be able to email me automatically for a reset.
These changes likely mean that you and your students will need to re-register on Civics360, and we apologize for that. We are planning a Beta test for sometime in the next two weeks, so unlikely to be ready for ‘opening day’ (much like this season’s Red Sox pitching staff. ugh) but I will keep you updated. Please note that all of this assumes no bugs or other issues we haven’t thought of.
We appreciate your patience and support and apologize it’s taken us so long for some of this, and these other improvements. But we are very excited by these changes and the new resources that are being added!

Questions? Comments? Shoot me an email! 

party identification and ideology over time

Jeffrey Jacobs of Gallup writes, “U.S. Party Preferences Have Swung Sharply Toward Democrats.” And Gallup’s Lydia Saad reports, “Americans’ ideological bent has shifted in the first half of 2020 with fewer people self-identifying as politically conservative in May and June than at the start of the year. There has been a corresponding increase in self-described liberals while the percentage moderate has been fairly steady.”

Here is the evidence:

These reports of 2020 Gallup polls made me curious about the longer term trend. Here are Gallup results for party ID since 2004.

And here are the trends for conservatives and liberals, showing one annual result for every year until 2019, and then the three polls this year:

(By depicting the ideology data this way, I have made 2020 look uniquely volatile. I can’t find more data points before 2020, but I’m sure the lines would zig-zag more.)

A few observations:

  • Many more Americans are always comfortable calling themselves conservatives than liberals. It is not the case that many people place themselves left of liberal or identify as “progressives” instead of liberals, because almost everyone picks either conservative, liberal, or moderate. However, the content of those labels shifts. To be liberal in 2020 means different things than it meant in 1992, and that is where the left has a greater advantage.
  • The beginning of 2020 was one of the peaks for conservative identification. The level this June was typical.
  • Republican identification in June 2020 (39%) was lower than it was in 82% of Gallup’s surveys since 2004, but it was not unprecedented. Republican identification was at 36% as recently as January 2019.
  • Democrats have a longterm advantage in party ID. Republicans have been ahead in 12% of Gallup’s surveys since 2004.
  • Each party tends to get more support when the other one holds the presidency, but George W. Bush boosted Democratic identification more than Barack Obama helped Republicans. Bush also did more damage to his own party than Trump has done to his, so far. However, I think the bottom may well fall out for the GOP between now and the end of the year. They could reach the same level as in fall 2006, when they trailed the Dems. by 56%-34%, and Nancy Pelosi became Speaker.

Free Online Professional Development for Civics, Government, and US History!

Good evening, friends! Are you looking for free online professional development? You may be interested, then, in our The Civics Classroom series.

The Civics Classroom Overview

prepared-classroom

A Prepared Classroom provides teachers with an understanding of:

  • Course descriptions and the Civics End-of-Course Test Item Specifications,
  • How to utilize curriculum and pacing guides,
  • The value of strategic planning and preparing for instruction, and
  • Making informed decisions about instruction based on formative and summative data.

cognitively-complex-classroom

A Cognitively Complex Classroom provides teachers with an understanding of:

  • The role of cognitive complexity when facilitating instruction and assessment,
  • Utilizing strategies and structures, and
  • Developing learning activities that integrate English Language Arts and disciplinary literacy skills.

cohesive-classroom

A Cohesive Classroom provides teachers with an understanding of:

  • identifying the needs of students for scaffolded and differentiated supports aligned with the Universal Design for Learning and,
  • how to develop a responsive civics classroom that builds academic and social-emotional competencies.

 

The fourth course in the series, developed in collaboration with our partners at Bay District Schools, explores the underlying ideas of the US Constitution and is ‘hosted’ by Dr. Charles Flanagan of the National Archives’ Center for Legislative Archives!

constitutional-classroom

A Constitutional Classroom will provide teachers with an understanding of:

  • Major ideas in the U.S. Constitution,
  • How to apply disciplinary literacy skills, and
  • Preparing for instruction to make content accessible for all learners.

You can get info to register for these courses and download the syllabi, over at Florida Citizen!

but wait

We have also completed and are now launching the first course in what we hope will be a strong and long series for high school US history! The High School US History: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era is, like A Constitutional Classroom, hosted by our friend Dr. Charles Flanagan from the National Archives’ Center for Legislative Archives and was developed in collaboration with our partners at Bay District Schools. 

high-school-us-history-classroom

The High School US History: Civil War and Reconstruction course will provide teachers with pedagogy, content, and resources for:

  • the major ideas of the cause, course, and consequences of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era
  • primary sources and disciplinary literacy
  • strategies and structures for accessible learning

You can get info to register for the new course and download the syllabus at the course page on Florida Citizen.

But what about you folks in high school US Government? We have a new course for you as well!
high-school-government-classroom

The High School Government Classroom: Building Critical Knowledge course will provide teachers with pedagogy, content, and resources for:

  • lesson planning and preparation in social studies
  • the principles of American democracy
  • the US Constitution
  • Founding Documents
  • Landmark Cases

For Florida teachers, this course is intended to help you prepare students for the new Civic Literacy Assessment. However, it also provides a basic foundation in US government content, pedagogy, and resources and aligns with the newHigh School US Government modules on Civics360! 

You can get info to register for the course and download the syllabus over at, you guessed it, Florida Citizen.

We hope that you find these new courses beneficial!

Questions? Email Steve!

how change is made

From June 1-June 11, 2020, “support for the [anti-racism] protests grew 10 points among Mixed Feelings voters, 14 points among Lean Biden voters, and a head-spinning 25 points among Lean Trump voters. ‘I had never in my research career seen public opinion shift on the scale in this time frame,’ Michiah Prull said.’”

But how much does this change matter? Beyond affecting the vote in November, what does the shift in public opinion portend?

I’d offer the following general observations.

Public opinion is subject to fairly quick and major shifts when people assess something that doesn’t affect them directly and substantially. For instance, the Civil Rights Movement persuaded many white Northerners to turn strongly against segregation in the South ca. 1958-65. This mattered because it changed votes in the US Congress, yet Northerners were not asked to renounce any of their own advantages. The Civil Rights Movement struggled when it shifted to the North and the issue became White Northerners’ behavior.

People will voluntarily renounce advantages over other people (“privileges”) so long as they don’t have to pay a tangible price or undergo a serious risk as a result. Most straight people have decided that it’s no problem if gay people also marry. In a way, this means renouncing a privilege or a status advantage. But since straight people can still marry, it’s not really a sacrifice. Marriage equality is win/win. To be sure, some people take challenges to their status advantage as threats, but they can often be outvoted by people who are willing to give up merely symbolic privileges.

It is not true that people always act out of self-interest. More than 600,000 Americans died in the US Civil War (putting both sides together), which is hard to explain in terms of individual self-interest — or coercion. Many were eager to sacrifice. But when human beings sacrifice, it is very rarely for other people. It is usually for some “we” to which the individual feels loyalty. And that “we” usually takes a tangible, concrete form as well as an abstract one. Maybe Americans will sacrifice for America because it’s part of our identity, but each soldier is more likely to sacrifice for his own buddies in the squad.

Although people sacrifice when they belong to cohesive groups or during moments of dramatic change, self-interest tends to prevail over the longer term. Relative advantages are astoundingly durable, surviving even revolutions and invasions. The descendants of pagan, Roman gentry became medieval French bishops. Even in the hardest circumstances, people find ways to pass relative advantage to their own offspring and justify doing so using the ideological materials of their time and place.

Still, we are capable of building fairer societies, ones that guarantee more security and opportunity to the least advantaged. Typically, those societies are also democratic, and a substantial majority sees the social contract as beneficial to them.

People will also make concessions to organized groups who can extract a price. For instance, we’ll pay more for a good if the people who manufacture it can strike for better wages. We’ll give up a social advantage to calm a restive group so that they leave us alone. In these cases, a majority yields to a minority for pragmatic reasons.

If these generalizations generally apply, then it’s unlikely that White Americans will voluntarily change their behavior in ways that are actually costly to them or their descendants. I believe that efforts to educate people about their relative advantage are apolitical in the sense that they do not reflect a coherent strategy for addressing power. I fear that these efforts can actually alert people to their own advantages and cause them to dig in. As Steve Biko wrote, “No amount of moral lecturing will persuade the white man to ‘correct’ the situation.” Trainings in diversity, equity and inclusion may be ways for institutions to maintain the status quo, not tools for changing it.

But that does not mean that change is impossible. In fact, I am optimistic that change is coming. It will come in other ways.

First, a majority of the American electorate is shifting on issues that they see as not directly costly to themselves, although these issues matter. Aggressive, racially biased policing and mass incarceration really don’t benefit you if you happen to be white and middle class. In fact, you may suffer collateral damage. Even though African Americans are much more likely than whites to report discriminatory treatment by the police, a plurality of all the people who report such treatment are white. White people can definitely be persuaded to oppose militarized, muscle-bound (and expensive) policing.

We may shift toward a new social contract that prevails because a broad cross-section of voters see it as beneficial to them–and it reduces racial injustice. Many Americans will vote for universal health care or cheaper college because of their self-interest. A society with better access to health and education should also be more racially equitable.

Second, the composition of the public shifting. Although a majority of the electorate remains White, about half of Democrats are now people of color. Their concentration on one side of the aisle poses risks but also offers advantages. When Republicans falter for any reason, people of color suddenly have a lot of leverage.

Third, skillfully organized people of color can (and are) extracting concessions by protesting, boycotting, and otherwise challenging institutions that need them in various ways.

Finally, change can result from random events that are skillfully exploited. I think, for example, that both childhood and gender have been transformed by the rise of girls’ team sports. One reason was Title IX (1972), which was not intended to popularize girls’ athletics. Girls’ sports didn’t arise automatically as a consequence of Title IX; many women and girls (and some men) had to work hard to create teams, leagues, training programs, role models, etc. However, the law created an opening–more or less by accident–and people took advantage of it. We should look for such opportunities today.

See also: the significance of the progressive primary victories; when social advantage persists for millennia; why some forms of advantage are more stubborn than others; the remarkable persistence of social advantage.

NIFI Updates Issue Guide on Immigration

NCDD member org, the National Issues Forums Institute released their new updated issue guide, Immigration: What Should We Welcome? What Should We Do? In this short updated guide, you can find helpful information and three approaches to assist conversations on this topic that affects almost every single person in America. Read the new announcement below or find the original on NIFI’s here


New Issue Guide – Immigration: Who Should We Welcome, What Should We Do?

This issue is part of the Hidden Common Ground initiative, and sets of free materials are available for conveners and moderators. Scroll down for the Immigration issue guide and other related materials. Need help with your order? Contact customer service.

The immigration issue affects virtually every American, directly or indirectly, often in deeply personal ways. This guide is designed to help people deliberate together about how we should approach the issue. The three options presented here reflect different ways of understanding what is at stake and force us to think about what matters most to us when we face difficult problems that involve all of us and that do not have perfect solutions.

The US government essentially shut down immigration, at least temporarily, during the coronavirus pandemic. But as our country begins to reopen, difficult questions remain:

  • Should we strictly enforce the law and deport people who are
  • here without permission, or would deporting millions of people outweigh their crime?
  • Should we welcome more newcomers to build a more vibrant and diverse society, or does this pose too great a threat to national unity?
  • Should we accept more of the millions of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing gang violence and war, or should we avoid the risk of taking in people whose backgrounds may not have been fully checked?
  • Should our priority be to help immigrants assimilate into our distinctively American way of life and insist they learn English, or should we instead celebrate a growing mosaic of different peoples?

The concerns that underlie this issue are not confined to party affiliation, nor are they captured by labels such as “conservative” or “liberal.”

The research involved in developing the guide included interviews and conversations with Americans from all walks of life, as well as surveys of nonpartisan public-opinion research, subject-matter scans, and reviews of initial drafts by people with direct experience with the subject

You can find the original version of this announcement on the National Issues Forum site at www.nifi.org/en/issue-guide/immigration.

Congressman John Lewis, 1940-2020

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Congressman John Lewis, from Apple.com

This past weekend, the nation lost a legendary civil rights leader in the passing of Congressman John Lewis. A passionate advocate of racial equality and civil rights, Congressman Lewis rose to prominence during the Civil Rights Movement, one of the leaders of the Freedom Rides, speaking at the 1963 March on Washington and playing a key role in the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge out of Selma, a day which came to be known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ for the violence of the law enforcement response.

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John Lewis was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi in 1961 as a consequence for his part in the Freedom Rides, sent to Parchman Penitentiary for using “white” restroom https://twitter.com/repjohnlewis/status/486142489527844865

Lewis’ speech at the March on Washington is worth a watch. Interestingly, his speech was rewritten literally at the last minute to tone down his powerful words.

Congressman Lewis was a paragon of civic engagement, a leader in the fight for justice, and a strong advocate for holding our nation to the ideals laid out in its Founding Documents. May we all learn from his example.