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Framing Effects and the Public's Support for Equity-Advancing Education Policy

Sun, April 11, 10:40am to 12:10pm EDT (10:40am to 12:10pm EDT), Division L, Division L - Section 1 Paper and Symposium Sessions


I apply framing theory to understand correlates of the public’s support for equity-focused education policy. I report results from two surveys, one national survey of Americans 18+, and one representative survey of California voters). Respondents were more likely to prioritize ending educational inequality by race when they had lower levels of implicit and explicit bias, and when they believed that structural factors (e.g., school quality) played a larger role in shaping the existing inequalities. In a survey experiment, I find that issue framing affects voters’ prioritization of educational inequality by race. Respondents who placed higher priority on lowering taxes gave lower priority to ending educational inequality; however, this association was neutralized by framing educational inequality as harming the economy.