Arkansas Education Officials Say AP African American Studies Course Won’t Count Toward Graduation

Arkansas Education Officials Say AP African American Studies Course Won’t Count Toward Graduation

Nicquel Terry Ellis for CNN reports that Arkansas public high schools students enrolled in the controversial Advanced Placement African American Studies course will not be able to receive credit toward graduation, state education officials told districts last week. Earlier this year, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order prohibiting “indoctrination and critical race theory in schools.” Little Rock School Board member and attorney Ali Noland said that nearly 100 students at Central High were enrolled in the course this school year, noting “I cannot think of anywhere that it is more important to study this history, than in a classroom in Little Rock Central High School.” PRRI research finds that nearly nine in ten Americans oppose “banning books that include depictions of slavery from being taught in public schools” (89%).


What To Know About Texas Lawsuit Seeking Millions From Planned Parenthood

Rebecca Falconer at Axios reports that on Tuesday, Planned Parenthood said that the Texas lawsuit seeking to force it to pay back millions of dollars it received through Medicaid could cause it to shut down in the state. Last year, the state’s currently-suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton claimed that Planned Parenthood defrauded the state’s Medicaid program of about $10 million under the federal False Claims Act. The nonprofit says the claims are meritless. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk who will decide the case gave no indication on when he might rule. PRRI survey data finds Texas is tied with West Virginia, Louisiana, Idaho, Tennessee, and Arkansas for having the highest percentage of residents who say that abortion should be illegal in all cases (14%).


Judge Rules in Favor of Montana Youths in Landmark Climate Decision

Kate Selig for The Washington Post writes that in the first decision of its kind, a Montana state court ruled in favor of young people who argued that the state violated their right to a “clean and healthful environment” by promoting the use of fossil fuels. While the number of climate cases around the world has more than doubled in the last five years, youth-led lawsuits in the United States have not seen much success up until now. A report from the U.N. Environment Program and Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law said about three-quarters of the approximately 2,200 ongoing or concluded cases were filed in the United States. In this case, Montana youth testified across five days, including one 15-year-old with asthma who described himself as “a prisoner in my own home” when isolating with COVID during a period of intense wildfire smoke.


Does Information Affect Our Beliefs?

Amanda Taub for The New York Times reports that new research from scholars at universities across the United States examined how social media is shaping our knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors. In general, Facebook showed users information from sources they already agreed with. However, Taub notes, there was no evidence that the platform had a significant effect on people’s underlying beliefs, or on levels of political polarization, suggesting that the relationship between the information we consume and the beliefs we hold is more complex than is commonly understood. PRRI finds that Americans aged 18–29 (5%) and 30–49 (5%) are slightly more likely to say that they discuss important issues online or on social media than the 50–64 and 65+ age groups (2% and 3%, respectively).


What’s Buzzing?

Read PRRI’s full spotlight “Surveys Suggest that Public Opinion on Race Is at Odds with Anti-Critical Race Theory Laws” here.