Parents Worry About Learning Loss in Remote Education Environments

By Alyson Klein — October 12, 2020 2 min read
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Parent concerns about learning loss during COVID-19 remain high as most report their children are still learning remotely either full or part time, concludes a new survey.

More than 3 of every 4 parents, 76 percent, reported that their children are attending school remotely either full time or part time, according to a survey of 1,140 public school parents by the National Parents Union, a nonprofit that supports parents’ role in making decisions about their child’s education. The remainder reported their children are receving primarily in-person instruction.

Among all parents, 38 percent said they felt their children were learning less this school year than they would during a normal school year, according to the survey, which was conducted the last week in September. The survey attributed that relatively high level of concern mostly to parents whose children are learning remotely either full time or part time.

“School leaders would be well-served to start listening closely to parents, many of whom remain frustrated with how their child is learning this year,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union, in a statement. “Schools have had seven months to prepare for learning this fall, and it’s clear that too many are still lagging behind in providing a high-quality education, whether in-person or remote.”

Those figures from the National Parents Union survey also track with a late August Education Week survey of parents, which found that 36 percent of parents believed their children were making less progress in English language arts than before the pandemic. However, the Education Week survey found that educators were far more concerned than parents, with more than 80 percent saying their students were making less progress in both language arts and math.

The National Parents Union survey also found that 54 percent of parents think schools should put more of their energy into making sure online instruction is high quality rather than figuring out how to reopen schools for in-person instruction. Another 37 percent want to see energy put into reopening school buildings safely.

Parents are also more or less equally divided between wanting their children to continue taking standardized tests and feeling as though teachers and students should get a break, given how much else they have to worry about this school year. Forty-seven percent of parents wanted to continue with the testing, while another 43 percent supported a one-year pause, according to the parents union survey.

Image: Getty

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.