Families & the Community

Parents May Not Be as Upset With Schools About COVID Protocols as You Think, Polls Show

By Ileana Najarro — November 10, 2021 2 min read
Image of coronavirus and data.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

New poll results find that most Americans are feeling good about how their local schools have handled COVID-19 health and safety concerns.

A national poll of 1,033 Americans age 18 or older was conducted by market research company Ipsos Nov. 5-8 for the news organization Axios. Of the respondents, 182 were parents with children under the age of 18, said Chris Jackson, Ipsos senior vice president.

Respondents were asked to think back across the entire COVID-19 pandemic (since March 2020 to now) and rate whether local schools have done a good or poor job balancing health and safety with other priorities. Seventy-five percent of parents and 71 percent of respondents overall said local schools were doing a very good or somewhat good job.

At a time when education and schools are big election topics, as seen recently in Virginia and New Jersey, the poll was meant as a temperature check on how Americans think schools are being run, Jackson said.

“If you just watched coverage of those elections, you sort of got the picture that there’s this popular revolt of parents just totally fed up with what’s going on,” he said. “The data suggests that’s not true at all—that in fact, most parents are actually pretty positive about how schools have handled the pandemic.”

For Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade county public schools in Florida, the findings match local feelings of support his community has shared as his district has navigated the pandemic.

“I think it speaks clearly for the appreciation and the recognition of how difficult the task was, and how quickly school systems stepped up to the challenge going above and beyond just teaching students—which is never easy—but actually being a calming presence in the community in terms of dispensing meals, activating their sites for the purpose of testing for COVID-19, and then activating their sites for vaccinations,” Carvalho said.

In a similar vein, the latest poll from the National Parents Union, an advocacy organization, found that 75 percent of parents thought their child’s school was doing an excellent or good job handling health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

That nationally representative poll of 1,006 parents of public school students was conducted Sept. 9-13 by research group Echelon Insights. It also dug into concerns parents have, which included children’s academic progress and how the coronavirus situation is affecting children’s mental health and emotional well-being.

Keri Rodrigues, president of the National Parents Union, said parents have a lot of anxiety over issues related to school transportation, unfinished learning, and the supply-chain impact on students’ access to quality food at school, which are not addressed in the Ipsos poll.

Jackson with Ipsos said its poll question was intentionally left vague so as to avoid any language that could lead to partisan responses.

He recognized that parents may still have concerns, but said it’s important to highlight that it’s also not a scenario where parents are 100 percent against teachers and school administrators.

Related Tags:

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Families & the Community How to Talk to Parents About COVID-19 Vaccines: 3 Tips From Scientists
The National Academies of Science has new guidance for schools on encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated.
4 min read
Image of a stethescope, teddy bear, and vaccine syringe.
Milena Khosroshvili/iStock/Getty
Families & the Community Parents: Schools Haven't Sought Our Input on How to Spend Billions in COVID Aid
In a poll, parents say they don't know how schools are spending their COVID aid, and that they haven't been consulted as required by law.
4 min read
MoneyBoatONlineGraph iSTOCK c.ToddBates
Todd Bates/iStock/Getty
Families & the Community Opinion A New Group Battling for Freedom of Thought in Education
Rick Hess speaks with the founder of a new network of teachers and parents who support freedom of thought and expression in education.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Families & the Community 'I Need You to Wear a Mask to Protect My Child.' A Mom Fights for Vulnerable Students
Some parents see a tension between their medically vulnerable children's safety and their educational needs during the pandemic.
8 min read
Julia Longoria has joined a federal lawsuit by Disability Rights Texas against Texas Governor Greg Abbott over his ban on mask mandates in public schools. Longoria argues that the executive order prevents her child, Juliana, who is medically at-risk, from being able to attend school safely. Juliana Ramirez, 8, a third grader at James Bonham Academy in San Antonio, Texas, has ADHD and severe asthma which puts her at risk of complications from COVID-19.
Julia Longoria has joined a federal lawsuit by Disability Rights Texas against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over his ban on mask mandates in public schools. Longoria argues that the executive order prevents her child, Juliana, 8, who is medically at risk, from being able to attend school safely.
Julia Robinson for Education Week