Poll: Parents Increasingly Believe Children Have Fallen Behind in School with Distance Learning

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Posted: Sep 09, 2021 5:30 PM
Poll: Parents Increasingly Believe Children Have Fallen Behind in School with Distance Learning

Source: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Parents increasingly believe that their children have fallen behind in school due to distance learning, according to a USA TODAY/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday. A majority, at 55 percent, now believe that. The number was 46 percent last year. 

And, while a majority of parents still believe that their children "will eventually be able to make up any lost ground," at 67 percent, that confidence has taken a hit as well. It was 73 percent in 2020. 

Fifty percent said that their school district prepared them well for online or distance learning, which is down significantly from last year, when 65 percent said so. 

As Alia Wong's write-up for USA Today noted:

Half of parents say their district adequately prepared students for remote instruction, a 15-percentage-point drop from last May. Concerns are especially high among Black parents, 37% of whom say their children were well-prepared for distance learning.  

Even the Biden Administration has acknowledged how online learning has hurt students, especially certain demographics.

As reported by Mychael Schenll in The Hill:

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told The Washington Post in a recent interview that the pandemic worsened achievement disparities among students, and contended that the best way to close the gap is through in-person learning.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) remain beholden to the teacher's unions. 

The poll also indicated consistent majorities of parents and total respondents in favor of measures such as mask mandates for students and staff. It's worth noting though that a majority of parents, at 53 percent, said "Individual parents should make the decision on if their children wear masks in school or not," compared to 43 percent total respondents.

When it comes to such concerns above, Wong wrote:

These sentiments may help to explain why most Americans are in favor of resuming in-person learning. Among parents of schoolchildren, 7 in 10 support returning to full-time instruction in classrooms. Support is strongest among white and Asian parents and weakest among Black and Hispanic parents, communities that have been hit harder by COVID-19.

The online poll was conducted from August 30-September 1, with about 2,000 adults in the United States. About one-fifth of respondents are parents of school-age children. The credibility interval is at plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Madeline on Tuesday reported on a new Axios/Momentive poll, which similarly found that parents of school-age children support mask mandates for staff, students, and teachers.