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VELA. Hyde Park Neighborhood Club. 2

Perspectives on Education

March 10, 2022
  • The devastating impact of the pandemic continues to affect students
  • The devastating impact of the pandemic continues to affect students
  • There's reason for concern about students' mental health and wellbeing
  • Parents want big, bold change that meets their students' needs
    The devastating impact of the pandemic continues to affect students

    Parents made big changes – and are sticking with them.  

    The 2020-21 school year brought significant changes for families. An estimated 15% to 21% of students switched schools since the beginning of the pandemic, with parents prioritizing environments that better met their child’s academic, mental health and overall well-being. Many moved children to public charter schools, that, according to research, offered more personalized instruction for students. Two-thirds of parents who moved schools plan to stay with their change for the 2021-22 school year.

    Learning loss is significant and students still face major disruptions this year.

    Though more schools are open in person during the 2021-22 school year, learning loss and school disruptions remain. Two in three parents say their children started academically behind. To make matters worse, parents report kids have missed a full month of in-person school this year.

    There's reason for concern about students' mental health and wellbeing

    Two years into the pandemic, students are still reporting feelings of depression and anxiety as significant barriers to their learning and well-being.

    Parents want big, bold change that meets their students' needs

    Parents want schools to rethink how they educate students.

    With two years of navigating learning in new ways under their belt, parent expectations of their children's schools are higher. Parents want their children's educational experience moving forward to look very different from the past, with more flexible learning options, individualized instruction and increased access to technology.

    Parents and students want schools to be more responsive to their needs.  

    While parents recognize the herculean work of educators and schools since the pandemic, they want better. They are reporting they are more involved in their child’s education than ever but don't believe schools ask for their feedback enough. And they are frustrated with how their children's school handled the COVID crisis last year.

    Parents — as well voters, educators and leaders — want more information about student progress. 

    Parents feel that their children are academically behind, and they want to understand the extent to which their kids have suffered. The first step to getting kids back on track is measuring where they are academically. With more information about progress and gaps, educators and parents can work together to meet every child’s unique needs.

    Parents want schools to prioritize addressing learning loss through bold changes.   

    Parents recognize that educators and schools are working very hard. They appreciate the effort, especially those of teachers, many of whom are managing childcare and burnout. However, they want to see new, bold approaches to education.

    Read the full report here.

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