DURING MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOLS are looking to end the school year with something closer to a normal routine and setting, a majority of parents across the state say their kids will need to catch up in school in the fall after what has been described by many as a “lost year” canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is part of the results of a new Massachusetts Parents Survey, the fourth in a series of K-12 enrollment surveys conducted by the MassINC Polling Group and sponsored by the Barr Foundation with input by The Education Trust.
More than half of parents polled in the latest poll – 55% – believe their child will have to catch up on school next year. There were clear racial differences, with 62 percent of Asian parents and 59 percent of black parents saying their child will need to catch up, compared to 53 percent of white and Latino parents.
The proportion of parents who believe their child is now behind school has nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic, from 16% before COVID to 29% now.
Parents of students who are still learning through hybrid models were the most likely to say their child will need to catch up in school. This finding is consistent with previous surveys by the MassINC Polling Group in which parents of hybrid students reported the most negative impact of schooling during the time of the pandemic.
Among parents who feel their child is behind schedule and whose child is still partially or fully learning at home, the strategies they believe would help them the most to catch up are returning to in-person learning, receiving frequent updates on their academic progress, and another. – individual or small group instruction. Sixty-four percent of parents said that in-person learning would be “very helpful”, while 63% said frequent updates on their academic performance and 60% said individual or small instruction. group would be “very helpful.” “
When reading a list of various approaches to helping students catch up in school, black and Latino parents were more likely to say that a wide range of strategies could be “very helpful.”
A wide range of funding priorities for schools have been widely supported, ranging from tutoring to expanding vocational and technical education and mental health services. Black and Latino parents were more likely to identify approaches as funding priorities, as were low-income parents.
Black parents were the most likely to say their child was treated unfairly in school, as were younger parents.
Only a quarter of respondents said they plan to take their child to summer school. Whether a parent planned to send their child to summer school was closely related to their perception of their academic situation, with almost half (48%) of those who said their child had “a lot”. Caught up stating that they were planning to send them. summer school.
Parents of color and those whose children are learning English or have an individualized education plan were the most likely to say they planned to send them to summer school.
More than half of parents – 56% – said their children always learned remotely from home or in a hybrid mix of in-person and distance learning, although 80% have children who are learning in school at the same time. less part-time.
More than two-thirds of parents want their child to receive in-person instruction in the fall, but a significant share – 28% – still prefer distance or hybrid learning, a figure higher among black, Latino and Asian parents .
The survey of 1,619 parents of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in Massachusetts was conducted between April 23 and May 14.