Parents worry about learning loss from remote learning

Parents with children attending school under a remote learning model (either full time or part time) are concerned about learning loss this school year, according to a recent national survey of public school parents first shared by Education Week.

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 [sic] 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.

Concerns over remote learning and learning loss are not new. Multiple surveys confirmed distance learning this past spring didn’t go well, but “schools have had seven months to prepare for learning this fall,” said Keri Rodrigues, the co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. “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.”

And parents are letting school leaders know. Public school enrollment has dropped seven percentage points. Parents are realizing the top-down education system they defaulted to for years has its limitations, and they are seeking out alternatives. They are taking their students’ education into their own hands if they can.

Now we need to make sure all students and families can access the learning environment that is right for them. The status quo wasn’t great before the pandemic, so we should use this opportunity to rethink how to create better learning opportunities. It starts with accountability.