New Education Poll:

Stop the Rollercoaster… Majority of Parents Want Schools to Make a Plan and Stick with it




Washington, D.C.– A new poll from the National Parents Union found 54% of parents prefer their child’s school stick to a consistent plan for whether students receive remote or in-person learning, rather than changing plans based on the number of COVID cases in the area.

The survey, conducted in late September, also found that only a little more than half of all parents felt included in the decision-making process about the school’s plans for reopening. And many parents weren’t happy with the reopening plan for their child’s school, with more than a third (35%) grading their schools with a C or worse.

As far as the education experience goes, 38% of parents feel their child is learning less this year than they normally would. Additionally, a quarter of all parents say their kids are not receiving enough instruction time from the teacher. Nearly 40% say their children are not getting enough time to interact with other students.

Driving these numbers are parents of full-time remote and hybrid students who are more likely to say their children aren’t getting enough instruction time or student-to-student interaction time. Parents of hybrid students, specifically, are also more likely to want schools to focus on providing access to consistent, high-quality remote learning as opposed to focusing on trying to get students back into the classroom (50% vs. 45%)

“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”, said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union, and mom to three boys. “Schools have had seven months to prepare for learning this fall, and it’s clear that too many are still lagging behind in providing a high-quality education, whether in-person or remote. Schools need to get down to basics and they need to do so fast because our littlest learners can’t afford another lost year and parents want off this roller coaster.”

MENTAL HEALTH- Lack of Resources: 

37% of parents say their school is doing a fair or poor job in providing resources to support students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing. More than half (59%) say they are worried about how COVID is affecting their child’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.


Parents also reported wanting schools to use this time to reimagine education, with 60% saying the schools should be focused on rethinking how to educate students, coming up with new ways to teach children moving forward as a result of COVID. Just 33% say schools should be focused on trying to get back to the way things were before COVID.

Among Black parents, 72% want schools to reimagine education, with just 23% saying they want to go back to the way things were.

REMOTE LEARNING- What schools are offering: 

Overall, 76% of parents said their child is either full- or part-time remote. The survey asked the remote/online families which of the following is being offered by the school:

  • Laptops or tablets for students to take home 58%
  • Live online classes with their teacher(s) 56%
  • Emailed assignments from teachers 38%
  • Tutorials for students on how to access and use online learning programs 28%
  • Pre-recorded online video lessons by their teacher(s) 27%
  • IT support to help address problems with laptops or tablets or difficulty accessing online learning programs 25%
  • Self-paced online courses provided through a service or app 20%
  • Hot spots or access to high speed internet for students at home 20%
  • Training or information sessions for parents on how to help students continue learning from home 19%
  • Activities or resources that do not require the use of a computer or Internet, such as printed learning materials or phone calls with their teacher(s) 18%

September 21–29, 2020- 1,140 parents of K-12 public school students