POLLING FROM THE NATIONAL PARENTS UNION

WHAT PARENTS ARE THINKING...

NEW POLL: MAJORITY OF PARENTS APPROVE OF PRESIDENT BIDEN’S HANDLING OF SCHOOL REOPENING PLANS

More than eight-in-ten parents want schools to provide individualized learning plans for each student based on their specific needs
77% of parents would like to see more summer school programs for additional academic instruction
Parents show their overwhelming preference for individualized learning plans based on specific student needs after a year of unprecedented disruption due to Covid-19

Boston, MA (March 29, 2021) — A new poll released today by the National Parents Union found 64% of parents of K-12 public school students approves of President Biden’s handling of school reopening plans, as his administration continues its push to open schools by May 1. Just 26% of parents disapproved of how President Biden is handling the issue.

The poll also found strong support among parents for schools to provide individualized learning plans for each student based on their specific needs. 86% of the respondents said that’s a change schools should make. Additionally, 77% want schools to provide more summer school programs in 2021 for additional academic instruction

The poll also found that parents continue to want options for their child’s learning both this year and next year, as 58% want the opportunity to choose between in-person and remote/online learning options for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. 56% of parents want that option for next school year, with just a quarter of parents saying that in-person learning should be the only option.

When asked to prioritize the ideas of what changes would make the most difference for students to help them get back on track, parents say:

Provide individualized learning plans for each student based on their student need (34%);
Provide all student with the technology necessary to do online learning (30%); and,
Provide more after school tutoring programs for additional academic instruction (30%).
“With all the dysfunction and chaos parents and their children have experienced with education over the past 12 months, two things are clear: parents want options for in-person and remote moving forward and parents want individualized learning plans tailored to the specific needs of their child,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. “Throughout the pandemic, parents have been entrepreneurial in their approach to ensuring their children are educated, and it is long past due that schools begin reimagining their approach to education as well. However, the only way that will work, and the only way to move forward, are for parents to have a seat at the table, and not just any seat, but the seat at the head of the table. We know better than the special interests who have historically occupied that coveted seat what is best for our children and we are going to fight to get it.”

The majority– 58%– of parents also continue to want schools focused on rethinking how to educate students, coming up with new ways to teach children moving forward, a number that has remained steady over the past year.

Parents say children do not have access to mental health and emotional wellbeing supports:

34% of parents say that their school is not offering any services or resources to support student mental health, while another 27% are unsure. Only 39% of parents report their child’s school is providing support for their emotional wellbeing.
Parents continue to give the lowest school ratings on mental health resources with 33% ranking their school’s efforts as only fair or poor; while 53% say they are excellent or good.
Parents divided on testing:

Opinions regarding continuation of statewide testing are divided; 51% of parents say that testing should continue while 40% say that there should be a break from statewide testing this year.
58% of parents say they will have their child take the state test if they are administered in their school.

Full toplines and crosstabs can be found here:

March 11-23, 2021

1,029 parents of K-12 public school students

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARENTS UNION

The National Parents Union is a network of highly effective parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country that is united behind a set of common goals and principles to channel the power of parents. Our family advocates improve the quality of life for children across the United States and define the education conversation. https://nationalparentsunion.org/

 

****

 NEW POLL: PARENTS WANT IN-PERSON LEARNING OPTIONS WITH SAFETY MEASURES; ONLY 5% OF PARENTS BELIEVE UNIONS SHOULD HEAVILY WEIGH ON SCHOOL REOPENING PLANS

Republican and Democratic parents agree on education relief funding amid COVID-19 challenges

Parents trust school district leaders and state public health officials most to evaluate and establish safety procedures in schools

Boston, MA (March 8, 2021) — As the U.S. approaches the one-year anniversary that commenced school closures and the shift towards distance learning, a majority of parents (59%) say schools should offer both in-person and remote learning options during this school year and (55%) next school year, according to a new poll released today by the National Parents Union. Meanwhile, only five percent of parents think teacher unions should have the final say on the return to in-person learning as local school district leaders, parents and public health officials are most reliable in the decision-making.

As education, health and financial concerns remain elevated, views on vaccinating children remain about the same. Only 30% of parents say vaccination is necessary to send their children back to school, a slight drop from last month’s poll. In addition, Black parents are more likely to say schools should wait until all teachers and staff have the opportunity to be vaccinated (49%), compared to 36% of Hispanic parents and 30% of white parents.

The survey also found that families align on school spending priorities if additional relief funding is made available. Both Republicans and Democratic parents believe providing schools with health-related supplies for teachers, staff and students, as well as providing additional academic support for students who need it, and resources for students’ mental health are key priorities to help address the educational challenges related to COVID-19.

“We are a year into the biggest educational disruption most of us will experience in our lifetimes and policymakers still don’t have a handle on how to resume safe in-person learning when all that parents want is more choice amid acute learning loss,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. Parents are grappling with hard decisions and certainly the noise coming from teachers’ unions is not making things any easier as families are inclined to trust and confide more in other parents, public health officials and education leaders when it comes to school safety.”

The survey also highlights the increasing divide on the prioritization of learning options among parents as 46% say their child is learning less than normal. At the beginning of the school year, 54% of parents wanted access to consistent high-quality remote learning while 37% wanted students safely back into the classroom. Six months later, the need for more choice is paramount as both options are increasingly in high demand, at 48% and 46% respectively. Meanwhile, parents with kids in hybrid and full-time remote learning models consistently poll as the most dissatisfied with their school.

Rodrigues continued, “parents want high-quality consistency and are growing increasingly frustrated with the dismal outlook that their child is falling further and further behind. This pandemic has wreaked havoc on families, it is disempowering parents, disengaging children, and making teachers lose their love of teaching. Elected officials have a responsibility to advocate for families and for funding to flow directly to the students; parents are still waiting for urgent resources and economic assistance.”

The survey also showed a consistent upward trend in concerns over mental health and wellbeing. 68% of parents are concerned that their kids are missing important social interactions at school or with friends, up from 58% last April. In addition, 65% are worried about how the current environment is affecting their children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing, up from 50% last April. Yet, fewer than four in ten of parents say their child’s school is currently offering services to support students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Full toplines and crosstabs can be found here:

February 12-22, 2021

Click here for Highlights Deck

1,002 parents of K-12 public school students

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARENTS UNION

The National Parents Union is a network of highly effective parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country that is united behind a set of common goals and principles to channel the power of parents. Our family advocates improve the quality of life for children across the United States and define the education conversation. https://nationalparentsunion.org/

****

NEW POLL: VACCINE DISTRUST HIGH AMONG PARENTS; 40 PERCENT WON’T COMMIT TO HAVING THEIR CHILDREN VACCINATED.

Parents Overwhelmingly Support Educational Relief Funding for Families.

Concerns Over Children’s Social Interactions, Mental Health and Wellbeing Continue to Climb.

Boston, MA— Four-in-ten parents will not commit to having their children vaccinated when the vaccines become available, according to a new poll released today by the National Parents Union. The survey found 22% said they will not get their kids vaccinated and another 18% were unsure. The main reasons parents reported for not vaccinating their children included uncertainty around the safety of the vaccine, a belief that the vaccine was developed too quickly, and distrust regarding the information being published about the vaccine. Meanwhile, nearly half of all parents (47%) says public school teachers should be required to get the vaccine.

“There is a serious trust deficit in this country that’s now playing out with the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. “Public confidence in institutions continues to fall and the onus needs to be on our leaders to do a better job talking to parents and not projecting upon them. Communication throughout the pandemic has been a crisis on its own and so it’s no surprise that parents remain unconvinced about the safety of the vaccine. As always, we need to bring together diverse voices so that questions can be answered, and concerns assuaged.”

An overwhelming majority of parents (85%) support the government providing education relief funding to all K-12 public school families to help them address learning challenges that their children may be facing as a result of the COVID-19 situation. In fact, a majority, 53%, strongly support this. This coincides with other findings in the poll, including, more than four-in-ten parents said they would want to hire someone to provide additional instruction to their child if they had the resources. And a third of parents whose children are not in a learning pod said they would want their children to participate if they could afford it. Learning pods overall received high scores among the 15% of families who are participating, with 88% saying it’s been helpful.

Rodrigues continued, “It should not be a controversial opinion that education funding should flow to EDUCATION. And now that parents are shouldering a disproportionate amount of the educating, they should be given the necessary resources and tools. For too long, education has been viewed through the lens of physical school buildings. This pandemic has upended that, and if families are going to play a larger role in filling the education void, then they should be afforded necessary funding. Bureaucrats and special interests cannot have it both ways by hoarding all the money AND refusing to deliver a functioning, if not high-quality, education experience for our children.”

The survey also showed an upward trend in concerns over mental health and wellbeing. 69% of parents are concerned that their kids are missing important social interactions at school or with friends, up from 58% last April. In addition, 65% are worried about how the current environment is affecting their children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing, up from 50% last April. Yet, only a third of parents say their child’s school is currently offering services to support students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing.

The poll also found that 75% of parents support changing laws to establish a right to quality public education as a civil right in the same way that the right to vote is, meaning the government would be obligated by law to provide every child access to a quality education, and that the government could be challenged in court if that right is infringed upon. Just 11% oppose this.

Additional issues including learning loss, testing, and school performance were also surveyed. Full toplines and crosstabs can be found here:

January 14-19, 2021

1,001 parents of K-12 public school students

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARENTS UNION

The National Parents Union is a network of highly effective parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country that is united behind a set of common goals and principles to channel the power of parents. Our family advocates improve the quality of life for children across the United States and define the education conversation.https://nationalparentsunion.org

 

NEW POLL: PARENTS WARN OF PANDEMIC’S LASTING EFFECT ON CHILDRENS’ EDUCATION

Frustration growing among parents with how schools are handling closures 

Boston, MA— Parents are sounding the alarm about their child’s education during the pandemic with 7 in 10 parents saying they are worried that the changes in learning during the pandemic will have a lasting effect. Additionally, 68% are concerned about their child staying on track in school, and half now say their child is learning less.

The concern comes at the same time that more than a third (35%) of parents say their children are receiving less than 4 hours of instruction time per school day. That number grows to 39% among remote only students. The majority of parents (63%) also feel their child should be getting more instructional time with their teachers.

On the issue of closures, 60% say they understand why schools closed in the spring, but are growing more frustrated with how schools are handling the closures as the year goes on.

“We must demand of our school leaders: who is willing to fight for the needs of the powerless many, rather than advance the agenda of the powerful few? While millions of kids continue to be left behind, special interest groups continue to play the same old games,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and President of the National Parents Union. “We are long past due to reimagine what education looks like in this country, and in order to accomplish that worthy goal, parents need to continue to make their voices heard, continue to shine a light on the inequity that plagues the system, and call into question why complacency is a more common trait than competency in our schools.”

POLITICAL SPLIT ON VACCINES

  • 60% of parents say they will get their children COVID-19 vaccines when they become available, although only 31% say they will do so right away
  • 75% of parents who are Democrats say they will get their child vaccinated, while only 56% of parents who are Republicans say they will do so.
  • Half of all parents say a vaccine is necessary for them to feel safe sending their child back to school

GOOD GRADES FOR LEARNING PODS

  • 16% of parents have at least one child in a learning pod
  • 80% of those parents say the learning pod has been helpful for their child’s education

ADULT SUPERVISION REQUIRED

  • 37% of parents say they or another adult spends at least 3 hours per day helping with schoolwork or providing additional instruction
  • 43% of parents of K-5 students spend at least 3 hours per day helping
  • 15% have hired someone to help their children with learning
  • Nearly half of those who haven’t hired someone would do so if they had the resources

December 10-18, 2020

N=1008 parents of public school students K-12

Click here for the toplines. Crosstabs here.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARENTS UNION

The National Parents Union is a network of highly effective parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country that is united behind a set of common goals and principles to channel the power of parents. Our family advocates improve the quality of life for children across the United States and define the education conversation.https://nationalparentsunion.org/

 

****

NEW POLL: WHAT PARENTS REALLY THINK ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION– HINT: IT’S NOT GREAT 

December 7, 2020– Boston, MA– The National Parents Union released the findings of their latest national poll today, which showed that parents are increasingly worried about their child staying on track in school; a plurality of parents believe their child is learning less; the majority of parents say schools should rethink education and come up with news ways to reach children; hybrid learning is the least preferred option; and too few parents say their school is offering mental health services to support students’ wellbeing.

Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union summed up the rough start to the school year saying, “It looks like I am not alone when I say things are getting worse. Across the board, parents see the warning signs, from learning loss to support for mental health, schools aren’t stepping up to provide children with the resources they need. If there is a silver lining, it’s that this pandemic has given parents new insight into these shortcomings and families are banding together across the country to do something about it. And the National Parents Union is ready to provide our support, our resources and our fight to make sure families are empowered to advocate for their children.”

PARENTS TOP CONCERNS

  • 68% are worried a lot/some about making sure their child stays on track in school; the highest percentage since the polling began in April
  • 67% are worried a lot/some about themselves or someone in their family getting COVID
  • 64% are worried a lot/some about their kids missing important social interactions
  • 56% are worried a lot/some about being able to make ends meet

LEARNING LOSS 

  • 42% of parents say their child is learning less than they normally would; 40% say the same amount; and 17% think their child is learning more
    • In September 38% said their child was learning less and in October 35% felt the same
  • 54% of parents whose kids are in a hybrid model say they’re learning less, the highest for any of the education models. Among in-person parents, 35% say their child is learning less and among remote parents 40% feel that way

HYBRID’S CHALLENGES

  • 48% of parents whose child is currently in a hybrid learning model would choose to stay with that for the rest of the year. 28% would prefer in-person only and 21% would prefer only remote
  • 64% of in-person parents say they want to stick with that model for the rest of the year, while 20% would prefer hybrid and 13% prefer remote
  • 70% of remote only parents would choose that model for the rest of the year. 14% would choose to go hybrid and 13% want to go in-person

RETHINK EDUCATION

  • 66% of parents says schools should be focused on rethinking how to educate students, coming up with new ways to teach children moving forward as a result of the COVID-19 crisis
  • That number has grown since the question was first asked in September (60%) and then again in October (64%)

MENTAL HEALTH 

  • Just 31% of parents say their child’s school is currently offering any services or resources to support students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing. 40% report that their schools are not offering these services and 29% are unsure

Click here for the toplines.

November 13-18, 2020

N=1000 parents of public school students K-12

****

NEW EDUCATION POLL: STOP THE ROLLERCOASTER… MAJORITY OF PARENTS WANT SCHOOLS TO MAKE A PLAN AND STICK WITH IT 

NPU Deck – October 2020 * NPU Polling Toplines – October 2020

NPU Deck – September 2020 * NPU Polling Toplines – September 2020

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.

REIMAGINE EDUCATION

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%

Click here for the toplines

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

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARENTS UNION

The National Parents Union is a network of highly effective parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country that is united behind a set of common goals and principles to channel the power of parents. Our family advocates improve the quality of life for children across the United States and define the education conversation. https://nationalparentsunion.org/

 

NPU Deck – October 2020 * NPU Polling Toplines – October 2020

NPU Deck – September 2020 * NPU Polling Toplines – September 2020

 *****

The National Parents Union conducted eight weeks of polling during the coronavirus pandemic to see how parents are thinking in these challenging times.

Click below for the results of our weekly polling.

 

Week 1 Coronavirus Impact Survey Memo

Week 1 Topline Results

Week 2 Coronavirus Impact Survey Memo

Week 2 Topline Results

Week 3 Coronavirus Impact Survey Memo

Week 3 Topline Results

Week 4 Coronavirus Impact Survey Memo

Week 4 Topline Results

Week 5 Coronavirus Survey Results

Week 5 Topline Results

Week 6 Coronavirus Survey Results

Week 6 Topline Results

Week 7 Coronavirus Survey Results

Week 7 Topline Results

Week 8 Coronavirus Survey Results

Week 8 Topline Results

 

Paid for by the National Parents Union for Education Equality