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Classified in: Science and technology
Subjects: CHI, BLK

New Poll Finds Parents and Teachers Divided in How They're Thinking About Distance Learning and Digital Learning Tools

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the majority of the nation's largest school districts are starting the school year off virtually, a new NewSchools Venture Fund-Gallup poll examines how students, parents and teachers are thinking about distance learning, education technology and equity. Building off of a pre-pandemic poll partnership with Gallup, NewSchools commissioned the new survey to provide key insights as school leaders navigate budget constraints, technology access issues, and health and safety concerns.

The survey finds gaps and mismatches in expectations that threaten educational equity and present challenges schools will need to overcome in order to support student success. While most teachers (56%) and just under half of students (48%) say they're confident or very confident around their ability to teach and learn, the majority of parents think otherwise ? with just 29% feeling confident or very confident that their child's school will provide a high-quality education this year. Teachers in higher-poverty schools are the most likely to say they want parents to be more involved. Yet parents from low-income backgrounds are most likely to say they were already very involved in the spring. These data suggest a worrisome dynamic in higher-poverty schools: parents see themselves as working hard to support students' learning, yet teachers would like them to be more involved in the fall. Additional findings include: 

"It's a big deal that parents, teachers and students see the year ahead so differently," said NewSchools CEO Stacey Childress. "This poll is a clarion call for schools to get on the same page with the people they serve, especially on the vital question of how much learning we expect students will do."

As this school year gets underway, schools have an opportunity to better engage parents in the rollout and continuous improvement of how education technology is used in distance learning. Parents and teachers currently have generally positive assessments of the tools themselves, which lays some good grounding to build off of in the coming months: 

"As a parent of three children, I really struggled with the sudden shift to distance learning even though I had deep prior knowledge of how ed tech tools work," said Tonika Cheek Clayton, Managing Partner at NewSchools. "As schools strive to better support families this fall, there's a real need to address the inequities we witnessed earlier this year through creatively partnering with families. This will take innovation, flexibility, patience and a willingness from teachers, parents and students to try to work together in new and different ways." 

Results are based on surveys conducted July 22 ? Aug. 5, 2020, with a random sample of 2,345 public school parents and 1,088 public school students in grades 3-12, and teacher surveys conducted July 16 - July 23, 2020, with a random sample of 1,111 PK-12 public school teachers. NewSchools Venture Fund and Gallup will host a webinar on August 27th at 10am ET to share and discuss the findings. The webinar recording will be available after it airs and will feature the following speakers:

Tonika Cheek Clayton, Managing Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund
Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools
Stephanie Marken, Executive Director, Education Research, Gallup
Valerie J. Calderon, Ph.D., Sr. Research Consultant, Gallup Education, Gallup
Mohamed Younis, Editor-in-Chief, Gallup News, Gallup

Additional materials and the webinar recording will be available here. 

Jelena Hasbrouck 
| 408-833-4039

SOURCE NewSchools Venture Fund

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