Attitudes about school choice are at “all-time highs” EdChoice found in its recent survey of parents, group vice president Paul DiPerna told The Kyle Olson Show this week.
EdChoice found, as a result of many schools using remote and virtual learning for classes, “parents are reporting that kids are more stressed, they’re less happy,” DiPerna, the group’s Vice President of Research and Innovation, said.
“They’re grading their local schools less favorably compared to the spring,” he said.
Parents who gave an A or B to their local schools dropped 19 percentage points,” DiPerna told The Kyle Olson Show, indicating a “downward trend” of attitudes.
The report, titled, “2020 Schooling in America: Public Opinion on K-12 Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” found public levels of support are at “all-time highs” for several educational choice policies, including Education Savings Accounts (ESA), vouchers, and tax-credit scholarships.
EdChoice found 72 percent of parents support charter schools, many of which are free of union rules that stifle innovation in government schools.
“Overwhelmingly, 71 percent (of parents) in this most recent survey said they would want multiple options for how they would school their children,” DiPerna said.
That makes sense, given the research also found 63 percent of Americans reported they believe K-12 education is on “the wrong track.”
“That reflects a seven percentage point increase since the spring and the highest level since 2013,” according to EdChoice. “Private school parents are by far the most positive about K–12 education this fall, compared to other sectors. Homeschool parents are the most negative.”
Amid the coronavirus shutdowns, DiPerna told The Kyle Olson Show that parents have organized “learning pods” where a small group of parents and students get together to hire a tutor or teacher.
He said some states have provided resources for parents to pursue that option.
When public schools do fully reopen, EdChoice found nearly 60 percent of parents “are concerned their child might contract the virus.”
Lower-income parents are most fearful (48 percent) while middle-income are less so at 39 percent. Twenty-six percent of higher-income parents say they are not comfortable returning to in-person learning.