LOS ANGELES — Most parents give a high grade to their child’s online education, but some are concerned their kids won’t be well prepared for the next school year, according to new findings from USC Dornsife’s national probability-based tracking survey measuring the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the lives of Americans.
Seventy-eight percent of parents are satisfied with communication from their schools, and 87% of parents of school-age children say at least one child is engaging in educational activities provided by their schools, according to a statement. But parents in 25% of all households are concerned their child won’t be prepared for the next school year. The concern is greatest among Latino parents, 37% of whom worry about their child’s or children’s preparation for school in the fall.
USC Dornsife’s “Understanding Coronavirus in America” study also reveals a stark gender divide for childcare responsibilities, a large digital divide based on household income, and other inequalities that could worsen over time, according to the statement.
The study, led by the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USC. For this study, scientists have been surveying a panel of nearly 5,900 adult U.S. residents since mid-March about COVID-19 and how it has been impacting their lives. The researchers added education-related questions to the survey on April 1 and analyzed data collected through April 15 from 1,452 households with children in daycare/preschool through 12th grade. Everyone who was surveyed is a participant in the Understanding America Study, which has been tracking the same participants since 2014.
Data from the study is updated daily and available to researchers and the public at covid19pulse.usc.edu.
“Districts, schools and teachers had so little time to switch from in-person to distance learning,” said CESR Education Research Scientist Anna Saavedra. “The fact that 87% of children are participating in school-provided educational activities at home is a bright spot in the survey findings. But as students remain at home for the rest of the school year, we are concerned about and will track factors that could exacerbate existing economic, racial and gender-based inequalities.”