How the pandemic exposed the quality of education for K-12 parents

78% of parents say they chose to get involved in their child's education based on what they saw during the pandemic, according to a recent survey.

The COVID-19 pandemic created a technological shift in K-12 schools across the U.S. Many districts were forced to implement remote learning strategies, allowing students to access their coursework from home.

In June of last year, 33% of schools said they would continue remote instruction as an option for their students post-COVID. However, educators and principals addressed flaws in the option’s ability to fully cover their curriculum.

This not only forced schools to evaluate their curriculum as it entered a new medium of delivery, but it allowed parents to get become more aware of the quality of their child’s education since they could watch it unfold in their homes.

A recent survey by The Harris Poll released this month gathered parents’ opinions of their kids’ education during the pandemic. Most notably, the findings revealed that 84% of parents said they learned more about what their kids were learning during the pandemic. In addition, 79% said they suddenly became more interested in their kids’ education based on what they saw during their virtual learning, while 78% said they took action to get more involved in their child’s education in response to the quality of the curriculum.

“For many parents, this new interest and involvement may have made them highly motivated to make changes to their child’s education,” the report says.

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Parents also expressed their thoughts on having the freedom to choose an educational system that best fits the needs of their child.

72% of parents choose to enroll their child in a public school they are zoned in. When asked about switching schools, the majority (63%) said they have never considered switching school types. But those who have made a swap report significant satisfaction with their decision, with 89% of those parents saying they noticed substantial positive changes.

Charter schools were reported to be one of the most popular choices for parents. Before the pandemic, the most popular school type swap was from public district to public charter school (27%), with homeschooling being the second most popular (18%).

Importantly, 93% of parents agreed that education supports each child differently and shouldn’t take a “one size fits all” approach. “The data suggests parents like the freedom to choose the best educational experience for their children,” the report writes. “Choice is better, and now that parents know what it feels like, we think it is likely they are never going to give it up and go back to the way it used to be.”

Micah Ward
Micah Ward
Micah Ward is a District Administration staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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