Access to in-person learning was uneven this winter

New survey should provide context for 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results
By: | March 24, 2021
Some 38% of fourth- and eighth-graders attended school in-person and 17% participated in hybrid instruction in February and March, a Department of Education survey has found.Some 38% of fourth- and eighth-graders attended school in-person and 17% participated in hybrid instruction in February and March, a Department of Education survey has found.

More than three quarters of fourth- and eighth graders attended public schools that provided hybrid or in-person instruction during the last few weeks of winter, a new survey reports.

Consequently, 24% of students—in 3,300 schools in 42 states—were offered only remote or online instruction, according to the Department of Education’s ongoing Monthly School Survey Dashboard.

The data was collected by the department’s Institute of Education Sciences from Febr. 22 through March 12 in efforts to meet President Joe Biden’s call to reopen schools.

The results should also provide context for analyzing the performance of fourth- and eighth-grade students on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests.


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Across the country, the largest group of fourth- and eighth grade students remained enrolled in remote instruction.

The survey found that 43% of students attended school remotely while 38% were in-person and 17% participated in hybrid instruction.

A demographic breakdown shows that white students were the least likely to be enrolled in distance learning. While 27% were enrolled in remote instruction, more than half of Black and Hispanic students did not attend school in-person during the survey period.

The survey also looked at how schools increased access to in-person learning for certain groups of fourth- and eighth-graders.

The highest priority groups were students with disabilities (44% of schools), English learners (28%), students without internet (27%), students in earlier grades (26%) and students experience homelessness (23%).

Delving into remote learning, the survey also found that 31% of schools offered more than five hours of live instruction per day while 38% provided three to four hours.

Only 5% of the schools in the survey reported offering no live instruction.