In Age of Online Schooling, Parents’ Satisfaction with Children’s Education Dwindles

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In its annual measure of American attitudes toward education, Gallup has found that satisfaction with schools is eroding.

The analytics firm reported that one year after 82 percent of American parents surveyed were satisfied with education, that number has fallen to 72 percent.

A year ago, Gallup found that 41 percent of parents were completely satisfied with the education their children were receiving, That’s now at 32 percent.

The survey is one of Gallup’s annual barometers about Americans’ attitudes. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for questions asked of all adults and 8 percentage points for questions that were only asked of parents with children in school. That means that overall satisfaction among parents could be anywhere from 64 percent to 80 percent.

The survey also found that the number of parents who say their children will be home-schooled rose 5 percentage points from last year to stand at 10 percent.

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“Although parents largely rated the performance of their child’s school positively at the end of the last school year, they also reported experiencing considerable challenges brought on by the physical separation from classmates and teachers, a lack of motivation or attention span from their child, and balancing work while assisting their child with schoolwork,” Gallup wrote in its analysis of the survey.

“The latest drop in satisfaction with the quality of their child’s education is likely a result of some parents’ concern about the effectiveness of remote schooling. This concern has no doubt contributed to the uptick in the percentage of students who will be home-schooled this year,” it wrote.

In Shawnee Mission, Kansas, parents took their concerns about remote learning to the school board, with little to show for it, according to KHSB-TV.

Despite a protest from parents, the board voted to begin the fall with all classes online and canceled fall sports.

“I think in any other circumstance, I might have children’s division at my door for leaving my kids home, but now we’re basically being told that is what we have to do,” said parent Tiffany Johnson, referencing how child welfare might be called in the past for doing what the school board now requires.

“I don’t know when I’m going to get my shifts in. I don’t know who is going to watch my kids,” said Johnson, an intensive care unit nurse. “There’s no way health care workers can both take care of people and make sure their kids are getting educated. There’s no way.”

Parents in the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, New York, were also irate about the plan in their school district, according to WIVB-TV.

“We’re here at this protest, hoping that the superintendent’s contract does not get renewed — that we want him to step down,” said Theresa Faith, a parent. “We need somebody capable of what the sign says — giving us what we deserve, which is an A+ plan.”

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Parents had been given less than a week to decide whether they would keep their children home for fully remote learning or send them to school for a hybrid model.

Should students be learning in the classroom this fall?

In Port Washington, New York, on Long Island, resident Henry Duarte joined in a protest of his school district’s plan, according to the Manhasset Times.

“I can’t home-school, I’m not a teacher, and I don’t pay taxes to be a home-school teacher,” Duarte said. “The virtual home schooling during the quarantine was a disaster, and I can’t do it again.”

Justin Renna attacked the school board in Port Washington for how it has gone about concocting its fall plan.

“Too many people in this town cannot properly handle a hybrid learning environment due to work obligations,” Renna said. “This decision will face many parents to make the tough choice of leaving a child home alone or leaving their jobs.”

He accused school leaders of “epic failure in planning to properly open up the school safely.”

“Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo has told schools they need to work with parents to make sure schools are opened in a timely manner. This district didn’t do enough. They have lost the right to tell us to trust that they are doing everything they can to get our kids in school five days a week,” Renna said.

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