Poll Finds Mixed Views About Schools’ Pandemic Performance

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

Read media coverage of this report in The Boston Herald, NBC 10, WCVB, Boston 25, CommonWealth magazine, State House News Service, WHDH, Yahoo News and EducationNext

Massachusetts residents more satisfied with performance of individual teachers than with school districts, teachers’ unions

BOSTON – A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts residents have mixed opinions about how K-12 education has functioned, but they tend to view the performance of individual teachers more favorably than that of institutions like school districts and teachers’ unions, according to a poll of 1,500 residents commissioned by Pioneer Institute.

“Massachusetts residents have not been satisfied with the remote learning Massachusetts schools are providing during the pandemic,” said Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios.  “And they place a fair amount of the blame on the shoulders of both school districts and teachers’ unions.”

Overall grades

A plurality of respondents (29 percent) gave schools a grade of “C” for their pandemic performance.  “B” was the second most common grade, at 26 percent.  Overall, 65 percent gave schools an “A”, “B” or “C.”  Seventy percent of parents/guardians rated schools an A, B, or C.

Grades were lower among parents with three or more children.  Twenty-two percent gave the schools an “F,” compared to 13 percent of parents with one child and 11 percent of those with two.

Influence of teachers’ unions

When asked to rate teachers’ union involvement in decisions to teach remotely on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most involved, a plurality (31 percent) rated union involvement a 10.  A higher percentage of Bostonians (36 percent) ranked teachers’ union involvement a 10.  Just over half of parents/guardians placed it at 8 or higher.

By a 45 percent to 39 percent margin, state residents believed that teachers’ unions haven’t acted in the best interests of children during the pandemic.  Among parents who don’t work in the schools, 49 percent said the unions have not acted in the best interest of children, compared to 37 percent who believe they have.

Residents were more satisfied with the performance of individual teachers.  About half were very or somewhat satisfied, with only 29 percent somewhat or totally unsatisfied.

Impact on children

Among parents asked how much their children’s education had been compromised during the pandemic as a result of learning remotely, a plurality (21 percent) replied 10 when asked to rate on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the most compromised.   A majority (54 percent) rated the degree to which their children’s education had been compromised at seven or higher.

Sixteen percent of parents said their children’s education was inadequate enough that they would consider having them repeat the grade.  Another 26 percent were unsure.

The more education was remote and asynchronous, the more likely parents were to believe their children should repeat the grade.  Only 9 percent of parents whose children had 16 or more hours per week of synchronous education would consider having them repeat, while the number rose to 23 percent among parents whose children’s education was totally asynchronous.

Forty-three percent of parents believed their children’s socialization has been entirely inadequate during the pandemic.

Parents of children receiving special education services have been generally happy with those services during the pandemic.  Thirty-eight percent said the services have been somewhat adequate and 26 percent said they have been very adequate.

The poll was conducted by Emerson College Polling between March 19 and 21.  It has a +/- 2.4 percent margin of error for the questions asked of Massachusetts residents, 3.9 percent for parent questions and 6.3 percent for parents of children with special needs.

About Pioneer Institute

Pioneer’s mission is to develop and communicate dynamic ideas that advance prosperity and a vibrant civic life in Massachusetts and beyond.

Pioneer’s vision of success is a state and nation where our people can prosper and our society thrive because we enjoy world-class options in education, healthcare, transportation and economic opportunity, and where our government is limited, accountable and transparent.

Pioneer values an America where our citizenry is well-educated and willing to test our beliefs based on facts and the free exchange of ideas, and committed to liberty, personal responsibility, and free enterprise.

Get Updates on Our Education Research

Related Content:

SCOTUS Gun Stun: Bearing Arms in Summer Bruen Decision

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with CATO Institute research fellow Trevor Burrus about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen and its implications for an individual’s right to carry a fire arm in states such as Massachusetts.

Cris Ramón on How to Build Up Immigrant Businesses

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Cris Ramón, son of immigrants from El Salvador, immigration policy analyst, and coauthor of the new report, Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Economic Potential and Obstacles to Success published by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

AEI’s Robert Pondiscio on E.D. Hirsch, Civic Education, & Charter Public Schools

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He shares his background working with curriculum expert E.D. Hirsch, Jr., who has emphasized the importance of academic content knowledge in K-12 education as well as civic education to develop active participants in our democracy. Pondiscio explains some of the findings of his book, How the Other Half Learns, on New York’s Success Academy charter schools network.

Taxation Without Legislation: Exploring Inflation’s Causes, Curses & Cures

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Bloomberg Columnist and National Review Editor Ramesh Ponnuru about the reasons for the sustained spike in inflation, its impact on savers and consumers, the possible policy remedies, and the likely intensity and duration of this cycle.

Study Finds Pension Obligation Bonds Could Worsen T Retirement Fund’s Financial Woes

A new study published by Pioneer Institute finds that issuing pension obligation bonds (POBs) to refinance $360 million of the MBTA Retirement Fund’s (MBTARF’s) $1.3 billion unfunded pension liability would only compound the T’s already serious financial risks.

Hubwonk360 Video: If we tax them, will they leave?

In this brief, six-minute video, Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios and Director of Government Transparency, Mary Z. Connaughton, walk through an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution that could dramatically increase the income tax on retirees and small businesses.

Julie King Brings Authentic Mexican Cuisine to Boston

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Julie King, immigrant from Mexico and founder of Villa Mexico Café in the financial district of Boston. They discuss the challenges of re-launching a career in a new country. It’s not atypical for an immigrant to start at a lower rung of the economic and social ladder than they previously enjoyed - but it’s a win when they persevere despite the pains, and thrive.

Hoover at Stanford’s Dr. Macke Raymond on the Current State of K-12 Education Reform

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Margaret “Macke” Raymond, founder and director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. She shares some of the major highlights from Hoover’s recent Education Summit that featured a wide variety of national and international experts.

Lifelines for the Untethered: Research to Reach and Recover Homeless Americans

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Stephen Eide, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute about his newly released book, Homelessness in America: The History and Tragedy of an Intractable Social Problem, in which he asserts that a better understanding of the many challenges facing each homeless individual can lead to a tailored and more durable policy solution to this enduring societal problem.