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Parents Worry Kids Are Falling Behind In Academics Due To School Closures

School Children
Pat Eaton-Robb

A new poll says parents in New York are worried the pandemic might lead to their children falling behind academically.

Non-profit advocacy group Education Trust-New York conducted an online poll of 1,200 parents who have children in New York public schools.

Executive Director Ian Rosenblum says the students who are most at risk now have an even bigger problem. 

“We know that vulnerable students face particular challenges when schools are closed. In fact, the same group of students who are too often underserved by our education system in ‘normal times’ are even more likely to be underserved by our education system today.”

The poll shows how lower-income families and suburban families are most concerned about making sure their child graduates on time.

Rosenblum says some parents also have difficulties with the technological side of online learning.

“The two issues that rose to the top in that area were 1, access to high speed internet, and 2, that they may not know how to use the distance learning software that their child’s school district relies on.”

He says when New York implemented academic standards like Common Core, there were resources so families could adjust.

But the pandemic forced school districts to make changes in a smaller timeframe so the same resources are not available yet.

“Because this is a crisis, of course, the same is not true here. So there was a different experience when schools closed and what different school districts, parents and families were ready for depended a lot on what they already had in place.”

The poll also shows how math and English are the most common subjects covered by distance learning, but there has been a drop-off in subjects like science, social studies and music and the arts. 

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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Jay Shah is a former Long Island bureau chief at WSHU.
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