Parents give mixed grades to Massachusetts schools in new poll
Pioneer Institute survey finds dissatisfaction with pandemic education
WHAT GRADE WOULD you give your child’s school for its performance during the pandemic? For nearly one-third of parents with children in Massachusetts public schools, that grade would be a C.
That’s according to a new poll done by Emerson College Polling Institute for the Pioneer Institute.
According to the poll, 30 percent of parents would give the Massachusetts school system a C. Another 40 percent would give the system an A or B, and the remaining 30 percent would give the schools a D or F.
The view among parents was slightly more favorable than the perception of the public overall, and there were significant demographic and political differences. For example, 57 percent of Republicans gave the school system a D or F, compared to just 23 percent of Democrats. Blacks were the racial group most likely to give the school system an F (30 percent), while Asians were most likely to give the school system an A (22 percent).
The social isolation that has affected many during the pandemic is unsurprisingly also affecting children. Among parents, 43 percent feel their child’s socialization has been totally inadequate, and another 26 percent ranked it somewhat inadequate, with the most unhappiness reported among white parents.
The Pioneer Institute is a right-leaning think tank that generally favors school choice policies and has been critical of teachers’ unions. Their poll asked respondents to distinguish between teachers and their unions.It found that around half (49 percent) of respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with the performance of teachers during the pandemic, with particularly high satisfaction (84 percent) among parents of younger children, in kindergarten through second grade. Only 29 percent were somewhat or totally unsatisfied, and the remainder had no opinion. But respondents were less happy with teachers’ unions, with 45 percent saying they believe unions were not acting in the best interest of children during the pandemic, and 39 percent saying they were.
The poll of 1,500 residents, of whom 613 are parents of K-12 public school children, was conducted March 19-21 and has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points for all residents and 3.9 points for parents.