Most parents believe kids are falling behind from virtual learning, study shows

WASHINGTON — This fall many students are back in the classroom for the first time in 18 months.

But a new nationwide poll shows many parents are worried about the pandemic’s impact on their child’s education from online learning.

“I’m not optimistic about how she’s going to catch up to the level that she needs to be in at this school level, seventh grade honors,” said Cassandra Cottingham, a middle school parent from Michigan.

Cottingham said her middle school daughter struggled during online learning and she isn’t the only one.

A new USA Today/IPSOS poll shows 55 percent of parents believe online learning caused their child to fall behind.

Brown University professor Kenneth Wong said the majority of kids are about four to six months behind.

“Children cannot learn math, as well from their parents, compared to reading, and other and other skills,” said Wong. “They have to rely on teachers to support the math learning. It shows the gap in math is much wider than literacy.”

The study shows two thirds of parents also support school and state mask mandates for teachers and students to keep schools open.

Cottingham said she also supports teacher vaccinations to keep her daughter in the classroom this year.

“They are our future and they need to be able to compete and I fear that she’s not going to have it, she’s not going to be at that level where she can actually compete,” she said.

Some parents say virtual tutoring isn’t widely available this year which is a concern if their child must quarantine.