A recent survey found parents want more choices and experience for their kids when it comes to education, especially established virtual learning platforms. This survey – conducted by Stride and in partnership with third-party research provider Qualtrics, details how the pandemic has changed the way parents look at their children’s education. Many want multiple options to choose from - including a virtual option - going forward.
Parents Wanted More from Brick-and-Mortar Schools
When schools across the country were suddenly forced to shift online in Spring of 2020, technical challenges and a steep learning curve impacted the educational continuity for millions of students. Despite the best efforts of school districts nationwide, results from the national survey show that parents felt let down by brick-and-mortar schools. And even though no one could have predicted a global pandemic, parents want better in the future.
A majority (64%) of parents agree that US public schools have demonstrated that they are ill-prepared to shift from the classroom to online learning in the event of scenarios that lead to school closures. And an overwhelming majority (89%) believe that public schools should be prepared and equipped to shift to online learning in the event of future school closures.
To make up for lost time from the pandemic, two out of three parents (65%) think their child will need additional summer enrichment over the summer. And many will be reconsidering traditional schools in favor of virtual schools going forward. A staggering 91% of parents agree that it’s important for their children to have multiple school options.
Parents Want Alternative Education Options
As the school year remained online for much of the 2020-21 school year, many parents set their sights on alternative education options for their kids going forward. This year, only 13% of K-12 parents used an online school option outside of their public school’s shift to virtual learning.
However, almost two-thirds of parents would consider full-time online public school as an alternative to traditional school in the future. One in two parents would consider homeschooling post-Covid. And more than 70% would consider a hybrid model that blends online and in-person learning.
Parents indicated key changes would help improve their child’s online learning experience:
- 8 in 10 parents want more guidance from their children's school district on how to support online learning
- 82% of parents said increased resources and training for teachers in online education would help their children
- 77% of survey respondents believed that better internet access would be beneficial
- 75% indicated that their children would benefit from more technology resources
In addition, most parents (82%) said their family would be most likely to choose a high school that offers career readiness education as the nation sees major changes to the workforce as a result of the pandemic and other factors.
Pandemic or Not, Parents Just Want the Best for their Children
When it comes to online learning options, the data shows that parents want to go with an expert. More than two-thirds (64%) of parents indicated they would consider a more established online option for their child over their public school’s solution. And while many students at traditional schools suffered from the COVID-slide, a recent report shows that students at Stride K12-powered schools which have operated online for more than two decades, maintained or progressed further than their peers.
To learn more about Stride K12-powered schools, visit k12.com/online-public-schools
Methodology: Interviews for this research were conducted online between March 26 - April 1, 2021 from a national sample of 1,023 Kindergarten – 12th grade parents in the U.S. by Stride, Inc. in partnership with third party research provider Qualtrics. Respondents were surveyed using an online research panel method across a combination of computer, mobile and tablet devices. Survey questions were administered in English. To ensure accurate representation of the U.S. K-12 parent population, sampling parameters based on U.S. Census data were used on key variables that include gender, ethnicity, education level, income, employment and student grade level. The results have a calculated error margin of ±3%.