As of press time, it’s still up in the air what school will look like in 2020-2021. But we do know that for many parents in our online reader survey on distance learning, this spring’s abrupt pivot to online learning did not go well.

A little over 30 percent described it as a bad experience. Many parents praised teachers, but disliked the online format. “Our kids’ teachers did a great job — but learning and school are much better in-person for everyone,” said one respondent. And part of that dissatisfaction may have come from the fact that the vast majority of parents surveyed had to work either from home or outside the home during the spring. An overwhelming percentage of parents said they would not choose full-time distance learning for the fall if given the choice. (But since COVID-19 cases in Oregon have sharply increased since the time our survey went out, some parents may be feeling differently.)

At press time, the Los Angeles and San Diego school districts had just announced their decision to go to online learning only for the fall. So it may boil down to the fact public school parents may not have any choice, unless they have the means to look for other options. It’s worth noting that while just a small sample of our survey respondents were private or charter school families, they reported a higher rate of positive experiences with online learning.

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SOURCE: PDX PARENT’S ONLINE SURVEY ON DISTANCE LEARNING, JUNE 28 TO JULY 8.

Denise Castañon
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