CharterNation Blog

A place for California parents to connect with the charter public school community

Survey: Parents Give High Marks to Charter School Sector’s Response to COVID-19

The annual EducationNext survey was released last week and it focuses heavily on what families from traditional district schools, charter public schools, and private schools experienced following COVID-19 closures.

The survey is made up of a nationally representative sample of K-12 parents and includes oversamples of parents who identify as Latinx and Black There’s quite a bit to digest in the findings, but here’s how EdNext summarized the difference in parent responses between each of the sectors:

“There are several indications that charter schools and private schools were better able to adapt to the new learning environment than was the district sector.”

In this space, we want to compare the responses between parents from charter public schools and traditional district schools. Here are some of the key takeaways that caught our attention:

  • 86 percent of charter public school students were more likely to receive instruction that introduced new content, as opposed to what they had already learned, compared to 72 percent of district school students.
  • According to charter school parents surveyed, 62 percent of students were more likely to meet with their school or teachers along with their entire class by video, telephone, or another way, compared to 43 percent of their district school peers.
  • 42 percent of charter school parents reported teachers had more frequent one-one- interactions with students, compared to only 18 percent of district school students.
  • Parents of 60 percent of charter school students say teachers graded assignments or gave other feedback daily or several times a week, while only 46 percent of district school parents say the same.
  • While most of the parents surveyed believe their students have learned less during closures, that number is significantly lower in the charter school sector. 54 percent of parents say their child learned less. By contrast, 72 percent of district school parents say their child learned less.
  • 81 percent of charter school parents were either satisfied or very satisfied with the instruction provided to their child, compared to 70 percent of district school parents who said the same.

You can read a more in-depth summary of the survey here.

We know that for many families, especially those from underserved communities, distance learning is no substitute for the engagement that comes with on-campus, in-person instruction. Like them, we are eager for students to safely return to campus at some point this year and thrive.

But these findings provide reassurance about what charter public schools are capable of during a crisis. How their flexibility and innovation have uniquely positioned them to quickly adapt and stay focused on meeting the needs of students from all backgrounds during the most trying of circumstances. It’s that success that should make them an invaluable ally to all public schools that are trying to navigate the uncertainty of this pandemic.