Poll finds NJ parents want ‘bold changes’ in education post-COVID

A survey of about 400 parents of New Jersey schoolchildren, conducted by the nonprofit JerseyCAN, found some special ways these parents believe their children’s education could be improved if the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be waning.

However, additional focus groups and surveys may be needed to identify the changes that parents want to make to the educational structure of Garden as a whole, according to JerseyCAN Senior Adviser Gianelen Duffy.

What the parents told JerseyCAN was not surprising, Duffy said, but she added that it is encouraging that they have formulated some of the things they feel their children need.

“They want to see more time to study, they want to see more tutoring, just more academic support for their students,” Duffy said.

In the survey, a significant majority (80%) of parents felt that testing in the state was still important, with just over 4 out of 10 (41%) believing their children were behind in math during the pandemic, and just under 3 out of 10 The same was said about reading 29%).

New Jersey has made every effort to close the “digital divide” when learning has gone a long way, but Duffy said the lessons the state has learned from the speed of bringing in underserved communities need to be maintained.

“I think that means we now have to think about what opportunities it provides, now that students have more technology in their hands?” she said.

Technology indicators, which play a role in cultivating individualized curricula, are one of the few features parents have suggested when reaching a consensus on the “bold changes” being made to the New Jersey school system.

The JerseyCAN #NJKidsCantWait parent initiative, launched last August, could be one of the tools used to identify parents ’future proposals, based on what they believe are the most pressing areas of their children’s needs.

“Are there ways to change school schedules or school calendars to think about how we can really maximize learning time for students?” Duffy asked.

Most parents agreed on one thing: almost two-thirds (63%) believe that these “bold changes” should be directed to new funding, whatever they may be.

Given the way parents looked closely at their children’s learning in the distance learning era, the Kids Can’t Wait platform is designed to “really try to keep them involved, informed and engaged as we make these massive efforts to get kids back on track academically.” said Duffy.

Duffy hopes that a further survey, either at the end of the current school year or before the beginning of the next, will give more accurate answers.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and presenter of New Jersey 101.5. You can contact him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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