Survey shows disparities among in-person learning

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – It’s been more than a year into the pandemic, and a lot of people may be wondering how in-person and remote learning have been going.

The U.S. Department of Education released Wednesday the first in a series of school surveys to provide a national view of learning during the pandemic.

According to the survey, nearly half of the nation’s elementary schools were open for full-time classroom learning, but in-person learning has varied by region and by race, with most non-white students learning entirely online.

“They might live outside of Charleston and there’s real disparity for children of low socioeconomic backgrounds and it’s all over the board, but we know not everything is equal,” Fred Albert, President of American Federation of Teachers said.

The survey found large disparities by race, 68% of Asian, 58% of Black and 56% of Hispanic fourth graders were learning entirely remotely, while just 27% of white students were.

“It is more African American kids in his class that’s doing e-learning than you know Caucasians, but I see a lot of them let their kids back,” Shamon Tennant, a parent in Charleston said.

Albert says disparities often depend on zip codes.

“We have children being raised in foster care, they’re being raised by grandparents or great grandparents and the family unit is so different. More than it’s ever been before,” Albert said.

Tennant chose to home school her two kids for safety purposes, but is happy remote learning is still effective. 

“Especially my son that’s in kindergarten, I think back to school would be better for him but for now we’re still doing e-learning, but my oldest is doing great staying at home. He’s actually doing better than before.”

“They’re younger, they’re fidgety, they want to be around their friends so yeah, I think that would be great.”

The survey results released Wednesday mark the starting line for President Joe Biden’s pledge to have most K-8 schools open full-time in his first 100 days in office.

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