Pioneer poll finds majority satisfaction with schools

Massachusetts

A high school student sits inside a classroom at Glyfada, suburb west of Athens, Monday, April 12, 2021. Home tests have been distributed to teachers and students aged 16-18, as authorities reopened high schools for students in the final three grades on Monday. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

BOSTON (SHNS) – A majority of Massachusetts residents surveyed in a new poll give the state’s school system a passing grade for its pandemic-era performance, with results slightly more favorable among parents.

A Pioneer Institute poll of 1,500 people conducted by Emerson College Polling between March 19 and 21, found that 29 percent of respondents grade Massachusetts schools with a “C” over the past year, while 26 percent gave a grade of “B” and 10 percent awarded an “A”. The remaining respondents failed the school system with 18 percent each awarding a “D” or an “F.” Among parents, 30 percent gave a “C” grade and a combined 40 percent picked either an “A” or a “B.”

The poll tracked notable differences by race and ethnicity. Thirty percent of Black/African-American respondents gave the school system an “F,” compared to 18 percent of White respondents and 14 percent of Hispanic respondents. It also found a geographic divide on whether respondents believed that teachers’ unions have been acting in children’s best interest during the pandemic, with 54 percent of South Shore and 49 percent of Boston respondents saying no. Forty-two percent of North Shore respondents and 46 percent of Worcester/Western Massachusetts respondents said they were.

Overall, 49 percent said they were either very or somewhat satisfied with the performance of teachers during the pandemic, while 29 percent described themselves as either somewhat or totally unsatisfied.

Asked to rank on a 1-10 scale how compromised their children’s learning has been by remote learning, 10 percent of parents surveyed picked 10 or “entirely compromised” and 15 percent picked 1 for “not at all.” Fifty-four percent landed at 7 or higher. Fifty-eight percent of parents said they believed their child’s learning this year was adequate to advance to the next grade, and 43 percent said their child received a “totally inadequate” level of socialization this year. 

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