Parents support summer school for students to make up lost ground

January 14, 2021 • Filed under News

John Wisely | Detroit Free Press
Updated, 9:43 a.m., January 14, 2021

Parents across Michigan say they are unhappy with the education their kids have been getting during the pandemic and they want to see how schools plan to make up for lost time.

“What are we going to do with this time over the summer? What does our strategy look like as a state for the coming school year?” said Amber Arellano, executive director of the Education Trust-Midwest, a Royal Oak-based nonprofit that commissioned a poll of 400 parents statewide last month. “We need a plan. We need to think about what our educational recovery looks like. It’s probably going to be a multi-year process.”

Among the poll’s findings:

  • 85% of parents want to see plans to address learning loss related to COVID-19.
  • 84% say they support the state setting quality standards for remote learning.
  • 83% of parents support voluntary, in-person summer school to help kids who have fallen behind catch up.

The onlinepollof 400 parents statewide was conducted byGlobal Strategy GroupDec.10-16.Almost half of parents said their children’s education has worsened since the pandemic began and have received little or no information from their schools on how it will be addressed.

The Education Trust has long advocated for more equitable funding of schools in Michigan, saying the disparities leave behind students of color, those learning English language for the first time and kids with special needs. The pandemic has made those problems worse and the time to act isnow, Arellano said.

“If districts are going to do something likeoptional,free summer learning, for example, that would help kids catch up … and give kids and families that opportunity, the budgeting decisions for that kind of thing are happening in the next few months.”

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