LITTLE FALLS, NJ -- TAPintoTV Executive Producer, Brian Brodeur, spoke with Kyle Rosenkrans, Executive Director of the New Jersey Children's Foundation. Rosenkrans joined Brodeur to discuss their recently-released survey of parents of New Jersey public school students, the first such survey conducted during the start of the 2020-21 school year.
The New Jersey Children's Foundation partnered with the Global Strategy Group to find out how parents are coping with remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. "We found tremendous disparities in attitudes and tremendous gaps in opportunity," Rosenkrans said. "That gap was even more pronounced among low-income parents of color, who are predominantly in remote learning environments."
More than 75% of New Jersey's public school parents rated the job their child's school is doing handling the coronavirus pandemic as positive. "They were understanding of just how difficult this exercise was," said Rosenkrans, but parents also "identified tremendous gaps in the needs that their students have."
And while 42% of parents rate remote learning as very successful, they also clearly indicated room for improvement , from better technology infrastructure to greater interaction with teachers and additional academic services. "What families are saying is right now, we need more support," Rosenkrans noted.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey, and indeed nationwide, has been more pronounced among low income families of color. "The disparities have a compounding nature," Rosenkrans noted. "If you were already starting from behind, you're falling further behind." Not only are low income communities of color suffering from disproportionate health and economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are facing greater educational impacts as well. "Where we haven't spent enough time," Rosenkrans said, "is thinking about measuring, assessing what the educational impacts are, because that's something that has educational impact."
Combating the educational impact of COVID-19 will require cooperation between state and federal government as well as "a big, bold plan," Rosenkrans said, "rethinking how we're delivering public education once things start to go back to normal."
To read the survey, and to learn more about the New Jersey Children's Foundation, visit them at www.njchildren.org.