National Education Report Card:

Parents Tell Schools If They Are Passing or Failing

More than one-third of parents give schools a C or lower for how they’re addressing learning challenges

Boston, MA (November 22, 2021) — In a new poll released today by the National Parents Union, parents nationwide issued a report card grading schools on how well or how poorly they’re handling a variety of issues.

Key findings include that more than a third of parents give their schools a C, D or F on how they’re addressing learning challenges related to the pandemic (34%) and providing resources to support students’ mental health (35%).

Furthermore, 33% of parents gave the same grades (C,D,F) on the issue over how schools are addressing social or emotional challenges related to the pandemic. And when it comes to communicating about how students are doing in school, 29% of parents gave schools a C, D, or F in that area, as well.

The survey also found that 65% of parents are worried about their child staying on track in school and 54% of parents are worried about how COVID is affecting their child’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

“It’s clear from this report card that schools still have work to do to gain the trust of parents and families and the clock is ticking,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. “When we look at our kids’ performance in school, we want them to get A’s and B’s. If they’re getting C’s, D’s and F’s, we do everything in our power to help them improve. Now it’s time for schools to do everything in their power to improve in critical areas like addressing learning challenges and providing resources to support students’ mental health. We’re coming up on two years since the pandemic began and parents are wondering if schools haven’t figured it out by now, will they ever?”

On the issue of federal funding for schools, more than half of all parents (51%) say they still haven’t heard much or anything about additional funding for schools and how it can be used. This is the same finding as in September.

Additionally, 59% of parents say they haven’t seen any of the additional resources being used to address COVID-related challenges. And 52% say the additional federal funding opens the door to making bold changes in public education and schools should take advantage of the opportunity.

Rodrigues continued, “If I were a district administrator and I read that more than half of parents nationwide aren’t being engaged on how the federal funding is being used, I’d be working overtime to correct that. If schools squander this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it will have a devastating impact on children for generations to come. Communicating with parents about how resources are being invested is the first step- an obvious one, but clearly far too many schools are failing the basics.”

The survey also asked parents whether their child has experienced any of the following this school year as a result of their experiences during the pandemic:

Full toplines can be found here: November 3-8, 2021


1,002 parents of K-12 public school students