A survey released by Let Them Learn MN reveals the high level of concern from parents about their children’s academic performance and mental health under distancing learning.
Let Them Learn MN is a grassroots organization led by Minnesota parents with the purpose of getting kids back in school full time and in person. The organization exists to “raise awareness of the devastating impact [of] closing schools and implementing distance-learning models.”
Let Them Learn MN argues that Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, which was supposed to bring “order to public education amid the pandemic,” instead established rules that make reopening difficult and create frustration for students, parents, and teachers.
According to a press release detailing the survey’s results, over 1,500 parents responded to Let Them Learn’s survey. The survey was available from Jan. 27-29, a time when most schools in Minnesota were engaged in some form of distance or hybrid learning.
The results yielded 84% of parents having concerns about their children’s mental health and academic growth.
Twenty-eight percent of respondents said their children have required mental health treatment this school year, and 80% reported that their children have shown signs of anxiety or depression.
Parents also reported lower academic performance, with 64% saying their children have received lower grades and 30% indicating that their children are failing at least one course.
Let Them Learn said the results “add to evidence that Minnesota needs to ditch the ‘Plan’” and follow the lead of nearby states whose students have been learning in person the entirety of the 2020-21 school year.
Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, said the survey results demonstrate everything parents have been telling lawmakers.
“Public health experts have said this for months. We can take COVID-19 seriously while also recognizing the enormous cost of denying children access to quality, classroom-based education,” Chamberlain, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, said.
The survey also revealed that 84% of parents are not satisfied with the quality of education their children are receiving.
“Minnesota parents are right to be worried, if not outraged,” Thaddeus Helmers, co-founder of Let Them Learn, said.
“There is simply no excuse to deny the science any longer,” he continued, pointing to research that plainly shows middle and high school students do not spread COVID-19 any easier than younger children do, and don’t have complications from the virus themselves.
“No more excuses. The time is now. Open our schools,” Let Them Learn MN declared on Facebook.