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The kids are (really) not alright: A synthesis of COVID-19 student surveys

Student surveys found that the educational experience in the first months of the pandemic was a mess. As schools quickly implemented remote learning last spring, many students experienced little meaningful online instruction and were unhappy with online classes.

This brief from the Evidence Project synthesizes new student surveys that have come out during the 2020–21 school year. Our findings suggest that while online instruction appears to have improved since the start of the pandemic, students are truly struggling to stay motivated and to have a healthy mental state of mind.

Key takeaways:

  • Students say they are learning more, both in-person and online, than when the pandemic started last spring.
  • Students, especially those learning remotely, are clearly struggling to stay interested and engaged in that learning.
  • Serious problems remain when it comes to opportunity gaps and digital equity.
  • Mental health concerns appear to be on the rise, but vary by gender.
  • Students, especially from low-income households, lack personal support from adults in schools.

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