The ethnically, racially and political diverse National Parents Union, brainchild of two Latina mothers, represents 100 organizations in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

A new poll from a national grassroots education choice group indicates strong support among parents for schools to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to education after a year of unprecedented disruption due to COVID-19.

Eighty-six percent of respondents to a survey launched by the National Parents Union agreed that schools should provide individualized learning plans for each student based on his or her specific needs.

The poll also found that parents want options for their child’s learning both this year and next year, with 58% saying they want the opportunity to choose between in-person and remote learning options for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Nearly as many – 56% – said they want that option for the next school year.

With release of the survey results, National Parents Union co-founder and president Keri Rodrigues underscored the organization’s mission to amplify the voices of individual parent groups and to push for changes in education nationwide.

“Throughout the pandemic, parents have been entrepreneurial in their approach to ensuring their children are educated, and it is long past due that schools begin reimagining their approach to education as well,” Rodrigues said. “However, the only way that will work, and the only way to move forward, is for parents to have a seat at the table, and not just any seat, but the seat at the head of the table.

More than three-quarters of survey participants expressed the desire for schools to provide more summer school programs in 2021 to counteract learning loss due to the pandemic. Interest also was high for after-school tutoring programs.

Opinions regarding the continuation of statewide testing were divided. Fifty-one percent of parents said testing should continue while 40% said there should be a break from statewide testing this year. Fifty-eight percent of parents said they will have their child take state tests if they are administered in their school.

The survey was conducted March 11-23 and included 1,029 parents of children in K-12 public schools.

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