Voices from the Classroom 2021: A Survey of America’s Educators

Research Rundown Issue: February '21
Publisher: Educators for Excellence
Date Published: January '21


Educators for Excellence surveyed a nationally representative sample of 800 full-time public school teachers to learn about their experiences educating during the pandemic. The survey asked about a wide range of topics: student participation and attendance, assignments and grading, addressing racism, teacher layoffs, and more. These findings are important in the short term, as schools continue to navigate an unprecedented year, and in the long term for planning larger policy and programmatic decisions.

The majority of teachers reported that many critical indicators have gotten worse during the pandemic: student attendance (56%), assignment completion rates (60%), engagement (57%), and student learning (61%). Nearly all teachers (90%) say that their students and families have been concerned about social-emotional health.

Why This Matters in Minnesota

When we talk about COVID-19 recovery, it’s important to focus on both academic acceleration and support for social-emotional health. As schools start getting their second round of federal stimulus funds, they should make sure that they are balancing these two priorities by including families, students, and educator voices in their decision-making for how to spend these funds. Furthermore, as EdAllies laid out in coalition letters to the Commissioner of Education and Governor Walz—who also get federal money—state leaders should make sure they are prioritizing equity, supporting targeted and culturally responsive mental health, investing in early literacy programs, and supporting districts in measuring and addressing learning loss. On the Minnesota legislative side, there are two bills (HF4 & HF14) that have already had hearings and would help to address student academic, social-emotional, and digital needs.

Explore the findings