Year-End Assessment Survey: Initial Findings from a Nationwide Survey of Public-School Parents

Research Rundown Issue: March '21
Publisher: National PTA and Learning Heroes
Date Published: February '21


A national survey of over 1,500 parents and guardians with K-12 students explored perspectives on student progress compared to a normal school year and opinions on administering state assessments to measure the pandemic’s impact on learning. The majority of parents—particularly Black and Latino parents—favor end-of-year state assessments this spring to measure the impact that COVID-19 has had on student learning. Nearly two-thirds of parents also think that their child is academically behind where they would be in a normal school year. The survey also found that while parents don’t want the results to be used for accountability, they do want the results before the beginning of the next school year (69%) and to be provided with resources that they can use to review materials with their children (76%).

Why This Matters in Minnesota

When schools closed last spring, parents had to play a new role in their children’s education. This has given families a front-row seat to curriculum and learning—and a front-row seat to the significant disruption most students have faced. Now, parents want to know both how their children are faring and what they can do to ensure they stay on track for academic success. This gives states an opportunity to rethink assessments and how results can be used to engage with families and schools, particularly as a tool to help guide interventions and support, rather than for accountability. Minnesota should respond by making the data gathered from this year’s MCAs as informative, timely, and actionable as possible, getting results quickly into the hands of teachers and families, and providing support to ensure they know how to interpret and act on individual student needs.

Explore the survey results