The Students Weigh In: Learning & Well-Being During COVID-19 survey solicited feedback from 5th to 12th grade students, who shared their insights through a 12-minute online survey available in English and Spanish. The survey was fielded from May 11 – June 19 and yielded responses from more than 20,000 students from 166 schools across nine states.

The results are in, and here’s what we learned.

Despite much focus in recent months on questions of access and the mechanics of schooling, school logistics worked relatively well from students’ perspective. Nonetheless, remote learning still didn’t result in a lot of learning during school closures this spring. It was an especially challenging time for Black and Latinx students, who faced more obstacles to learning than other students, and for female students and students who identify in another way, who struggled more with mental health and well-being than did male students.

Key findings of our analysis include:

  1. Only half of students said their teachers give them assignments that really help them learn, and just 39 percent said they learn a lot every day.
  2. Seventy percent of students reported obstacles to their virtual learning. Distractions at home and feeling depressed, stressed, and anxious were the most frequently cited obstacles. Black and Latinx students faced a greater “obstacle load” than did other students.
  3. Relationships with teachers were a bright spot, while students’ sense of belonging suffered.
  4. Female students and students who identify in another way rated their health and well-being less positively than did male students.
  5. One in five high school seniors’ post-secondary plans have changed.

Read the full article about student perspectives on COVID-19 by Jen Vorse Wilka at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.