Racial Disparities in the Effect of the Pandemic on American Education

The new experimental Household Pulse Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau is designed to quickly and efficiently deploy data collected on how people’s lives have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The latest survey results present some interesting data on educational activities and plans for students during the pandemic.

  • More than 21 percent of parents of Black parents said their children spent “much less time” in learning activities than before the pandemic and another 16.2 percent said they spent “less time.”
  • Nearly 17 percent of Black children had no live contact with teachers over the seven days prior to the survey. For White children, 12.5 percent had no live contact with their teachers.
  • Some 56 percent of Black students had live contact with their teachers for four or more days over the week prior to the survey. For Whites, the figure was slightly lower.
  • More than 80 percent of White public and private K-12 students had access to a home computer and the internet all the time. For Black students, the figure was 73 percent.
  • About 30 percent of Whites who had planned to take at least one college class this coming fall report that they have abandoned their plans for higher education this year. For Blacks who planned to attend college, more than 37 percent have abandoned their plans to enroll.

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