COVID-19 Pandemic Undermines Student Learning and Mental Health: Findings from the PAGE 2021 Legislative Survey
Georgia educators described how the pandemic has affected student learning and mental health as well as their work in schools. They also shared insights on other critical issues. Key findings include:
Lost Learning. Eighty-seven percent of educators report the school shutdown had a negative effect on student learning including lost learning time in math and reading.
Threatened Student Mental Health. More than 75 percent of educators say students have higher social-emotional needs this year than in previous years.
Climbing Educator Workloads. Forty-seven percent of teachers are teaching in both in-person and virtual formats, increasing planning needs and time. Over 80 percent are spending more time communicating with parents, and half are covering classes for colleagues who are sick, in quarantine or otherwise absent.
Unhelpful Assessments. Less than 20 percent of educators report that Georgia Milestones provides information that is helpful in improving instruction. Most educators also say information about class size, teacher qualifications, and teacher retention is more valuable for parents to know than test scores.
Persistent Teacher Shortage. Fourteen percent of educators with less than 20 years of experience report that they are likely to leave education in the next five years. Twenty-nine percent of these educators will likely leave in the next 10 years.
The survey explores issues identified by educators as well as those that have captured policymakers’ attention. The PAGE legislative team uses survey results to inform its advocacy on behalf of Georgia educators and public school students. FULL SURVEY REPORT HERE
By Claire Suggs
Senior Education Policy Analyst