Back to School Survey

39% of Teens Feel They Are Behind Educationally Due to the Pandemic, Many Believe Permanently

Image caption: Back to School Chalkboard

A new survey of teens conducted for Junior Achievement by the research firm ENGINE Insights shows that nearly 2-in-5 (39%) feel that they are behind educationally because of the pandemic. Of those, more than a third (37%) feel they are behind permanently. The survey also found that in addition to attending school in-person and interacting with other students and teachings, many teens (34%) need “emotional support” from teachers, parents, counselors, and other caring adults to help their “mental well-being,” as well as more individual attention from teachers (32%) to help with their learning. The 2021 survey of 1,003 13- to 17-year-olds was conducted by ENGINE Insights from July 8 through 13, 2021.

“These results indicate that the pandemic may have a profound and long-term impact on today’s young people, not just academically, but emotionally,” said Ashley Charest, President, Junior Achievement of Kansas. “It’s up to all of us, educators, parents, caregivers, counselors, mentors, and youth development professionals, to do what we can this school year and beyond to give young people the support they need.”

Other findings from the survey include:

  • A third of teens (34%) have concerns about attending school in-person this year, compared to two-thirds (66%) who have little to no concerns.
  • COVID-19 impacted the way education was delivered for nearly all students. Most teens (56%) rated the quality of education during the pandemic as “fair/poor,” while the rest (44%) rated it as “excellent/very good/good.”
  • Teen interest in participating in online-only classes in the future was split down the middle, with nearly half interested (46%) and almost half not (48%).

Methodology

This Youth CARAVAN survey was conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS among a sample of 1,003 13-17-year-olds. This survey was live on July 8-13, 2021.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. It is nationally representative with set quotas based on census data. The 1,003 completes are all who qualified and completed based on the demographic quota requirements. The MoE is +/- 3.1%.

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