A new study suggests that an overwhelming majority of public schools report increases in negative student behavior, with many linking a rise in absenteeism and other serious behavioral issues to the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning arrangements.
The National Center for Education Statistics, an arm of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, released the study’s findings Wednesday as part of its School Pulse Panel, providing data on the pandemic’s impact on K-12 schools. Data was collected from 846 participating schools between May 10 and May 24.
Eighty-seven percent of the public schools reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted students’ socio-emotional development for the 2021-2022 school year, and 83% of public schools agree that students’ behavioral development has been negatively impacted.
Over half (56%) of schools reported increased student misconduct in the classroom, and 49% reported a rise in rowdiness outside the classroom.
In addition, 48% of schools reported an increase in acts of disrespect towards teachers and staff and a 42% rise in the use of prohibited electronic devices in class. The survey respondents attributed this growth in misbehavior to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rise in student absenteeism is another issue schools consider to be an aftereffect of the pandemic. The increase in absences does not appear to be unique among low-income or urban schools, which reported a 75% increase. Schools with lower student poverty rates and rural schools reported a 73% and 71% increase in chronic absenteeism, respectively.
“[W]hen we see 72 percent of our public schools report an increase in chronic absenteeism among our students, it poses an opportunity for education leaders to act quickly using tested approaches that work,” NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr said in a statement. “It is our responsibility at NCES to disseminate data describing the severity of the situation.”
Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center think tank housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, wrote in a Friday statement to The Christian Post that the survey “should be just one more wake-up call.”
Story continues at: COVID Negativity