President Joe Biden has made reopening a majority of K-8 schools for in-person instruction a priority for his administration's first 100 days, with the goal of getting more American students safely back into the classroom. Yet neither information gathered so far by researchers, nor data reported by the federal government and the states, can say where the nation stands with respect to that goal. While various organizations have tracked school districts' stated policies on reopening, those policies defy easy categorization and may not capture reality on the ground. Many districts and schools offer parents some choice about how their child is educated, making it even harder to gauge who is entering schools. Nearly halfway through the 2020-21 school year, we remain in the dark about how American schools have adapted amid the pandemic--and what American families are experiencing as a result.
Henderson, Michael B., Paul E. Peterson, and Martin R. West. "Pandemic Parent Survey Finds Perverse Pattern: Students Are More Likely to Be Attending School in Person Where Covid Is Spreading More Rapidly: Majority of students receiving fully remote instruction; private-school students more likely to be in person full time." Education Next 21.2 (Spring 2021): 34-48.