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6 in 10 with Kids at Home are not Confident that Schools Can Safely Reopen

August 7, 2020 am31 11:11 am

I get commercial pieces in my in-box. I usually don’t reprint them (maybe I never have?) but this one is from a fairly reliable source – Consumer Reports – and it is highly relevant. 

Pay close attention to the section on the “racial divide” – the New York Times would have you believe that getting Black and Brown children back into school is a civil rights issue – the Times, that great self-appointed voice for justice. Actually, Black and Hispanic families with children are most OPPOSED to sending kids in today.


Majority of Americans “Very Concerned” About Spread of Virus in Their Communities

YONKERS, NY — The dawn of the new school year finds Americans sharply divided on how K-12 schools should best reopen, according to a new nationally representative survey from Consumer Reports, the nonprofit consumer research, testing, and advocacy organization. A majority of Americans with school-aged children in their homes (62 percent) say they are “not too confident” (30 percent) or “not confident at all” (32 percent) that schools can prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students, teachers, and staff if they reopen for in-person classes.

The CR American Experiences Survey was fielded between July 9 and 20, following the surge in cases being reported across the nation. It included questions on the pandemic’s impact on consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and finances. In broad terms, respondents are growing increasingly concerned about the potential threat posed by COVID-19 to their communities, and many reported taking some sort of action in response to the growing number of cases, and deaths, across the U.S.

Among all Americans, about a third (35 percent) of Americans think schools in their local area should remain closed with students taking all classes online, another third (33 percent) think they should open partially with students splitting time between in-person and online classes, about two in ten (19 percent) think they should reopen fully for in-person instruction, and the remaining 13 percent are unsure. When comparing the 35 percent of respondents who have preschool or K-12 aged children living in their household to those without, there are no significant differences in opinion on school reopenings.

“Like many other issues involving COVID-19, we see deep divides among Americans on the question of if and how schools should reopen, reflected in the difficulty school administrators are facing finding consensus among local parents on the best path forward,” said Consumer Reports’ Chief Research Officer Kristen Purcell. “And this does not just affect families with school-aged children, it’s a community health issue. Americans without school-aged children at home are also divided on how schools should reopen.”

Racial Divide on School Reopenings

White Americans are more likely than Blacks and Hispanics to prefer full school reopenings with in-person classes (24 percent white versus 7 percent Black and 10 percent Hispanic), whereas Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than whites to prefer that schools remain closed with students taking all classes online (57 percent Black and 52 percent Hispanic versus 25 percent white). Among whites, the most commonly chosen option for school reopening, selected by 37 percent, is a partial or hybrid model blending some in-person learning with classes taken online.

Rising Level of Concern Over COVID-19

Most Americans continue to be concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in their communities, and the percentage of those who are “very concerned” has spiked. A majority of Americans (82 percent) remain concerned about the continued spread of the disease in their local area, including 53 percent who are “very concerned.”

While the portion of Americans “very concerned” was unchanged from the survey findings for the May to June timeframe, the July survey results show a dramatic increase—up 12 percentage points from 41 percent in June. July’s survey results continue to show levels of concern varying significantly across different racial/ethnic groups, with Black (73 percent) and Hispanic (64 percent) adults more likely than white adults (47 percent) to say they are “very concerned” COVID will continue to spread in their communities.

The rising level of concern might explain why more Americans say they personally are following recommended safety measures most or all of the time compared with last month. For example, 72 percent now say they “always” wear a mask at indoor public spaces (up 18 percentage points, from 54 percent in June). The change  was largely driven by people in the Western states, the Midwest, and the South (up 31 percentage points, 20 percentage points, and 16 percentage points, respectively), which have reported an uptick in cases. Black and Hispanic adults are more likely than whites to report wearing a mask most of the time or always when in an indoor public space (93 percent and 93 percent versus 81 percent, respectively).

Financial and Emotional Impacts of Pandemic 

Early in the pandemic, lost wages hit Hispanics particularly hard, as shown in our April results. While more Hispanic Americans still say they’ve lost wages during the pandemic compared to whites, July’s survey results indicate that racial and ethnic gaps on this financial impact measure have narrowed to some degree (lost wages were reported by 26 percent among whites, 27 percent among Blacks, and 34 percent among Hispanics). However, both Black and Hispanic adults are more likely than white adults to report cutting expenses to pay their mortgage, rent or other expenses (26 percent and 28 percent versus 16 percent, respectively).  Black adults are more likely than whites to report falling behind on their rent or mortgage (14 percent versus 6 percent), with Hispanics landing in between (9 percent). Similarly, while the percentage of adults reporting experiencing anxiety or depression held steady in July at 38 percent, reports of depression and anxiety continue to be especially high among women (45 percent) and the lowest-income Americans (43 percent).

About Consumer Reports American Experiences Survey
Consumer Reports’ American Experiences Survey (AES) is conducted monthly to track consumer attitudes and behaviors over time. It was fielded by NORC at the University of Chicago to a nationally representative sample of 2,031 US adults. The margin of error for the sample of 2,031 is +/-2.95 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The survey was conducted from July 9 to 20, 2020. Interviews were conducted online and by telephone, in English and in Spanish.

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is a nonprofit advocacy organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.

AUGUST  2020

© 2020 Consumer Reports. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports® magazine,® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our prior written permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent unauthorized commercial use of its content and trademarks.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. cklaus permalink
    August 7, 2020 pm31 1:32 pm 1:32 pm

    Yes as of Wednesday Chicago Public Schools will be remote until mid November at the earliest, at which point the Dist will re-assess the situation. This turn in judgment was due to an 80% “no” vote for in-person schooling by African American families in response to a District wide survey. About a fifth of district households responded (57k)

    • August 12, 2020 am31 10:28 am 10:28 am

      Yet the “liberal” press skirts the issue, or claims to speak for people who they would not deem to speak with.

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