Home Medizin Die Studie zeigt Rassenunterschiede bei der Einschreibung von Studenten im Zuge der COVID-19-Richtlinien

Die Studie zeigt Rassenunterschiede bei der Einschreibung von Studenten im Zuge der COVID-19-Richtlinien

von NFI Redaktion


During the fall of 2020, school enrollments in districts that offered in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic saw a greater decline among non-white students compared to white students.

However, in districts offering virtual learning, the opposite was observed, according to a study by the University of Michigan.

The results, published in the journal PNAS, are consistent with the fact that communities of color were at higher risk from COVID-19 and reported less trust in medical and social institutions.

„The most likely explanation for our results is that black – and to a lesser extent Hispanic – families were more concerned about the health risks associated with in-person learning than white families,“ said Brian Jacob, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy at UM.

„This is consistent with the fact that non-white communities experienced higher mortality rates during COVID and reported less trust in social institutions even before the pandemic.“

The study analyzed enrollment trends in public schools in the United States during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, focusing on the response of public schools to COVID-19 policies and their impact on different racial/ethnic groups.

Jacob and his colleague Micah Baum, a UM doctoral student in public policy and economics, found that the decline in enrollments was greater in districts that instituted stricter COVID-19 policies, such as fully virtual instruction and mask mandates.

The enrollment responses to COVID-19 policies also varied significantly by age. For example, kindergarten and elementary school children experienced a larger decline in enrollment numbers and were more sensitive to the chosen mode of instruction.

The comprehensive study used data from more than 9,000 school districts, serving over 90% of public school students in the U.S., to examine the impact of COVID-19 policies on enrollments, with a particular focus on differences by age and students‘ racial/ethnic backgrounds.

„The results illustrate the complex interplay of race, income, and school policy,“ Jacob said. „Public school districts faced enormous challenges in dealing with COVID-19, balancing health and educational concerns, and considering changing local conditions. But how families within the same district reacted to pandemic school policies differed significantly by race.“

However, the study found that racial differences in enrollments based on mode of learning persisted in the 2021-2022 school years, even as most public schools had resumed in-person instruction.

The findings suggest various interpretations, according to the researchers. On one hand, health concerns and perceived risks from COVID-19 are likely to have significantly influenced enrollment decisions, particularly among non-white families.

According to the researchers, the differential enrollment responses between the groups are related to preferences and resources.

„We find it difficult to fully disentangle these factors in our study,“ Jacob said. „Not only do we observe that the decline in enrollments in in-person districts was greater among non-white families, but these families also reacted more sensitively to local COVID deaths. At the same time, these preference differences may be partly due to different resources that enable white families to adapt to in-person instruction more effectively.“

With current studies documenting significant learning loss in students who went virtually to school in 2020, Jacob’s biggest concern is that these differential enrollment responses may exacerbate pre-existing racial disparities.

„There is much evidence that virtual instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted student learning,“ he said. „And to the extent that non-white families disproportionately opted out of in-person instruction, this will have exacerbated racial disparities in learning loss.“

Source:

Journal reference:

Baum, MY, & Jacob, BA (2024). Racial disparities in parental response to COVID school policies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2307308120.

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