Today we launched a new report that examines the distance learning gap among K-12 households in CA. This is similar to a previous report which was limited to Los Angeles county. The new report is attached, and the key findings are pasted below. We also built an interactive map that helps visualize the data: http://arcg.is/10mb9T. I would appreciate your help in disseminating these results.
Key report findings:
- Overall, one in four K-12 households in California do not have a desktop or laptop computer and a high-speed Internet connection. This represents about 870,000 families whose child or children are likely to fall behind in educational attainment during the COVID-19 crisis. If households with mobile broadband service are included, the share of households lacking resources for distance learning falls to 17%, which represents about 610,000 families.
- Only about half of the K-12 families in the bottom 20% of the income distribution have a desktop or laptop computer and subscribe to high-speed internet. This compares to over 90% of families in the top income quintile.
- Students eligible for free/reduced price meals are significantly less likely to have access to distance learning resources at home. While the gap is larger for high-speed internet and PC availability (about 26 p.p.), it is only slightly smaller when families with mobile broadband are included (about 24 p.p.)
- Households in coastal metro areas are generally better equipped than those in the rural communities of the Central Valley, Southeast and Northern California. However, large concentrations of under-resourced households exist within metro areas. As an example, the availability of an internet-enabled PC at home for students in South LA is only slightly above that for students in Tulare County, which has the lowest availability rate in the state.
- After controlling for income, the chances that an urban household has a PC and high-speed Internet are almost twice as large as those for a rural household. When the indicator includes wireless broadband, the relative odds for urban households are still about 75% higher. These results reflect the fact that rural students, regardless of income, are more likely to attend under-resourced schools where technology initiatives are less likely to be adopted.
- Black and Hispanic students are at greater risk of falling behind due to lack of distance learning resources at home. The chances that a Hispanic student lives in a household with a PC and high-speed internet are only about half relative to those for a non-Hispanic student, regardless of income and location. Similarly, the chances for a Black student are about 70% relative to those of non-Black students.
Associate Professor and Director
Annenberg Research Network on International Communication
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Southern California
3502 Watt Way, Los Angeles CA 90089-0281
email: [email protected]
tel: (+1) 213-821-1320