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Survey: Black, Latino Students In LA Got Fewer Live Video Classes During COVID-19 Campus Closures

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Fewer Black and Latino students in Los Angeles are receiving live, online lessons during the coronavirus pandemic than white students, according to a survey from the advocacy group Speak Up.

The survey also shows that Latino children in particular are more likely to have had no face-time at all with their teachers over video platforms like Zoom or Google Meet during distance learning.


  • About half of white students received live, online instruction every day. Compare that to roughly 40% of Black students and less than 30% of Latino students who received live lessons daily, according to the Speak Up survey.
  • Among students with disabilities, 17% “never” interacted with their teacher during the COVID-19 lockdown — compared to 7% of non-special education students. (This tracks with some of our early reporting on the subject.)
  • English learners were also less likely to receive minimal online instruction.
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In the L.A. Unified School District, teachers cannot be required to provide live video lessons under an agreement with the teachers union inked in early April.

Most of the survey’s roughly 400 respondents were members of Speak Up, which stands opposed to United Teachers Los Angeles on a number of policy issues and has been a leading voice in favor of more live video lessons.

But this fall, the rules will be different. In Sacramento, California lawmakers recently passed language requiring schools to document that they’re providing a minimum number of instructional minutes each day — regardless of whether students are in classrooms or accessing lessons from home. (The L.A. Times has a good write-up on this.)


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