PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — An overwhelming majority of Palm Beach County educators want to get rid of the controversial style of simultaneous teaching, according to a new survey.
The Palm Beach County Classrooms Teachers Association recently polled educators about their opinions of simultaneous teaching, which is when teachers are instructing students both in-class and remotely at the same time.
The practice started within all South Florida and Treasure Coast school districts at the start of the 2020-21 academic year last August because of safety concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
3,170 educators responded to the CTA survey, which was conducted between March 11 and 26.
According to the results, 94.4% of teachers said simultaneous teaching harms the ability of the average student to "learn effectively."
In addition, 94.4% of teachers said they're a "less effective educator" when taking part in simultaneous teaching, and 74.6% of teachers said they've seen increased levels of cheating on classwork, homework, tests, and quizzes during simultaneous teaching.
Overall, 93.1% of teachers surveyed said simultaneous teaching should be eliminated for the 2021/22 school year and replaced by "pure virtual-only classes and pure physical-only classes."
The School District of Palm Beach County released this statement to WPTV about simultaneous teaching and the CTA survey:
"The District acknowledges and appreciates that teachers are working harder than ever while simultaneously teaching students in-person and via distance learning. From an efficiency and engagement standpoint, in-person instruction is the preferred modality. Decisions regarding the modality of instruction in the fall will be based on governance made at the State level and science regarding the pandemic. The District is currently actively discussing various scenarios and options that would ultimately be made in the best interests of students and staff."
The Florida Department of Education has yet to make an announcement about whether distance learning will continue next school year.
To see the full Palm Beach County Classrooms Teachers Association survey, click here.