According to data from the city of Boston, at least 20 percent of public school students haven't logged into class for the entire month of May; according to reporting in The Boston Globe, this means they could be "virtual dropouts."

But former education secretary Paul Reville told Boston Public Radio on Thursday it's "way premature" to make any kind of judgment call on how the school district is adjusting to remote learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The numbers are really sketchy in many ways, not just in Boston but generally speaking. How do you judge attendance in these times when kids are home? How do you measure ... the amount of time students or teachers for that matter are putting in while they're home?" he said. "I think there's a rush to grab onto statistics that put Boston in kind of a negative light here, but I'm not sure honestly there's any really sound evidentiary basis for saying that Boston's doing any worse than anybody else around the country."

Reville said the challenge for school districts nationwide has been to maintain a standard of education across myriad home environments.

"Suddenly we've pushed education back into the homes, and the homes have widely variable capacity due to these things," he said.

In Boston, 50 percent of these homes speak a language other than English, and 4500 students are homeless, according to Reville.