The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes around the world, including changes in education. Almost immediately after school closures were imposed in March 2020 and students in many cases had to take digital distance learning classes, educational researchers clearly pointed out that this could contribute to a worsening of existing social inequalities in education. How has this research knowledge been publicly received? This question was investigated with a discourse study framed in terms of innovation theory which analyzed a total of 88 texts from three German Internet platforms covering the period between March and September 2020. The results show that with regard to the consideration of social inequality, two barely connected worlds exist (one in research, one in the professional public). In the professional public discourse, research knowledge plays a subordinate role at best. Moreover, in the public discourse two strands of discourse are found that are also not intertwined. The results are discussed in terms of their significance for trust in educational institutions, the care and maintenance of which is a relevant topic for educational policy and management, particularly in times of disruptive changes in educational practice.