Research Insights: Can Low-Cost Communication Technologies Bridge Information Gaps between Schools and Parents?

Accesible PDF image
Oct 2021
We document large gaps between parents knowledge and school reports of students attendance and grades. Sending frequent text messages with information on attendance, grades and school behavior shrinks those gaps. Parents of at-risk students adjust their understanding of their children's performance to the greatest degree. High-frequency text messages had positive impacts on grades and attendance. Math GPA increased 0.08 of a standard deviation; the probability of earning a passing grade in math increased by 2.7 percentage points (relative to a mean of 90 percent). The intervention also reduced school absenteeism by 1 percentage point and increased the share of students who met attendance requirements for grade promotion by 4.5 percentage points.