Parent-School Communication based on text messages (SMS)
Last registered on August 06, 2014


Trial Information
General Information
Parent-School Communication based on text messages (SMS)
Initial registration date
August 06, 2014
Last updated
August 06, 2014 4:05 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Dartmouth College
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
High rates of absenteeism, grade repetition and poor grades continue to undermine educational investments for children from lower income families in Chile. As a result, despite massive increases in access to high school and post-secondary education in the last two decades, there is still tremendous educational inequality in this country. One problem is that although attendance and performance in lower grades is highly predictive of grade repetition and drop out in later grades, parents may not always be aware of this link. Moreover, we have seen in prior work that parents may not always have the correct information about child behaviors in school. This project targets two aspects of parental involvement with the school system: information and skills. We designed an experiment to randomly provide parents with regular information about children’s activities and behavior at school, using text messages. After some time using this SMS program, we treat a subset of these parents with a complementary investment that informs them how to use these markers (attendance, grades, behavior) to monitor and guide their children towards improved investments in school.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Berlinski, Samuel et al. 2014. "Parent-School Communication based on text messages (SMS)." AEA RCT Registry. August 06.
Former Citation
Berlinski, Samuel et al. 2014. "Parent-School Communication based on text messages (SMS)." AEA RCT Registry. August 06.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Main outcomes include: Grades, Attendance, Behavior, Dropout
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The intervention will take place in public schools in a municipality of Santiago. Regular text messages will be sent to parents of students from 4th to 8th grade with information on Attendance, Grades and Behavior. Data for these messages will be collected from schools by our enumerators. Control SMS messages will be sent to all participants, with general information about school events.

After an initial period of treatment, a subset of treatment group parents will be randomly offered a complementary investment (a DVD program). This program will provide new parental management tools aimed at better use of the school information delivered via text messaging. The complementary investment will be designed in consultation with educational psychologists, building on their best practice tools for encouraging parental involvement in low-income communities.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computerized (STATA programming)
Randomization Unit
Class and Individual (by students)
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not applicable
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,600 parents and caregivers (approx.)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1,300 parents (approx.) in each group, treatment and control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects (COHUES). Massachusetts Institute of Technology
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers