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Improving School Outcomes through Parental Involvement
Initial registration date
November 17, 2019
November 20, 2019 2:58 PM EST
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University of California at Berkeley
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Universidad de los Andes
IDEICE & PUCMM
Additional Trial Information
We study whether incentivizing parents to participate in a coordinated school information campaign, in coordination with the school's leadership team, can improve the school's performance and parental involvement in standardized tests. For a subset of private and public schools in the Dominican Republic that have previously formed their respective school's parents committee, we divide the schools into control and treatment groups with the aim of better informing parents about the school's performance in past exams. For the treatment schools, we call all the parents in the committees to ask for their consent to be included in a WhatsApp group. Through this channel we then inform parents about the school's performance and a workshops that the school leadership team is required to organize with teachers and parents to discuss school quality and an action plan help them improve in future tests.
Morales, Daniel, Catherine Rodriguez and Carlos Schmidt-Padilla. 2019. "Improving School Outcomes through Parental Involvement." AEA RCT Registry. November 20.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcome measure is schools' performance in the national third and sixth grade exams (Evaluaciones Diagnósticas de 3ero and 6to, to be administered in 2020 and 2021, respectively).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes in our study include: (i) school's adherence to the campaign's requisites (e.g., sending proof of the workshops, etc.), (ii) the creation of an action plan among school leadership, teachers, and parents,, (iii) whether parents seek help from or interact with the Ministry of Education, (iv) parental involvement measures in school (attendance to the informational workshop, discussion with other parents and teachers about school quality, discuss with their teachers about child’s own performance) and at home (follow the Ministry of Education tips, read with their children, help with homework) measured through a parents' survey responses administered in a follow-up phone call, (v) students' survey measures administered in parallel with the national exams. Most of our secondary outcomes aim to measure possible mechanism to explain the primary results.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
This project coincides with efforts by the Dominican Ministry of Education to increase principal-school leadership team-teacher-parent coordination and improve student performance in two national examinations for third and sixth graders: Evaluaciones Diagnósticas de 3o (April 2020) y 6to (May 2021). The Ministry of Education launched an information campaign on school quality based on emails sent to all schools’ principals with instructions to download their school’s "report card" based on previous performance in the national examinations. As part of this campaign, principals are required to coordinate with their leadership team, instructors and parents the analysis of the information and the elaboration of specific workshops as well as an action plan to improve school quality and the results in the next national exams. In this experiment, we look at the demand-side, and take a subset of schools in the campaign that had previously formed their parents' committees and inform parents about the "report card" and associated workshops.
Using a sample of 158 schools, we cross-randomize schools into treatment and control. In the treatment group, if the parents give consent, they are added to a WhatsApp messaging group of the school. Through this communication channel, we directly inform parents about the school's "report card" on previous national exams and the requirement that the Ministry asks to the principal to organize the informational workshops. We motivate them to assist to the workshop and follow the Ministry’s educational tips and the improvement plan the school designs.
Experimental Design Details
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Group 1: Control group: 51 schools
Group 2: Reminder + added to messaging group: 107 schools
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Instituto Dominicano de Evaluación e Investigación de la Calidad Educativa (IDEICE)
IRB Approval Date