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Understanding the targeting and impact of a parental involvement campaign in Peru
Initial registration date
May 22, 2020
May 26, 2020 5:05 PM EDT
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
Universidad del Rosario
Additional Trial Information
This study evaluates the impact of a Peruvian Ministry of Education pilot program in the Lima metropolitan area that aimed to increase parental involvement in the education of their elementary students. Parents receive regular informational text messages along with behavioral-based prompts: either planning prompts or encouragement to make an immediate time investment. Prior to the intervention, teachers provide a list of students who they think would benefit most from such an intervention. This study focuses on effects on students' grades and standardized test scores, as well as how these effects differ with respect to teacher targeting. The goal is to understand not just the potential impacts of a scalable parental engagement program at the elementary school level, but also whether teachers have useful private knowledge about which students would benefit most from such interventions.
Dustan, Andrew and Stanislao Maldonado. 2020. "Understanding the targeting and impact of a parental involvement campaign in Peru." AEA RCT Registry. May 26.
Intervention consists of 12 weeks of SMS (text messages) sent by the Ministry of Education to parents or guardians of fourth grade students enrolled in treated classrooms in the sample of public elementary schools. Two messages are sent each week. The first text message of each week provides information about a best practice for parents to follow in supporting the academic progress of their student. This first message has identical content for all treated students. The second text message of the week varies by treatment status. Those in the "planning" treatment group receive messages prompting them to make a specific plan for implementing this advice. Those in the "action" treatment group receive messages prompting them to take immediate action to implement the advice.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. National standardized exam subscores (math and communication)
2. Grade point average from national student registry
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1. Disaggregated student grades by subject
2. Teacher attendance rate
3. Student attendance rate (if available from national student registry)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The sample consists of 117 schools with three sections (classrooms) of fourth grade students, according to the 2019 school census. Randomization is at the classroom level and stratified by school, such that a school with exactly three sections has one section in the control group (C), one section in the planning treatment group (T1), and one section in the action treatment group (T2). After drawing the sample and contacting schools, it was determined that 1 school had only 1 section, 8 schools had 2 sections, and 10 schools had 4 sections. Schools with 1 or 2 sections had no more than 1 section assigned to C, T1, or T2, while schools with 4 sections had at least 1 but no more than 2 sections assigned to C, T1, or T2. The stratified randomization was performed in such a way that enforced global balance in C/T1/T2 assignment.
All students within a classroom were assigned to the same treatment status.
Analysis will use regression adjustment to control for prior achievement (lagged grades), accounting for clustering at the appropriate level as determined by MacKinnon, Nielsen, and Webb (2020). Benjamini, Krieger, and Yekutieli (2006) will be used to adjust for multiple testing.
Prior to randomization, teachers are asked to indicate which students/families they believe would benefit most from a parental engagement intervention. This provides the key variable used in the study's main heterogeneity analysis, which will interact treatment with a dummy variable for whether the student is listed by the teacher.
At baseline, parents answer questions related to 1) their level of involvement in their child's education and 2) their propensity to plan. These will be used to create parental involvement and planning indices, following Anderson (2008). These indices will be interacted with treatment to estimate heterogeneous treatment effects.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done in office by a computer
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 6,000 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
117 classrooms: Control
116 classrooms: Information + planning prompt
116 classrooms: Information + action prompt
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Unadjusted for multiple testing: 0.10 standard deviations (unit of measurement is normalized score)
Adjusted for multiple testing: MDE depends on correlation structure of p-values. Benjamini, Krieger, and Yekutieli (2006) will be used to adjust for multiple testing.
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Vanderbilt Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number