September 23, 2020
Chronic absence – defined as missing 10 percent or more of school days – is a nationwide problem. Those with poor attendance are more likely to face challenges later in school and in life.
Text messaging as a way to improve student attendance has the strongest evidence base in the field. In a series of randomized controlled trials, the adaptive text messaging approach has been shown to increase student attendance and increase child learning by 2 to 3 months over the course of a school year (Bergman & Chan, 2019; IES, 2020).
Our product extensions also draw on research from the broader field of text message-based engagement. We have been particularly inspired by these September 2020 findings by the Institute of Education Sciences, which is the independent, non-partisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education, that support the AllHere approach.
Two Key Findings
The findings, which reinforce those in Dr. Peter Bergman’s pioneering randomized controlled trial about the impact of sending personalized text messages to families regarding student attendance, and are particularly exciting to us at AllHere, especially in an era where chronic absenteeism has risen to heights heretofore unseen in our nation’s history.
A leader in applying educational research, AllHere is continuously evaluating and improving the program with multiple randomized controlled trials and ongoing evaluations that generate evidence of the AllHere approach reaching ESSA Tier 1 standards.
View a PDF of essential studies to text messaging on the attendance and academic achievement of students below.
Want to talk about the research? Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].
We partnered a low-cost communication technology with school information systems to automate the gathering and provision of information on students’ academic progress to parents of middle and high school students. We sent weekly, automated alerts to parents about their child’s missed assignments, grades, and class absences. The alerts reduced course failures by 28%, increased class attendance by 12%, and increased student retention, though there was no impact on state test scores. There were larger effects for below-median GPA students and high school students.
Heppen, J.B., Kurki, A., & Brown, S. (2020).
Chronic absence is a nationwide problem, even among young students. This report presents findings from a study that tested four versions of an adaptive text messaging strategy to see which, if any, would reduce chronic absence and improve achievement among 26,000 elementary school students. All four versions of the adaptive text messaging strategy reduced chronic absence.