From scholars Matt Kraft and Shaun Doherty, a first of its kind study:
We evaluate the efficacy of teacher–family communication by partnering with a charter school in Boston, Massachusetts, to conduct a cluster-randomized trial during a mandatory summer school academy. This work makes two important contributions to the literature.
We present some of the first causal evidence of the effect of personal communication between teachers and parents, and teachers and students, on student engagement in U.S. public schools. Second, we capture fine-grained measures of student engagement in the classroom by conducting classroom observations of well-defined, quantifiable student behaviors. These data provide a unique opportunity to examine how teacher–family communication affects students’ behavior and participation in the classroom.
...we find that teacher–family communication reduced the frequency with which students’ attention or behavior in class had to be redirected by 25%.
The study examined very brief phone calls from teachers to parents.
Student participation in class was up 15%. Homework completion was up too.
Hey! Someone should take these findings -- and write it up as a practical book for teachers, Ed Schools, and school leaders.
Oh wait, here is one you can buy right now. For $5.36! A breezy read. A handsome author. What more could you want?
And proving once again that these ideas come from traditional public school teachers like Charlie Sposato, and then some charters build whole systems around it, here is the same advice from our friends at the Mass Teachers Association.