San Francisco, California (March 15, 2023) — Today TalkingPoints announced that Dr. Karen Mapp, a prominent education scholar in the field of family engagement, will support TalkingPoints as an advisor to the organization.
“Our focus on supporting the diverse families and communities that make up K-12 schools in the United States is grounded in the research showing that family engagement contributes to student success. With Dr. Mapp’s guidance, we will soon be able to translate research into practical steps that districts, schools, and educators can take to build stronger, equitable family-to-school partnerships,” says Heejae Lim, founder and CEO of TalkingPoints. “Dr. Mapp is THE education researcher on family engagement. I’m honored that she is lending her expertise to our work and, ultimately, helping schools work better for students and families.”
Dr. Mapp is currently the senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and faculty director of Harvard’s Education Policy and Management Master’s Program. Her 2010 book, Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships, is considered a foundational text in the field. Dr. Mapp also created the Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships and has advised the U.S. Department of Education and multiple states and school districts on family engagement.
In her role as an advisor, Dr. Mapp will support TalkingPoints as it works to develop a research-driven standard for excellence in developing family-school partnership.
“I’m proud to partner with TalkingPoints as we both hold two critical values in supporting students and families: the importance of making school-to-family engagement more equitable to reach ALL families and embarking on groundbreaking research to better understand how to deliver on that vision,” said Dr. Mapp.
TalkingPoints works in partnership with school districts to answer foundational questions on the systemic barriers to effective family-school partnerships. The latest study, Engaging Families Leads to Student Academic Gains and Increased Attendance, found that using TalkingPoints leads to higher test scores, course proficiency improvements, and lower absenteeism rates in a large urban, diverse school district.
Overall, students saw higher math test scores by 9 points, a gain that represents 7 months of additional learning for the average student. These gains are even more pronounced for traditionally underserved students, including Black students, Latino students, students with disabilities, and English language learners.
TalkingPoints has an in-house research team which conducts quasi-experimental studies, cutting-edge data analysis, user impact surveys, and pilot treatment evaluations. TalkingPoints also partners with top research universities and has been recognized by leading research institutions, including the University of Chicago and MIT, as an evidence-based intervention for driving student outcomes.
TalkingPoints is an education technology nonprofit that drives student success by removing critical barriers to equitable family-school partnerships, such as language, time, mindsets, and capacity. Ten of the country’s twenty largest school districts trust TalkingPoints to create a district culture where all families, no matter their background, can engage with their schools. Our simple, intuitive family engagement platform offers the highest-quality human- and AI-powered two-way translated communication available — in 145 languages and counting. Named by Common Sense Education as “the best overall family communication platform for teachers and schools”, TalkingPoints leads to higher test scores and lower absenteeism, as shown by rigorous causal research that meets the ESSA Tier 2 standard of evidence. To learn more, view our TED Talk or visit talkingpts.org.