San Francisco, California (December 16, 2022) — Today TalkingPoints announced a $1 million grant to support actionable research on how to improve student outcomes by building strong relationships between schools and families.
“Building meaningful family-school partnerships is essential to improving the academic and wellbeing of students, especially historically under-resourced students,” says Heejae Lim, founder and CEO of TalkingPoints. “But the education sector needs more actionable research on how to overcome the many barriers to equitable family engagement. We have made research a core strategy of our mission because we want to continue adding supports that make it easier for districts to engage their families through best practices.”
The grant, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, fills a needed gap in education research: kickstarting large-scale family engagement research that districts and schools can use to improve student academic and wellbeing outcomes.
Working in partnership with school districts, this grant will be used to answer foundational questions on the systemic barriers to effective family-school partnerships. Results will be shared so schools and districts can align their family-to-school partnerships strategy to their core strategic plans to improve student outcomes.
TalkingPoints has an in-house research team that conducts impact evaluations, cutting-edge data analysis, and user impact surveys. 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.
In the next 10 years, TalkingPoints wants to develop a research-driven standard for family-school partnerships that supports the diverse families and communities that make up K-12 schools in the United States. Researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders at all levels, including families, can improve how schools and families work together to achieve successful student outcomes.
The grant follows the recent release of new causal research from TalkingPoints that shows a significant relationship between family engagement and improved outcomes for students.
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 a 9-point gain on math test scores, which 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 is an education technology nonprofit that supports school districts in connecting families and teachers for the success and wellbeing of each and every student. TalkingPoints’ multilingual platform uses two-way translated communication and personalized content in more than 145 languages to facilitate meaningful family-school partnerships. Fueling this unique approach is a relentless focus on eliminating barriers to engaging families, including language, time, mindsets, and capacity. For additional information about TalkingPoints, please visit www.talkingpts.org.