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As of the first weeks of the school year, parents and teachers at 35,000 schools nationwide have been communicating via text messages translated into 108 languages. The platform they use, created by the education technology nonprofit TalkingPoints, has seen a fifteen-fold increase in activity over last year, a spike driven by the COVID-19 pandemic as families and faculty wrestle with keeping students on track in a time of social distancing, remote teaching and other stresses.
For TalkingPoints founder HeeJae Lim, the circumstances that led to the platform’s newfound popularity are devastating, but the dramatic increase is cause for optimism about the future of education in the U.S. “It tells me that people are getting on board with the idea that families who know what’s going on in their schools and have meaningful relationships with teachers are in a better position to support their kids’ learning,” says Lim.
The news we’re hearing from TalkingPoints and other Carnegie Corporation of New York education grantees gives us reason for hope, too. It speaks to an emerging focus on the home-to-school connection, something we’ve long believed is key to strengthening K-12 education. Teachers, families and other stakeholders are realizing …
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