In the News: Is your kid absent more than classmates? School ‘nudge’ letters tell parents just how much

In the Seattle Times, Neal Morton writes about the use of “nudge” letters by schools to boost attendance. Tacoma, Washington and 16 other school districts are sending letters that let parents know how many absences their child has that quarter, and also the average number of absences for children in the school and in their child’s grade.

As education researcher Todd Rogers explains in the Seattle Times article

“The idea is it’s insanely cost-effective and easy to implement,” he said. “It doesn’t require any teachers or schools to change what they’re doing, and that’s the sweet spot.”

In behavioral science, nudge theory describes the idea that indirect suggestions can influence individuals’ decisions.

Other uses of nudge theory in education are examined by Ben Castleman in his book The 160-Character Solution. Jay Greene reviewed the book for Education Next here and critiqued the use of behavioral nudge strategies in education policy. Ben Castleman responded here.

– Education Next

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