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National Assessments In The Age Of Global Metrics

29/11/2017 - Laboratory of International Assessment Studies

This year’s Lab International Symposium is convened by Dr Radhika Gorur and hosted by Deakin University and its Education Governance and Policy program of REDI, in Melbourne, Australia.  The symposium will take place on 4th and 5th December 2017 at Deakin University.


Featured TED Talk: Commissioner Karboul on solving the learning crisis

03/11/2017 - TED.com

More than a quarter of a billion children are out of school. Millions more are in school but failing to learn. This is a crisis we cannot afford to ignore. Today, TED.com features Commissioner Amel Karboul’s new TED Talk, "The global learning crisis – and what to do about it."


New GEM Report says ‘Don’t just blame the teacher when the system is at fault’

24/10/2017 - World Education blog

The 2017/8 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report was released today at global events in Maputo, Mozambique, Brasilia, Brazil and in London, UK. It stresses that accountability is indispensable in achieving SDG 4. The Report highlights the responsibility of governments to provide universal education of good quality. But it warns that disproportionate blame on teachers or schools for systemic educational problems can have serious negative side effects, widening inequality and damaging learning.


LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise

World Development Report 2018

World Bank website

The World Development Report 2018 (WDR 2018)—LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise—is the first ever devoted entirely to education. And the timing is excellent: education has long been critical to human welfare, but it is even more so in a time of rapid economic and social change. The best way to equip children and youth for the future is to place their learning at the center. The 2018 WDR explores four main themes: 1) education’s promise; 2) the need to shine a light on learning; 3) how to make schools work for learners; and 4) how to make systems work for learning.

Analyzing and Utilizing Assessment Data for Better Learning Outcomes

01/08/2017 - UNESCO Office Bangkok

Countries across the globe are reaching to learning assessments as a way of improving educational outcomes. Large-scale data on learning outcomes is increasingly available in the Asia-Pacific region, whether through participation in national, regional, or international assessments. However, the use of this data for evidence-based policy making remains limited. 


Big Data and Education

MOOC: University of Pennsylvania

20/06/2017 - EdX

Learn the methods and strategies for using large-scale educational data to improve education and make discoveries about learning.


A roadmap with workable tools to measure learning achievements worldwide

Report from the third meeting of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (11-12 May)

07/06/2017 - Global Partnership for Education blog

by David Coleman

The world community is that much closer to having answers to one of the most fundamental questions in education: who is – and who is not – meeting agreed educational standards?  The answer to this question will allow involved actors to more accurately respond and take action: how do we prioritize energy and resources to achieve learning for all? 


Are good school principals born or can they be made?

06/06/2017 - World Bank Development Impact blog

By David Evans

Good principals can make a big difference
“It is widely believed that a good principal is the key to a successful school.” So say Branch, Hanushek, and Rivkin in their study of school principals on learning productivity. But how do you measure this?


Addressing delivery challenges in education: Lessons from Millions Learning case studies

05/06/2017 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By Sruti Bandyopadhyay and Jenny Perlman Robinson

We all can point to model schools and impactful programs around the world that are helping more children go to school and learn well. Why is it then that the landscape of innovations succeeding at a local level often doesn’t translate to the systemic change needed to ensure all children have access to quality education and lifelong learning? While we are generating more evidence and engaging in more experimentation in education, we know much less about translating this into improved policies and practices at scale.


Ten Trends in Girls’ Education

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals related to inclusive education and gender equality, we need to examine how girls’ education has changed since 2015

22/05/2017 - Stanford Social Innovation Review

By Christina Kwauk, Amanda Braga, and Nora Fyles

Where is girls’ education headed? What are the most important trends to watch, the areas to worry about, and the strategies to consider?


UNESCO and Mexico’s INEE brings together specialists on educational assessment from 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries

24/05/2017 - UNESCO Office Santiago

The event, which will take place between May 24 and 26, 2017 in Mexico City, is a further step in implementing ERCE, and will be supported by representatives of the national technical teams of the countries comprising the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE), an agency coordinated by the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago). LLECE is a regional project that brings together the principal agencies for education assessment in the region and has been entrusted, through its actions, to follow-up and monitor the commitments made within the framework of the Education 2030 Agenda.


20 Years of TIMSS: International Trends in Mathematics and Science Achievement, Curriculum, and Instruction

Upcoming webinar 31 May 2017

05/05/2017 - American Institutes for Research website

On May 31, 2017 the American Institutes for Research will host a presentation and discussion on a recently released report using data from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) titled 20 Years of TIMSS. Since its first administration in 1995, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) has become a prominent assessment of students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in Mathematics and Science. Not only does TIMSS measure student achievement in mathematics and science, TIMSS also is designed to report on curriculum and instruction, as well as student background variables. 


Towards progressive universalism: the impact of inequalities on learning achievement

IIEP Strategic Debate 18 May

10/05/2017 - IIEP website

Drawing on analysis of available large-scale datasets, this session will show how inequalities in learning between the rich and poor and, amongst the poor by gender, widen substantially over the primary school cycle. It will also identify that children with disabilities are most likely to be left behind.


Going beyond basic indicators: A new tool to measure education service delivery

03/05/2017 - World Bank Education for Global Development blog

By Angela Demas

When it comes to evaluating education systems, we have available basic high-level indicators such as a country’s GDP allocated to education, national learning levels, enrollment and completion rates, and data on teachers. But “What is going wrong?” and “Where is it going wrong?” are more difficult questions to answer.


The Education SDG and Leaving No One Behind: Training Teachers Matters

02/05/2017 - NORRAG NEWSBite

By Monica Mincu

A key role to promoting educational quality is played by teachers and thus it is important to note how much “training teachers matters” when it comes to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4. In fact, the idea of quality is explicitly used in SDG4 and it is specified in target 4c – the percentage of teachers with minimum training – as “deploying qualified teachers”.


Latin American countries pay attention to global assessments of student learning

24/04/2017 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By Emiliana Vegas and Pablo Zoido

The results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) for 2015 were publicly released on December 6, 2016. Every three years since 2000 PISA evaluates what 15-year-old students know and can do with that knowledge in reading, mathematics and science. In 2015 more than 70 countries took part, 10 of them from Latin America and the Caribbean.



World Bank says world is experiencing a 'learning crisis' for school leavers

19/04/2017 - Devex

By Sophie Edwards

The world is experiencing a “learning crisis” with many poor and vulnerable children still being excluded from school, and many of those who do attend emerging with low literacy and numeracy levels that make it hard to find work, according to a forthcoming World Bank report.


Mobilizing the power of volunteers through citizen led assessments

By measuring foundational literacy and numeracy, citizen-led assessments have helped demonstrate the scale of the learning crisis

17/04/2017 - Global partnership for Education blog

 By Pauline Rose and Ricardo Sabates

Engaging citizens in action for development is nothing new. For years, civil society organizations have tried to engage with citizens to improve transparency and accountability. Parental involvement has been sought to monitor teacher attendance, to make sure that books and equipment have been delivered (and are actually used), and that school building improvements take place.  Yet citizen engagement remains low and, at least in education, there is little evidence that engagement has helped to increase learning outcomes for children.


For Faster Education Progress, We Need to Know What Kids Know

14/04/2017 - Center for Global Development Views from the Center blog

By Barbara Bruns and Eric Hanushek

Ahead of CGD’s major event on global education funding with leaders from the Education Commission, Global Partnership for Education and UNICEF’s Education Cannot Wait, CGD Visiting Fellow Barbara Bruns and Eric Hanushek, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, suggest how a standard test across countries for nine-year-olds could help ensure that more financing also means more learning.


Are girls smarter than boys?

04/04/2017 - Let's Talk Development: a blog hosted by the World Bank's Chief Economist

By Malek Abu-Jawdeh and Shwetlena Sabarwal

Parents are 2.5 times more likely to google “Is my son gifted?” than “Is my daughter gifted?” A gap like this—in perceptions and expectations—is not new.  Myths about ‘gendered’ learning gaps have persisted since at least the Victorian era. Could these be true?


Education is Changing—It’s Time Assessment Caught Up

To prepare students for the job markets that will await them, let’s focus on the skills, not the scores

29/03/2017 - Stanford Social Innovation Review

By Esther Care and Alvin Vista

In today’s world, we are increasingly hearing calls for global competencies; that is, we are seeing demand for skills such as critical thinking and creativity across both manual and professional occupations. And as a result, education is on the brink of major reform. Countries such as Scotland, Croatia, Guatemala, and the Philippines may have little in common in terms of geography, industry, and socio-economic status, but according to a review of over 100 countries' educational mission statements and goals, they all agree that education should aspire to prepare students to deal with the non-routine in life. In fact, more than 86 percent of the countries studied agree on this point, emphasizing such 21st century skills as problem solving, communication, cooperation, and digital literacy.


Bridging the gaps: Diverse learning outcomes in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam

27/03/2017 - Young Lives

By Caine Rolleston, Padmini Iyer, Rhiannon Moore, Jack Rossiter and Bridget Azubuike

Educational attainment is as much about where a child goes to school as her home advantage. School systems vary widely in effectiveness – yet there is more nuance in the picture when we examine the overlap between attainment distributions. Despite the large differences in resources and average attainment levels, there are students in Ethiopia whose attainment is as high as in Vietnam. This week, Young Lives has calibrated an internationally comparable test scale which will allow us to examine how school system effectiveness shapes learning across three countries.


For Pi Day, some pie charts on learning

14/03/2017 - Let's Talk Development: a blog hosted by the World Bank's Chief Economist

By Unika Shrestha and David Evans

It’s 3/14, also known as Pi Day – a mathematics holiday to celebrate the irrational, transcendental number we learned in school, for the most part, to calculate the circumference or area of circles. While there are a number of fulfilling Pi(e) related activities you can indulge in, from feasting on scrumptious pies to chasing down the value of Pi (good luck!), it is also an apt moment to turn attention to where children across the world stand in mathematics achievement and other learning outcomes.



Powering Pakistan for the 21st Century

In Pakistan, quality of learning being imparted in schools, especially government schools is extremely poor. Maths and science scores are especially low – according to data collected by the National Education Assessment System these scores fall under 50 percent for every province and region across the country.


Sharing, learning, leading: the E-9 countries and SDG4

09/02/2017 - World Education Blog

With the advent of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), existing education partnerships are re-assessing how best they can pool their knowledge and efforts to achieve the ambitious global goal in education (SDG4). One of those partnerships is the E-9 Initiative, established at the Education for All Summit in New Delhi in 1993. From an international perspective the E-9 countries – Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan – are a distinct constituency. As a group they constitute the nine most highly-populated countries of the Global South and represent 53% of the global population. Over two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults and over half of the world’s out-of-school children reside in these countries.  They have acute, and often similar, education challenges to overcome.


Quality education for all: measuring progress in Francophone Africa

08/02/2017 - World Bank Education for Global Development blog

By Raja Bentaouet Kattan

Quality education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality; yet it remains elusive in many parts of the world. The Programme for the Analysis of Education Systems (PASEC), which is designed to assess student abilities in mathematics and reading in French, has for the first time delivered an internationally comparable measure around which policy dialogue and international cooperation can aspire to improve. The PASEC 2014 international student assessment was administered in 10 countries in Francophone West Africa (Cameroon, Burundi, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Chad, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger).


What's Hot in Literacy

08/02/2017 - International Literacy Association

For the past 20 years, ILA has published the annual What's Hot in Literacy survey findings to take the temperature of the literacy dialogue and to note the changing trends from year to year.


Six ways to stop boys being left behind in the classroom

01/02/2017 - The Conversation

By Gijsbert Stoe

In UK school exams – GSCEs and A-levels – girls outperform boys in nearly all subjects. The STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – are the only subjects in which boys can often still score the same as girls in GCSEs.


Counting the costs and benefits in transition to a digital world

Juliette Mendelovits and Ling Tan compare the results of paper and online tests.

25/01/2017 - Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) website

We live in a digital age – a truism that applies to much of our day-to-day lives. Education is increasingly moving from paper and print to screen and keyboard. The trend is inevitable and in large part welcome, but as educators we need to understand the impact the digital world is having – both positive and negative – on student learning.


6 lessons for using data to improve student learning in developing countries

26/01/2017- Brookings Education + Development blog

By Tamar Manuelyan Atinc and Lindsay Read

In recent years, transparency and social accountability reforms have gained traction in global education circles, building from a broader development agenda that encourages participatory processes and local empowerment. The general idea is that the availability of information at the school level can empower parents and communities to hold providers and governments accountable for delivering quality learning for all children. Interventions in this vein have varied from media campaigns in Uganda to an open data platform in the Philippines, citizen report cards in Pakistan, community monitoring in Niger, and school scorecards in India.



ASER 2016 report released

18/01/2016 - ASER website

The eleventh Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2016) was released in New Delhi, 18 January 2017.


Report identifies 7 health barriers to learning

17/01/2016 - AAP News

By Melissa Jenco

Common health issues may hinder children’s ability to thrive in school and tend to disproportionately impact minority and low-income children, according to a new report. Authors from the Children’s Health Fund are calling on physicians, educators, service agencies, families and policymakers to collaborate in order to mitigate the effects of these health barriers to learning (HBLs).


The IIEP Letter: Supporting Education 2030

10/11/2016 - IIEP website

This edition of the IIEP Newsletter examines some of the resources, platforms and projects that support education actors in planning for and monitoring the new Education 2030 agenda.


Which region in the world has the smartest kids? According to the OECD, it’s East Asia

12/01/2016 - World Bank East Asia & Pacific on the rise blog

By Harry A. Patrinos, Amer Hasan and Yilin Pan

With the release last month of the latest PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) results by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), it is apparent that many of the highest achieving students in the world are in East Asia.


Join our #genderbiaschat!

10/01/2017 - UNESCO Education Sector

Girls often face multiple layers of disadvantage, including strong social and cultural norms that privilege boys’ education, inadequate sanitation facilities in schools, and negative classroom environments where they may face violence. However, those learning environments also represent a powerful opportunity to challenge gender stereotypes that affect both boys and girls and influence their education and their futures.


Preparing and Supporting Teachers in the Asia‑Pacific to Meet the Challenges of Twenty-first Century Learning

UNESCO Office Bangkok website

The changes brought about by globalization and diversification of societies, have intensified the need to raise the level of efforts to foster transversal competencies (or 21st century), and the new role of teachers is seen as critical to developing them. This recent study by UNESCO-Bangkok shows that in general, majority of teachers are moderately confident in their ability to support the learning of these competencies and they recognize the inherent value of teaching them to their students. However, there is an urgent need for different levels and types of support for teachers to ensure that they are better prepared to facilitate the learning of transversal competencies in the classrooms.


MOOC - Learning Assessments (in French)

6 February 2017 to 3 March 2017

05/01/2016 - IIEP website

The Incheon Declaration of 2015 redefined the importance of monitoring learning outcomes in order to deliver equitable and inclusive quality education for all. What are the various ways of monitoring learning outcomes? What are the differences between public examinations and national assessments? What do we need to know before joining any international or regional assessment? What is the best assessment for our country?


CIES 2017 Program Released!

31/12/2016 -  Comparative and International Education Society 2017 website

We are pleased to announce that the CIES 2017 Conference Program is now available for viewing at cies2017.org/program.  The program is searchable in a number of different ways and eventually will be exported into our Conference App and printed program.



Year-Ender: Five education themes that trended in 2016

These top five themes dominated the education landscape in 2016 and will continue to impact the sector through 2017 as well

27/12/2016 - The Indian Express

The year 2016 was a vibrant one for the education sector. Several new developments took place and a gamut of themes and issues gathered pace to further transform the education landscape for the better. The two biggest beneficiaries of these changes have been the learner, who is at the centre of the learning eco-system, and the teacher, who is the principal pivot in this eco-system.


From data to learning: the role of social accountability in education systems

21/12/2016 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By Lindsay Read and Tamar Manuelyan Atinc

The call for more and better data is a popular refrain in development circles. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, for example, call for nothing short of a data revolution, and innovations like results-based financing and adaptive management, demands an ever increasing body of data to work from. But as we proceed down the path of data growth and reform, there are important questions that must be asked.


UNESCO seminar focuses on fostering quality education for girls in Africa

13/12/2016 - UNESCO Education Sector

UNESCO and the African Union’s International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA) is organizing a seminar focusing on strategic investments to scale-up girls’ education in Africa. The seminar, a platform for debate, hands-on learning and innovation, will be held at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris from 14-15 December and will particularly examine the critical transition to secondary education and beyond.



Education SDG Indicator on Learning Outcomes Gets a Major Upgrade

08/12/2016 - Data for Sustainable Development UIS blog

By Luis Benveniste  and Silvia Montoya

There has been an important shift in the global measurement of learning. The Inter-Agency Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) has decided to ‘upgrade’ SDG Indicator 4.1.1 on learning outcomes: the proportion of children and young people who achieve at least a minimum proficiency in reading and mathematics. Once a ‘Tier III’ indicator (an indicator that does not yet have established methodologies or standards), 4.1.1 has been upgraded to a ‘Tier II’ indicator, which means it meets methodological criteria although data are available for less than 50% of countries in each region.  


Today’s the day

06/12/2016 - OECD education and skills today blog

by Andreas Schleicher

The latest results from PISA are released today. Before you look to see how well your country performed on the triennial test of 15-year-olds students around the world, consider this: only 20 short years ago, there was no such thing as a blog. If it weren’t for science and technology, not only would you not be reading this right now, but there wouldn’t be the device on which you’re reading it – or countless other gadgets, medicines, fibres, tools… that have become all but indispensable in our lives.


As global study TIMSS turns 20, new results show East Asian students continue to outperform peers in mathematics

Achievement rises, gender gaps narrow, and schools are safer, reports IEA’s TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College

29/11/2016 - TIMSS 2015 web site

Chestnut Hill, Mass. (11/29/2016) — Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Japan continue outperforming all participating countries in mathematics at the fourth and eighth grades, maintaining a 20 year edge according to results released today from TIMSS, the longest running, large scale international assessment of mathematics and science education in the world.


1, 2, 3 testing: Assessing learning of what, for what, and for whom?

Breaking down the debate on learning assessments and a global learning metric

30/11/2016 - Global Partnership for Education blog

By Pauline Rose

Heated debates persist on whether or not to include a target for learning in the early grades of school and whether or not to develop a global learning metric as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Meanwhile, the reality is that children in all classes in Pakistan (and probably elsewhere) are being tested multiple times within a year. The real question then shifts from whether or not we should be assessing learning, to what is being tested; what is happening with all the data being collected; and can it be better used to improve learning particularly for those at risk of being left behind?


A Global Offer for Learning: Rewards for Testing and Educational Progress

29/11/2016 - Center for Global Development Views from the Center blog

By William Savedoff

Developing countries spend $1 trillion annually on education and receive $13 billion in foreign aid, according to a recent report, The Learning Generation: Investing in Education for a Changing World. While that means more children are in school than ever before, this report from the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity also indicates an alarming fact: children are not learning much.



India’s learning crisis: It’s time to act

25/11/2016 - DECCAN Chronicle

By Wilima Wadhwa

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is back after a break of one year.  The year 2014 marked a decade of ASER, and for 10 years ASER estimates of learning and enrolment have been available at the same time year on year. When ASER was launched in 2005, nobody was talking about learning — the entire debate in education still centered on provisioning of inputs — schools, teachers and facilities. Even as late as 2010, when the Right to Education came into effect, the emphasis remained on inputs rather than outcomes. However, another five years down the line, and finally learning is at the centre of the education discourse. 


How well are students prepared for study, work, and life in the digital age?

ICILS 2018

Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) / ICILS website

ICILS is an international comparative study of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). It uses an innovative, computer-based assessment to evaluate students’ computer and information literacy (CIL)—their ability to use computers to investigate, create, and communicate in order to participate effectively at home, at school, in the workplace, and in the community. ICILS reports on students’ abilities to collect, manage, evaluate, and share digital information, as well as their understanding of issues related to the safe and responsible use of electronic information. It also collects a rich array of data to investigate the factors that influence this suite of complex abilities in students.


Helping countries measure learning: deeds, not words

17/11/2016 -  Data for Sustainable Development UIS blog

By Silvia Montoya  and Karen Mundy

Right now, the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Indicators is meeting in Geneva to iron-out ways to resolve some of the technical glitches surrounding the indicators. The good news is that education is among the areas in best shape. But we still have our work cut out for us, especially when it comes to learning outcomes.


Champions for learning: The power of partnerships in global education

16/11/2016 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By Kate Anderson and Tyler Ditmore

The Learning Metrics Task Force, or LMTF, was a group of education experts, civil society members, and government representatives convened in 2012 to catalyze a shift in the global education conversation from access on its own to access plus learning. LMTF also sought to build consensus on global learning indicators and actions to improve the learning in all countries. After two phases of work, the task force sunset in early 2016.


How do you solve a problem like over-age enrolment?

14/11/2016 - World Bank Education for Global Development blog

By Peter Darvas

Leah is a diligent 13-year-old student in rural Liberia.  She walks to the school near her village every day. She pays attention in class. She hopes to be a teacher one day. Yet, there is a problem. Leah is still in first grade. Her case isn’t an isolated one. Almost all Liberian students (82% of students in primary school) are too old for their grade. In fact, the average first grader in Liberia is 9 (three years older than the appropriate age for a first grader).


How to reach a consensus on reporting learning globally

11/11/2016 - World Education blog

By Aaron Benavot

Carrying out national and cross-national learning assessments involves an enormous commitment of time, effort and resources. As such, they are most cost effective when they serve multiple purposes, which might also include providing an input to global monitoring of learning outcomes.


Comparing learning across diverse systems: a global challenge

09/11/2016 - World Education blog

By Aaron Benavot

Until recently education systems focused almost entirely on measuring access to and completion of school instead of what students take away from their schooling experience. Since 2000 there has been a pronounced shift to measuring learning outcomes, with more and more countries assessing student learning in national, regional and international assessments.


To Improve Learning Outcomes, Look at Teacher Practice

03/11/2016 - Center for Global Development Views from the Center blog

By Maryam Akmal

Contrary to popular opinion, there is little reliable evidence showing strong links between student achievement and teachers’ formal qualifications. On the other hand, numerous studies document the relationship between teachers’ classroom performance and student learning outcomes. Getting high-level and consistent performance from teachers in the classroom is central to improving delivery of education services. Yet the performance and effectiveness of teachers varies widely across and within education systems—and even within schools.


Madrid meeting approves the indicators to monitor progress towards SDG 4 in 2017

03/11/2016 - World Education Blog

By Silvia Montoya and Jordan Naidoo

A crucial list of indicators for the achievement of the world’s global education goals was endorsed on Friday in Madrid. The meeting of the Technical Co-operation Group for SDG 4 – Education 2030 (TCG) signed off on the list of thematic indicators on education that countries have agreed to start using in 2017 to monitor progress.


The Global Reading Network invites you to a webinar on The Untapped Potential of Supporting Learning Outside School: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Rwanda

26 October 2016

If educators around the world want to address the learning crisis most effectively, they must help learners beyond the school walls. This is the central conclusion from a longitudinal randomized control trial of Save the Children's Literacy Boost program, conducted by a team of researchers from Stanford University. The RCT assigned students to one of three groups: (1) a group assigned to the full Literacy Boost intervention, which includes supports to improve reading pedagogy in the classroom and supports for families and communities to encourage learning outside school, (2) a group that received supports to improve teacher reading pedagogy, and (3) a "business as usual" control group. This webinar begins by briefly outlining the Literacy Boost program. It goes on to describe the motivation and methods for the two-year longitudinal study and summarize its findings. It concludes by arguing that educators and others seeking to address the learning crisis must support learning throughout a child's day, week, month, and year rather than just the 15 percent of the time children are in classrooms.


Upcoming IIEP strategic debate: 3ie presents its recent Education Effectiveness Review

The effectiveness of education interventions in improving school participation and learning: a systematic review of the evidence

11/10/2016 - IIEP website

Improved access to education has failed to translate into learning in many countries. A range of different education interventions have been implemented to resolve what is being seen as a learning crisis. Do these interventions work? In this presentation, Birte Snilstveit, lead author of the systematic review, will talk about the main findings of this comprehensive study. The focus of the session will be on the major lessons learned and the implications for education policies and programming.


How to measure educational advances through to 2030? UNESCO study surveys available information in Latin America and the Caribbean

14/10/2016 - UNESCO Office in Santiago website

The digital publication “Data availability for the calculation of SDG 4-Education 2030 indicators: Analysis covering Latin America and the Caribbean”, recently launched by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), indicates that countries are prepared for the monitoring of a number of goals in the Education 2030 Agenda. However, the report shows that significant challenges exist in generating information in certain areas, particularly relating to access to education to promote sustainable development and regarding the development of technical and vocational competencies among young people and adults.


Measuring the Quality of Girls' Education Across the Developing World

12/10/2016 - Center for Global Development Views from the Center blog

By Justin Sandefur

Slogans like "Learning for all" and "Let girls learn" sit awkwardly with the reality that nobody's actually bothering to check if most of the world's girls are learning or not. International learning assessments like PISA, TIMSS, or PIRLS exclude over 90% of the worlds' kids from the sampling frame, and test precisely 0% of kids in low-income countries. As part of our research for the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity  my colleagues Lant Pritchett, Mari Oye and I tried to devise a way to measure the quality of education around the world based on already existing data from the Demographic and Health Surveys, with a particular focus on girls. Here's a snapshot for 53 developing countries.


Network on Education Quality Monitoring in the Asia-Pacific (NEQMAP) launches biannual newsletter

10/10/2016 - UNESCO Office Bangkok website

In August 2016, the NEQMAP Secretariat issued its first newsletter.  The NEQMAP Newsletter informs NEQMAP members and those interested in learning assessment issues on relevant news and events in the Asia-Pacific region. Featured articles from our first issue include: The PAL Network Case: Citizen-led Assessments to Improve Learning; Assessment of Transversal Competencies: Perspectives from Malaysian teachers and school leaders; Assessment of Afghan Educational Standards to Improve Learning; Understanding & Evaluating Assessment Tools for Evidence-Based Policy Making; NEQMAP Capacity Development Workshop in Bhutan.


Register for Webinars on ‘Promoting Gender Equality in Education’

03/10/2016 - IIEP website

In September 2015, the Agenda 2030 was adopted by the education community, framing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG recognizes the linkage between education and gender equality, as seen in the education targets. To monitor the progress on SDGs, governments are required to not only produce evidence on gender equality in education, but also to carry out interventions to ensure gender equality in participation, learning outcomes, and empowerment throughout life.


Improving the quality of education in Pakistan: we can’t manage what we can’t measure

03/10/2016 - RISE blog

By Tanya Lone

The launch of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals last year heralded the dawn of a global shift in education priorities. While the previous set of development goals focused on universal primary education – achieving historic accomplishments in this area – the post-2015 agenda takes this further, recognising the need to focus on the quality of that education. Achieving this will require the global community to address strengthening the quality of inputs, processes, outcomes and mechanisms of measuring progress.


Calling All Partners: How to Diagnose and Treat Data Gaps that Threaten the Achievement of the Global Education Goals

26/09/016 - NORRAG NEWSBite

By Luis Crouch and Silvia Montoya

The gaps in education data have become a recurring theme in this blog. Indeed, most observers would agree that if data on education were a human body, it would be a sick patient at the moment. We see the gaps in the data each day, and the struggles of statisticians as they try valiantly to plug those gaps. And this is the reality: we lack the basic data of sufficient quality to track global – or in many cases, national – progress towards the educational goals.


Six ways to turn education spending into investments with high returns

22/09/2016 - World Bank Education for Global Development blog

By Harry A. Patrinos

Last month, I joined a group of former education ministers and experts for a consultation on the key challenges facing ministries of education and how to formulate an appropriate curriculum. I told my fellow participants that the returns to education are high and that education matters now more than it ever did.  Every year of schooling raises earnings by 10 percent. This rate of return is, in fact, higher than alternativeinvestments, including bonds, stocks, deposits, and housing. To turn education spending into investment with high returns, an education system needs to focus public investment on the poor, put an emphasis on the quality of learning, and expand higher education through alternative financing mechanisms. Education systems reforms are needed in many countries. There are six ways they can do this:


Leaders for learning

20/09/2016 - OECD Education and Skills Today blog

by Montserrat Gomendio

The success of the Olympic games this year has been thrilling to watch, with the coaches of different teams playing a widely recognised role. As leaders with a vision, coaches choose the members of their teams, assign roles, train and support athletes. In the same way, leaders in all fields are recognised as having a huge responsibility in the success or failure of their teams.


Ignorance Attack! New Education Commission Report Sounds Alarm on Global Learning Crisis

19/09/2016 - Center for Global Development Views from the Center blog

By William Savedoff and Janeen Madan

Earthquakes and explosions are emergencies to which the international community responds immediately. Others hit so slowly that it takes a dramatic alarm to draw attention. Well here’s the alarm: “Ignorance Attack!” If we don’t take action now, millions of children who should be learning to read and write will be illiterate; projections show that only 1 in 10 children in low-income countries will be on track to gain basic secondary-level skills by 2030. This alarm is a central feature of The Learning Generation: Investing in Education for a Changing World, a report released Sunday by the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. The report’s 12 recommendations should make us all sit up, take note, and take action.


Action on literacy is central to reversing the learning crisis

Access to school doesn’t necessarily guarantee learning, let alone the mastery of core skills, like literacy

09/09/2016 - Global Partnership for Education blog

By Joseph Nhan-O'Reilly

Today marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day. Back in 1966 when UNESCO declared September 8 International Literacy Day, the UN recognized that urgent action was needed to address the significant challenge that some people couldn’t read and write.


From defining to implementing the SDG 4 – Education 2030 indicators

SDG 4 Data Webinar Series

01/09/2016 - UNESCO Institute for Statistics website

The world as a whole gathers only about half of the data needed to monitor progress towards the global education targets, according to a new UIS report, Laying the Foundation to Measure Sustainable Development Goal 4. It offers a roadmap to better measure SDG 4 and address the data gaps, as shown in the UNESCO eAtlas for Education 2030.To explore the issues, the UIS is organizing a webinar series beginning on Wednesday, 7 September 2016. The webinars will present the technical and political initiatives underway to implement the new indicator frameworks while addressing areas that are difficult to measure, such as education quality, learning, equity and inclusion.


18th UNESCO-APEID International Conference: In Pursuit of Quality Education: The Past, Present and Future

26-28 October 2016, Bangkok, Thailand

31/08/2016 - UNESCO Office Bangkok website

The UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, Thailand, is organizing the 18th UNESCO-APEID International Conference, In Pursuit of Quality Education: The Past, Present and Future to facilitate leading-edge discussions about the quality of education, and to identify gaps where more research and efforts are needed to achieve inclusive and quality education by 2030.


Improving learning through simple teaching innovations

What would happen if children were taught by actual learning levels rather than by grade? Maryam Akmal looks at a recent RISE paper to see if this innovative technique made a difference

24/08/2016 - RISE blog

By Maryam Akmal

When Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham, received a call from a civil servant in Bihar about the chronic problem of student absenteeism, she had an idea. Could absenteeism be caused by the poor learning taking place in classrooms? After all, with years of schooling without gains in basic foundational skills in reading and math, it was hardly surprising that children in Grade 5 were struggling with the highly advanced “Grade 5” content in their textbooks. Results of the mismatch between student ability and curricular content included: demotivated teachers, children who were simply uninterested, parents that did not see much value in schooling and ultimately, subpar attendance.


Latin American ministerial officials approve strategy of the UNESCO Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE) to advance Education 2030

12/08/2016 - UNESCO Office in Santiago website

Within the framework of the policy dialogue on “Teaching and Learning in the Education 2030 Agenda,” organised by OREALC/UNESCO Santiago, regional officials emphasised the LLECE’s strategic relevance - the laboratory draws together 19 Latin American countries for assessment of education quality. The consensus was reached in the framework of a meeting held on 9 August in Santiago, Chile, that saw the participation also of English-speaking Caribbean countries.


Planning for Language Use in Education: Best Practices and Practical Steps for Improving Learning

27/07/2016 - World Education blog

By Alison Pflepsen

Imagine a classroom in which a teacher is required to teach in a language her students do not speak or understand well. During the reading lesson, students struggle to master the most basic skills because the words and sounds of the language taught are foreign to them. During the science lesson, the children are unable to read their textbooks or apply their existing knowledge on the topic. When it comes time for mathematics instruction, the teacher struggles to communicate in a language that is challenging to her, too, while students find it hard to understand and ask questions. At home, most students are unable to receive support from their parents, who also do not understand the language of instruction.


Citizen-led learning assessments enable educators, parents and volunteers to close learning gaps in rural India

Photo Essay

UNESCO Office in Bangkok website

Citizen volunteer Amol Moghe sets out to conduct learning assessments in a remote village in western India. Upon arriving at the village of Pimpri in Maharashtra state’s Aurangabad district, he greets the villagers, explains why he’s there, and asks for permission from the village leader to conduct a learning assessment survey. 


More children are going to school, but they’re not really learning

Innovative technologies can help bridge the gap

22/07/2016 - The Hindu

Roughly three million children are out of school in India. Civil society estimates show that of the children in school, at least 53 per cent are behind expected learning levels. India has often been hailed as a laboratory for enterprise and innovation but how do we channel that spirit and know-how into tackling the problems we have in education? At an event organised by the Asia Society on Tuesday, Maheshwar Peri, founder and chair of Careers360 moderated a discussion about how innovative platforms and tools can be used to improve learning levels and make education more equitable in India.


Why money matters for improving education

21/07/2016 - Brookings Up Front blog

By Emiliana Vegas

For at least four decades, economists have analyzed the relationship between per student spending and learning outcomes across the United States and, more recently, across countries around the world. In 1996, as a result of a Brookings conference, the influential book “Does Money Matter?: The Effect of School Resources on Student Achievement and Adult Success” was published, edited by economist Gary Burtless and with contributions from several well-known economists. The book focuses on the puzzle between research evidence from the U.S. that found that more resources did not necessarily result in improved student achievement and evidence showing that students who attend well-resourced schools end up having better outcomes later in life than students who attend poorly-endowed schools.


Can the Measurement of Learning Outcomes Lead to Quality Education for All?

21/07/2016 - NORRAG NEWSBite

By Pablo Zoido, Michael Ward, Kelly Makowiecki, Lauren Miller, Catalina Covacevich

This is one of the complex questions that kicked off last month’s, NORRAG-Brookings event, “Learning From Learning Assessments: The Politics and Policies of Attaining Quality Education”, which brought together targeted stakeholders with expertise in learning assessments, education policy-making and classroom experience.



Can we quantify learning globally to measure progress on SDG 4?

Many students fail to achieve the lowest international benchmark in mathematics assessments

12/07/2016 - World Bank Data blog

By Husein Abdul-Hamid, Hiroko Maeda and Edie Purdie

Many countries are struggling to improve national learning averages in core subjects such as reading, mathematics and science. While the majority of students reach the lowest international benchmark level in core subjects by the age of 14 or 15, a significant proportion do not. For those that fail, they are unlikely to be able to master these skills by the end of their schooling. This will impact on their ability to join the labor force and have productive jobs. Sustainable Development Goal 4 looks to “ensure inclusive and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” in an attempt to widen the talents of a country’s future workforce and set the stage for increased economic growth. Education assessments, while not wholly comparable, shed light on countries’ achievements or gaps in the provision of a high quality and effective education system.


How to help people love learning

11/07/2016 - World Education blog

By Muhammad Usman

We listen to the same music.

We watch the same movies.

We eat the same food.

We farm the same land.

We speak the same language.

In so many ways, India feels like a home away from home.

It’s not just these historically ingrained similarities that make India special to me, a Pakistani. There’s something else, too. We do the same work. Barely 400km from my office in Lahore, Pakistan my colleagues in New Delhi are working on the same projects, grappling with the same challenges, and celebrating the same achievements.


Africa: Performance - Why Distance to School Matters

06/07/2016 - AllAfrica.com

By James Bashaiza

Gone are the days when students used to walk miles to access school, thanks to the emergence of alternative means of transport like school buses and private cars. However, even with these developments, there are students who still trek long distances to school, perhaps, due to high transport fairs. And as such, education experts have often highlighted why parents need to factor the distances their children cover daily to and from school, whether by car or on foot. Similarly, a recent study conducted by Germany-based Education International showed that long journeys to school have a negative impact on students' health and on their education achievement levels.


A new financial bond is helping us get more girls into schools in India

A pioneering method of financing education, with returns based on results, aims to tackle the deep-seated inequality faced by millions of girls

05/07/2016 - The Guardian

By Safeena Husain

In a remote region of Rajasthan in northern India, an experiment in a new form of development financing is under way. For the past year, my organisation, Educate Girls, has been running a programme to enrol more girls in school and improve children’s literacy and numeracy, backed by a development impact bond (DIB).


A Conceptual Framework for Competencies Assessment

In-Progress Reflection No. 4 on Current and Critical Issues in the Curriculum and Learning:

05/07/2016 - International Bureau of Education In-Progress Reflections

By Xavier Roegiers

There can be no denying the influence of competencies on the development of the school and its curricula. It is increasingly the case that, to enrol in a socio-economic fabric, whether locally or globally, learners– male or female – must learn to place their knowledge and know-how at the service of action: they must be able to deal with complex situations of daily and professional life. In short, they must be taught to transfer their knowledge and know-how. The school and its stakeholders must therefore be tooled to be able to handle this novelty: conducting learning processes in terms of competencies, but also assessing learners in terms of competencies.


Welcoming two new initiatives to accelerate quality teaching and learning in Africa

30/06/2016 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By John Mugo

“So, now close your eyes and imagine we have arrived at the year 2030. What does Africa’s education now look like?” invited our facilitator, Dzingai Mutumbuka. My imagination wanders, and I see Africa’s children running around the school, happy, and fulfilled. The story of the 30 million not attending school and the four-fifths attending without learning is long past. Africa’s graduates are the most sought-after in the global innovation market. Teachers now walk with their heads high, skilled, esteemed, and actualized. Children now complete school on time, healthy, knowledgeable, and well-prepared to thrive in the dynamic world. When I open my eyes and find myself in the seminar room of a hotel in Saly, Senegal. We are here representing our education ministries and organizations to develop strategy for the Inter-Country Quality Node (ICQN) on Teaching and Learning and the Network for African Learning Assessments (NALA), formerly the African Learning Champions under the Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF).


RISE Launches Research in Vietnam

27/06/2016 - RISE website

Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) - a new initiative aimed at conducting high-quality research to build evidence to enhance children’s learning throughout the world - announced today that it will begin work in Vietnam. The £4.2 million, six-year undertaking will seek to understand how Vietnam “got it right” in creating an education system that has led its students to achieve learning levels exceeding those of their peers in far wealthier nations.


Argentina, Chile and Guatemala sign 2016-2020 working agreements with the LLECE

21/06/2016  UNESCO website

The signing of a new agreement marked a step forward in the continued commitment of the three countries to the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE), coordinated by the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago)


What affects learning achievements among migrant children?

TERCE insight N°4, June 2016

17/06/2016 - UNESCO Office in Santiago website

When comparing the learning achievements of migrant and non-migrant students in third and sixth grade, it is observed that migrant children achieve lower academic performance levels. These lower results in learning achievements do not apply to the entirety of this student population. There are associated factors that influence the learning of these students such as the socioeconomic level of migrant families. Education systems in the region have not yet been able to overcome performance gaps or provide support to vulnerable populations. Practices and initiatives are recommended that are aimed at supporting migrant children and their families in order to make it easier for them to integrate.


Measuring progress towards Target 4.7

16/06/2016 - UNESCO website

The International Association for the Evaluation for Educational Achievement (IEA) has launched the 2019 International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) to help countries monitor progress toward the implementation of the SDG4-Education 2030 Agenda, and, in particular, target 4.7.


Learning From Learning Assessments: The Politics and Policies of Attaining Quality Education

A NORRAG joint event with the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings, in association with PASEC June 23, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland

15/06/2016 - NORRAG website

In response to both the achievements and disappointments related to the MDGs, and to the new aspirations under the SDGs, there is an increasing emphasis globally on identifying the appropriate indicators for learning achievements. In that vein, international and regional assessments are playing an important role in education policy-making and reform. At the same time, national efforts designed to measure aspects of learning and education quality have in some cases been developed as supplements or alternatives to international assessment regimes. Whether they operate at the national, regional, or international level, assessments are based on the assumption that data can strengthen accountability and guide policy to make education more efficient and equitable. The current reality, however, is that assessment data are frequently not used or misused, and do not positively influence policy-making or student learning. Can the measurement of learning outcomes lead to quality education for all? If so, how?


Good news, bad news, and the need for comparable education data

09/06/2016 - Data for Sustainable Development UIS blog

By Silvia Montoya

Here’s the good news: in the past 15 years, more children than ever have enrolled in primary school, thanks to a massive global effort to get them into the classroom. And here’s the bad news: despite the millions of extra children pouring into the world’s schools, many children still miss out.


Innovate, test, learn: Lab to improve education policy in Peru

01/06/2016 - J-PAL website

Can a video reduce dropout and improve educational performance? Peru’s Ministry of Education (Minedu) is using its wealth of administrative data to quickly and inexpensively assess whether simple innovations can improve education outcomes through the Laboratory of Cost-Effective Innovations in Education Policy (MineduLAB).  Established by Minedu, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Peru, and J-PAL LAC, the lab tests incremental innovations to existing education programs, primarily using administrative data that the Ministry already collects to assess their effectiveness. It is currently testing innovations ranging from booklets for administrators, teachers, and parents about school performance, to videos for secondary students about the benefits to staying in school, to text messages to encourage proper school maintenance.


The Sunset of the LMTF: Next steps in tracking learning metrics for the global education goal (Part 2)

31/05/2016 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By Kate Anderson, Albert Motivans and Tyler Ditmore

There’s no rest for the weary—now that we’ve achieved our initial aim of including quality education and learning in the Sustainable Development Goals, we must set our sights on implementation. The global education community needs to double down on its efforts to actually achieve its goals, and learning assessment will play a crucial role. We need to overcome the challenges of cost and capacity, raise awareness regarding the role of assessment, improve our technical abilities, and generate political support for our activities.


Are our children learning? The status of education in Uganda in 2015

31/05/2016 - Twaweza website

Despite marked progress in increasing access to education in recent years, Uganda has not fully met its commitments under the Education for All Goals. And the improved national average figures conceal stark contrasts between the different districts and wealth classes of Uganda. In addition, there has been an intensive policy and resource focus on primary education at the expense of early childhood development, adult literacy and vocational and other training for young people. Even in primary education, the high investment has not translated into learning outcomes; too many children in Primary 3 to 7 are unable to complete Primary 2 level work.


Brazil: Extending school days may hurt students

27/05/2016 - World Bank Education for Global Development blog

By Rita Almeida

María is a single mother with two young children who spend about five hours a day in school. Since she has a full time job, it’s a challenge for her to care for them and not lose her only source of income. This may be a hypothetical situation but it’s replicated, every day, in many countries in Latin America that have a reduced school day. In Latin America, several countries – Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, and Brazil – have introduced programs to lengthen the school day. The goal: to improve student learning, reduce student dropouts, and to ultimately shrink income inequality.


Are our children learning? A review of the Education For All Goals

26/05/2016 - Twaweza website

Despite marked progress in increasing access to education across Kenya in recent years, Kenya has not fully met its commitments under the Education for All Goals. And the improved national average figures conceal stark contrasts between the different regions of Kenya. Children in North Eastern region are much more likely to face challenges in access to school, school readiness and learning outcomes.



Séminaire « Améliorer les premiers apprentissages en Afrique, un défi pour la Francophonie : lire et écrire en contexte plurilingue »

20/05/2016 - CIEP

Lors du Sommet sur le développement durable des Nations Unies, la communauté internationale s’est fixé comme objectif d’ « assurer l’accès de tous à une éducation de qualité », afin qu’avant 2030, tous les enfants, au sortir de la scolarisation obligatoire, sachent lire, écrire et compter. Cet objectif reprend et prolonge l’objectif #2 du « Millénaire pour le développement et l’après 2015 », qui était d’ « assurer l’éducation primaire pour tous », objectif partiellement atteint puisque le taux de scolarisation au primaire, dans les régions en développement, était estimé à 91% en 2015, contre 83% en 2000. Or les évaluations qualitatives, en particulier le PASEC 2014 mené dans 10 pays, montrent que la grande majorité des élèves du primaire, que ce soit en début ou en fin de cycle, n’ont pas acquis les compétences leur permettant d’envisager la réussite de leur scolarité : plus de 70 % d’entre eux ne disposent pas de compétences suffisantes dans leur langue de scolarisation. Face à ces résultats, le PASEC invite les pays et la communauté éducative à réfléchir à l’articulation entre langue d’enseignement et langue maternelle en début de scolarité et à tenir compte de la diversité linguistique des pays africains.


Meet the Education 2030 data

A guide to the indicators to monitor SDG 4 - Education 2030

18/05/2013 - UNESCO Institute for Statistics website

The “Meet the Education 2030 Data” series explains the global and thematic indicators that will be used to monitor Sustainable Development Goal 4 and the Education 2030 targets. It offers a starting point for readers interested in more in-depth information. The UIS will add new indicator briefs as information becomes available.   Learning is at the top of the new global education agenda. Five of the ten SDG 4 targets focus on the learning outcomes of children, youth and adults.  In particular, Target 4.1 calls upon the international community to measure the completion of schooling, but also the quality of learning, in primary and lower secondary education.


At the dawn of Sustainable Development Goal 4, the Learning Metrics Task Force sunsets (Part 1)

16/05/2016 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By Kate Anderson and Silvia Montoya

Last September, the United Nations member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the new global education goal to “ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” In the years prior to the adoption of the SDGs, the global education community was busy making sure education and learning were considered a priority on the member states’ agenda. Recognizing the critical need for better data to improve education quality and measure learning, the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) convened a high-level task force in 2012 to define a small set of learning outcomes that could be tracked in every country. Thus the Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF) began.



Getting down to business: The Global Alliance to Monitor Learning

12/05/2016 - World Education Blog

By Claudia Costin and Silvia Montoya

We have just launched the ‘go to’ initiative on the monitoring of learning worldwide: The Global Alliance to Monitor Learning. What and how children, youth and adults learn is at the top of the global education agenda, with Sustainable Development Goal 4 demanding inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning for all by 2030. No fewer than five of its ten targets zoom in on learning outcomes, including  target 4.1, which covers children and adolescents, and target 4.6, which covers those aged 15 and above.



A Roadmap to Measure Learning Globally

First meeting of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning

06/05/2016 - UNESCO Institute for Statistics website

Learning assessment experts, decision-makers, donors and civil society organizations will gather in Washington, D.C., on 11 May to address the critical lack of comparable data needed to measure even the most basic reading and numeracy skills across countries. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is launching the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML), which will support efforts by countries around the world to measure learning outcomes and to use that information to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning for all by 2030.


International Organizations and the Setting of Educational Agendas: The Case of the Arab Regional Agenda for Improving Educational Quality

21/04/2016 - NORRAG NewsBite

By Clara Morgan

There is growing interest among scholars in understanding the internationalization of domestic policy and the important role international organizations (IOs) play in setting educational agendas. With IOs such as the World Bank, UNESCO and the OECD positioning themselves as designers of universal educational solutions, political authority in education has gradually shifted from the national to the supranational arena. 


Scaling and assessing girls’ life skills: Two issues to consider

15/04/2016 - Brooking Education + Development blog

By Christina Kwauk, Cory Heyman and Esther Care

We know from research and experience around the world that girls and boys arrive at school with gendered lives, that they experience school in gendered ways, and that they have different experiences transitioning to the next phases of their lives. Research indicates that equipping girls with academic skills like reading and writing is not enough to help them succeed in school and later in life. All students also need life skills and practical capabilities that enable them to speak up for themselves (e.g., to negotiate with elders, their peers, and their colleagues), reduce their exposure to situations that put their learning at risk, and enable them to lead and control their lives independently. Those in the girls’ education community in particular have long pointed to the importance of developing girls’ life skills—or 21st Century skills or non-cognitive skills—in order to help girls maximize their choices and opportunities in education and their livelihoods in the same ways that are more often accessible to boys.


Getting millions to learn: Scaling up quality education in developing countries

13/04/2016 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By Jenny Pearlman Robinson and Priyanka Varma

Around the world, countries are grappling with how to scale quality education for their children and youth. Quality education is at the center of a nation’s progress, and it is also enshrined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which 193 countries have recently committed to support. Millions Learning: Scaling up quality education in developing countries tells the story of where and how effective learning interventions have scaled in low- and middle-income countries. The study emerges from wide-ranging research on scaling and learning, including a deep dive into 14 case studies where state and non-state actors have pioneered, and in collaboration with a range of partners, scaled new approaches to education. While there is growing evidence of what is working to improve student learning, the report takes a look at how effective approaches that improve students’ learning have scaled.



Measurement matters in preschool quality

13/04/2016 - World Bank Education for Global Development blog

By Amer Hasan and Nozomi Nakajima

Recent studies in neuroscience and economics show that early childhood experiences have a profound impact on brain development and thus on outcomes throughout life. A growing number of impact evaluations from low- and middle-income countries underscore the importance of preschool for children’s development (to highlight a few:Cambodia, Mozambique, and Indonesia). Most of these studies refer to the “high-quality” of their initiatives. But just what exactly do we mean by “high-quality”? How is quality measured in practice? 



Information, not money, is the key to improving education

07/04/2016 - Brookings Future Development blog

By Natalie Chun

Improving education outcomes has perplexed reformers for decades.  The typical solution has been to throw more money at the problem.  However, instead of improving education outcomes, the money has often entrenched poor practices within inflexible public systems.  A major reason why money for education has not translated into better outcomes is that it has gone to reform initiatives that have often been guided by ideology and preconceived biases rather than rigorous evidence of what works and what doesn’t.


What is behind gender inequality in learning achievements?

TERCE in sight N°3, March 2016

31/03/2016 - UNESCO Office in Santiago website

TERCE study identifies significant subject-based gender inequalities in learning achievements. Male students have a considerable advantage in mathematics and female students have a similar advantage in reading and writing. It is therefore essential to review the curriculum, textbooks and teaching materials, so that men and women are equally portrayed in activities of different natures. Thus, it is imperative for images and messages to include both males and females performing equally in scientific activities, caring for small children, and doing household chores, among other things.


Internationally comparable learning tests pave the way for education reform in Africa

30/03/2016 - World Bank Africa Can End Poverty blog

By Makhtar Diop

Most parents in Africa will tell you that their children’s education is the most important investment they can make. Over the past decade, great progress has been made in terms of getting children into school, with countries such as Benin, Cameroon, Rwanda and Zambia recording primary net enrollment of over 90 percent. But across the continent, primary school completion and youth literacy rates remain unacceptably low.


What is “quality learning” to a child?

28/03/2016 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By Elisheba Khayeri and Kate Anderson

“I’m wearing my older brother’s uniform from when he first started school,” thinks a child on his first day of school. “He walks with me into the school gates, where there are boys and girls as far as the eye can see, all dressed alike and running in different directions. One bigger boy bumps into me and I begin to feel afraid—where am I supposed to go?



Why is Argentina suffering from StagLearning?

23/03/2016 - World Bank Education for Global Development blog

By Peter Holland

Argentina is no stranger to stagflation – a condition of stagnant economic growth, despite high inflation.  But, over the last decade or so, it has also been suffering from staglearning – no growth in learning, despite high levels of spending on education. This is not just inefficient; this is heartbreaking since it means the country is not capitalizing on potential poverty reduction.


Turning data into action for children that don't go to school

The Out-of-School Children Initiative Operational Manual helps developing countries find solutions for marginalized children

14/03/2016 - Global Partnership for Education blog

By Mark Waltham

The Out-of-School Children Initiative and its acronym OOSCI have become remarkably well known in education circles over the past few years. Walk into any ministry of education, donor agency or education NGO, and you will find somebody who has heard about OOSCI.


Tracking progress towards learning for all by 2030 in Pakistan

14/03/2016 - Deliver2030.org

By Pauline Rose

The countdown towards ensuring all children are learning by 2030 has begun.  This is just one aspect of an ambitious set of education targets that world leaders have signed up to as part of the sustainable development goals, but is vital as a first step on the ladder to others. A child who is unable to read or write, or do basic mathematics, is unlikely to acquire other important skills that are needed to enable them to achieve their potential, or to contribute productively to society.


Live from CIES 2016: Linking assessment data with policy in Asia

09/03/2016 - IIEP website

A panel chaired by IIEP today at the 60th annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) has brought to light a number of examples from Asia on how learning assessment data can be used as a basis for policy and planning. Entitled Learning for All: Using assessment data for policy and planning in Asia, the panelists drew from a number of different types of assessments – all of which have the overarching goal of improving learning outcomes. 


Why Collecting Data in Malawi Matters for Education

01/03/2016 - World Bank website

In Malawi, data collectors walk long distances, cover difficult terrain, and forge rivers to collect critical information. Even then, getting people to talk about their lives is a challenge. See how this evaluation of an education program provides insight into early childhood development, improves the quality of schools, and gives parents the information they need to get their children ready for school.


Seven actions to fight extreme poverty by improving education in the developing world

Diverse interventions in education can help tackle extreme poverty in developing countries

23/02/2016 - Global Partnership for Education blog

By Luis Crouch

Silver bullets are hard to come by in the developing world. But this should not be discouraging. Take the international education sector. While its horizon doesn’t promise any night-to-day revolutions premised on a succinct call to action, it is dotted with evidence that reveals a diverse array of options for improving learning and, thereby, tackling extreme poverty.


Quality education in mother languages vital to success of 2030 Agenda – UN

21/02/2016 - UN News Centre

Mother languages are essential to providing quality education, which in turn supports the achievement of the new global development agenda, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on the International Day established to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.


The PAL Network Learning Journey: Beyond Assessment to Action!

18/02/2016 - World Education Blog

By Hannah-May Wilson, Program Manager - PAL Network Secretariat

On the sparkling shores of the seaside town of Saly on the Petite Côte of Senegal, 50 ambitious education activists and innovators from 15 Global South countries convened last week to explore the next crucial stage of their learning journey at the 4th Annual PAL Network meeting. The People’s Action for Learning Network (PAL Network) is an internationally recognized south-south collaboration whose member countries work across three continents to assess the basic reading and numeracy competencies of over 1 million children annually, in their homes, through citizen-led assessments.


ASER 2015 Results from Pakistan: Making the Invisible Visible

15/02/2016 - NORRAG NEWSBite

By Sehar Saeed

The recently launched ASER Report 2015 is a testament to civil society evidence-based activism that has drawn irreversible attention to the crisis of learning, both locally and globally. As we move forward towards the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we are reminded that the ‘learning plus access’ agenda for the education SDG (SDG ) would not have happened without the firm backing of the citizen-led nationwide assessments in Pakistan, South Asia and Africa. ASER Pakistan, ASER India,Uwezo in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, Beekunko in Mali, Jàngandoo in Senegal, Medición Independiente de Aprendizajes (MIA) in Mexico, and LEARNigeria in Nigeria have emerged powerfully as the People’s Action for Learning Network (PAL Network) which believes in the power of involving citizens for creating learning accountability.


Implementing stronger and more credible student assessment systems

12/02/2016 - World Bank Education for Global Development Blog

By Alan Ruby

Nearly 50 years ago, 40 classmates and I spent the last two weeks of November taking our higher school certificate examinations. In a cavernous, hot, and poorly ventilated hall, we sat in widely-spaced rows, writing essays, solving mathematics and science problems, and answering multiple-choice questions. The tests were set and evaluated by teachers and academics employed by the state examinations board in Sydney some 300 miles away. The results were used for university admissions and the award of state and national scholarships.



Toward universal learning: A new video on tackling assessment challenges in Africa

10/02/2016 - Brookings Education + Development blog

By Kate Anderson and Tyler Ditmore

In order to meet the ambitious education targets outlined in Sustainable Development Goal 4 and theEducation 2030 Framework for Action, countries need to accelerate progress toward improving education quality and learning outcomes. While access to education has improved the world over since the turn of the millennium, many children who are in school arenot learning the basics in reading and writing. Furthermore, they often spend little time on other important learning domains associated with vital 21st century skills. Repeating the same education reforms and interventions at the same pace is unlikely to ensure universal learning for all children, youth, and adults by 2030.


Helping the weakest students essential for society and the economy, says OECD

10/02/2016 - OECD website

Most countries have made little progress helping their weakest students improve their performance in reading, mathematics and science over the past decade. This means too many young people are still leaving school without the basic skills needed in today’s society and workplace, hurting their futures and long-term economic growth, according to a new OECD report.


Measuring learning: the cost of ignorance

08/02/2016 - NORRAG NEWSBite

By Silvia Montoya

Let’s be honest. For the past few months, we – the international education community – have been celebrating the victory in getting governments to adopt the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal 4 to provide inclusive and equitable quality education for all. But the party is over and now we face the enormity of ensuring that all children and youth are in school and learning by 2030. Where do we begin?


History 101: Leading Educator’s Lessons Are Still Relevant Today

03/02/2016 - Center for Education Innovations website

By Nicholas Burnett

After 50 years, it is time to listen – or listen again – to C. E. Beeby, the pioneering educationalist who changed the face of New Zealand education, before turning his attention to the developing world.


Are children learning? Two initiatives to monitor and help achieve SDG 4

Measuring learning in order to improve it

03/02/2016 - Global Partnership for Education Blog

By Silvia Montoya and Jean-Marc Bernard

The successful achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals will depend in large part on our degree of success in delivering on Goal 4 on education. Education is "a fundamental right and the basis for progress in every country," as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has argued.  And as the international community has come to recognize, the educational outcomes that can drive the progress we seek go beyond access to a classroom and depend on the quality of learning available once there.  As a result, five of the 10 education targets of SDG 4 focus on learning skills and outcomes of children and adults.


Making Systems Work: A Global Conference on Education Systems

February 29-March 02, 2016 Sydney, Australia

World Bank website

Education is a powerful driver of development and is one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability. A quality education that ensures Learning for All children and youth provides them with the skills and competencies necessary for success in life and work.  This is critical to ending poverty by 2030 and is a central component of the recently adoptedSustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which includes SDG 4, calling on the global community to “Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.” Yet, even though the benefits of education are well understood and documented and have been adopted by the global community, significant education challenges remain. Over 59 million children are still out of school today while 250 million children are unable to read or write even after having attended school.  This learning crisis and the failure of education systems around the world to deliver on their promises is one of the greatest challenges we face. 


Join the E-discussions: Changing Patterns in Boys' Educational Achievement

A Commonwealth Secretariat and United Nations Girls’ Education E-Discussion Hosted by the Commonwealth Education Hub From 25 January 2016

UNGEI website

To engage the education, gender and development communities across the Commonwealth and beyond, the Health and Education Unit (HEU) of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations Girls Education Initiative (UNGEI) are partnering to launch an online discussion on Changing Patterns in Boys' Educational Achievement: What Can We Do To Make Things Better?


Pratham revamps ASER for deeper insights

29/01/2016 - Business Standard

By Anjali Puri

On a chilly morning last week, there were excited shouts of loading kar rahi hai (It's loading) rising off a mat in Baljit Nagar, a garbage-strewn cluster of shanties near Anand Parbat industrial area in West Delhi. Factory workers' children jabbed away at the screen of a Google phone, trying to drag the requisite number of birds into a plane to make it fly. The maths-based game was one of many on EkStep Genie, a meta-app with lots of gamified apps, developed by software tycoon Nandan Nilekani's team. The smartphone belonged to Devyani Pershad, head of programme management at Pratham, an education NGO, which is piloting the app across the country. When Devyani took her phone back from the pupils, there was a collective sigh of disappointment. Two decades after it began instructional programmes for poor children with the slogan, "Every child in school and learning well", and a decade after launching the Annual State of Education Report (ASER), the country's biggest non-governmental audit of elementary education in rural India, which is also the only annual national assessment of learning outcomes, Pratham is now exploring new approaches.


Access and learning are equally important for children with disabilities

In 2015, ASER Pakistan included children with disabilities in their large scale assessment

27/01/2016 - Global Partnership for Education Blog

By Nidhi Singal and Ricardo Sabates

The clock is now ticking towards the goal of ensuring ‘inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ by 2030. For the first time, people with disabilities are explicitly recognized within the global targets. Yet, we still have too little information on how far behind children with disabilities are in education, and the extent of efforts needed to reach them.


Malawi: 'Child Friendly Schools Catalyst to Quality Education'

26/01/2016 - AllAfrica.com

By Arnold Namanja

Mangochi — Acting Director of Department for Teacher Education, Mary Chirwa has said child friendly schools' concept could be a catalyst to achieving quality education if it were implemented to the fullest. "The concept of child friendly schools is one among several factors affecting girl child learner achievement in our schools. There is need to address this factor through teacher training in order to achieve accessible and quality education," Chirwa said.


A Payment Plan for Universal Education

24/01/2016 - Project Syndicate

By Gordon Brown

DAVOS – The Sustainable Development Goals, which the international community adopted in September, include a commitment to provide every child with access to free primary and secondary education by 2030. Finding the additional $20 billion per year, or more, that will needed to deliver on this commitment is one of the central objectives of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity.


Recreational use of computers: What is the contribution to student performance?

TERCE in sight N°2, January 2016

21/01/2016 - UNESCO Office in Santiago website

According to TERCE results, the use of computers for recreational activities has a negative effect on student learning achievements when considering the socioeconomic and cultural status. The more they use their computers, whether for chatting, communicating via social networks, or listening to music, the lower their achievements are in all assessed subject areas. 


Why governments should pay attention to early childhood education

19/01/2015 - Devex website

By Roja Heydarpour

While governments and international organizations focus on peace building and alleviating poverty around the globe, a small but influential group of experts is focusing its attention on what some call “very early intervention.” Cultures around the globe approach early childhood development in varied ways, but there are common approaches that translate from country to country. Children from diverse cultures have much in common developmentally. While early childhood development experts have long known this to be true, the fields of neuroscience and economics are finally catching up, giving them more leverage to work on programs focused on the education of pre-primary school students.


Training tools for curriculum development: reaching out to all learners: a resource pack for supporting inclusive education

13/01/2016 - IBE website

Inclusive education is an over-guiding principle of the 2030 Education Agenda embodied in the SDG 4 “Ensure and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all”. We are pleased to announce the IBE new publication: Reaching Out to All Learners: a Resource Pack for Supporting Inclusive Education. As part of the IBE series of Training Tools for Curriculum Development, this resource pack shares a broader understanding of the theory and practice of inclusive education to review national policies and support its effective implementation at the school and classroom level.


The quality charade: does testing ensure quality education for all?

15/01/2016 - Deliver2030.org

By Antonia Wulff

When member states adopted goal 4 on quality education for all in September 2015, they courageously committed to ensuring free primary and secondary education for all. This commitment goes beyond the current aim of progressively making post-primary education free, and should be celebrated, but the proposed indicator framework is about to pull the carpet from under its feet.


Understanding – and ranking - our new global education targets

Cast your vote for which of the new targets should be prioritized

14/01/2016 - Global Partnership for Education blog

By Aaron Benavot

It’s officially post-2015 – the moment we have been discussing for quite some time. Over the past few years, the international education community, civil society organizations, teachers, agencies and donors have worked vigorously to create a new ambitious and comprehensive set of education targets that are unprecedented in scope.

Liberia: President Sirleaf Opens Panel Discussion On Education

14/01/2016 - AllAfrica.com

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has opened an education panel discussion with key stakeholders and partners aimed at improving the education sector through improved education outcomes in primary and early childhood education.


Universal secondary education critical for development

14/01/2016 - The Star

By Karen Kandie

While Kenya has almost achieved universal primary education with enrolment of over 90 per cent, high school drop-out rates and low secondary transition rates present particular challenges. One knock-on effects of the success of the free primary education is a surge in the demand for secondary education as students seek to access higher levels of education. Without focused effort to expand capacity at secondary level, successful transition to secondary school is unlikely to be achieved, with the potential to significantly eroding the gains of universal primary education.


Geographical inequality in education has grown over 30 years, study finds

For children born in 2000, where they live is a more powerful predictor of academic success than it was for those born in 1970, report claims

12/01/2016 - The Guardian

By Sally Weale

Large numbers of children are underachieving at school because of a growing regional inequality in education, which is having a damaging effect on life chances, according to new research. A report by the independent thinktank Social Market Foundation says geographical inequality in educational outcomes has grown over the last 30 years. While 70% of pupils in London now achieve five A*-C GCSEs, 63% manage the same in Yorkshire and Humber.


More than 60% urban primary schools are overcrowded

12/01/2016 - Times of India

By Shreya Roy Chowdhury

NEW DELHI: More than half the primary schools in urban India - 65.7% - are overcrowded. And more than a quarter rural primary schools have more than 30 kids to a teacher. The latest data from the District Information System for Education shows that a large number of primary and upper-primary schools - of all managements - do not meet the minimum standards stipulated by the Right to Education Act 2009 (implemented in 2010).


Uganda: Primary Education Experts Hope Reading Performance Improves Soon

11/01/2016 - AllAfrica.com 

By Moses Talemwa

Tired of complaints about poor learning outcomes at P7, the education ministry has been making moves to end the problem as MOSES TALEMWA found out, on talking to sector officials. This past week nearly 4,000 P1 teachers were put through their paces, in a bid to improve their teaching of literacy studies, through a seven-day refresher training, sponsored by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).


Indispensable Schools: Why schools are high on the SDG agenda [D + C Development and Cooperation monthly briefing]

30/12/2015 - D + C Development and Cooperation website

Pirmary schools were high on the agenda of the UN Millenninum Goals. Enrolment figures have improved dramtatically in many countries, but the quality of education is often not as good as it should be. Schools will be similarly high on the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, and for good reason. The essential thing is to empower all children, and especially those from disagvantaged communities, with the knowledge and basic skill they need to succeed in life.


PASEC2014. Les résultats sont disponibles !

07/12/2015 - Site web du Programme d’Analyse des Systèmes Educatifs (PASEC) 

Dix pays ont participé à l’évaluation internationale PASEC2014 : le Bénin, le Burkina Faso, le Burundi, le Cameroun, la Côte d’Ivoire, le Congo, le Niger, le Sénégal, le Tchad et le Togo. Cette évaluation a permis la mesure du niveau de compétences des élèves en début et en fin de scolarité primaire, en langue d’enseignement et en mathématiques. Elle a également analysé les facteurs associés aux performances des systèmes éducatifs des pays évalués, en collectant des données contextuelles auprès des élèves, des enseignants et des directeurs, par le biais de questionnaires.


Applauding a new model to assess learning

The new Assessment for Learning (A4L) initiative has the potential to make a change

07/12/2015 - Global Partnership for Education Blog

By Luis Crouch

The new Assessment for Learning (A4L) initiative has the potential to make a change

Assessment for Learning (A4L) is an idea that must be applauded, mandated, and funded, ideally in that conceptual order. Mandated, especially, by development countries, development agencies, and civil society.


A Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAL)

04/12/2015 - World Education Blog

By Silvia Montoya

No single organization can produce all of the data needed to monitor Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 – which covers a wide range of issues from learning outcomes to global citizenship. Therefore, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), which is the official source of internationally-comparable education data, has been given the mandate to coordinate the different initiatives needed to produce the indicators to monitor the new global education goal and targets.


New IIEP MOOC on learning assessments

02/12/2015 - IIEP website

Why is it important to monitor learning? Who should be assessed and in which subjects? What are the various ways to assess learning outcomes and what is the best option for your country? Registration is now open for the IIEP-UNESCO Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on learning assessments. Over four weeks (1-26 February 2016), participants will have an opportunity to address salient questions around how countries can better understand and measure learning outcomes through the use of different learning assessments.


Newsletter Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE) No. 17

02/12/2015 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

July was an important month for the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE), as the results of the Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (TERCE) were delivered and disseminated. The message was resounding: academic performance in Latin America improved, but inequalities and other factors continue to affect learning, especially in the most vulnerable countries within the region.


The challenges of widening participation in PISA

27/11/2015 - World Bank Education for Global Development Blog

By Andreas Schleicher and Claudia Costin

Since 2000, the OECD’s Programme for International Assessment (PISA) has been measuring the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students in over 70 countries. PISA does not just examine whether students have learned what they were taught, but also assesses whether students can creatively and critically use what they know.


Which countries punch above their weight in education rankings?

23/11/2015 - The Conversation

By Daniel Caro and Jenny Lenkeit

Rankings of countries based on how well their students perform in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) always receive a great deal of attention from the media and politicians. But PISA rankings, produced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, are limited when it comes to evaluating the quality of education systems and their efforts to improve children’s lives.


Studying results in access plus learning in 4 countries

First results from the 4th round of surveys in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam

10/11/2015 - Global Partnership for Education Blog

By Santiago Cueto

Current international frameworks, including the Sustainable Development Goals, assert the importance of both accessing quality education and achieving expected levels of learning in numeracy and literacy. I want to briefly summarize here the first results of the fourth round of surveys of Young Lives.


Reading body promoting literacy among Ugandan pupils

09/11/2015 - Daily Monitor

By Joseph Kato

Only three of every 10 pupils in P3 and P4 are able to read and understand a story. And two of every 10 pupils in P6 and P7 cannot read and understand a P2 text, according to a Uwezo report. A recent survey by Dr. Robinah Kyeyune of the School of Education at Makerere University shows that many teachers use poor methods of teaching how to read. “The teachers are not taught reading skills so they are unable to transfer them to their pupils and some don’t realise that reading is a taught skill.


How Buenos Aires adapted the LMTF seven domains to improve the relevance of secondary education

05/11/2015 - Brooking Education + Development Blog

By Mercedes Miguel

Data is crucial for education planning and student monitoring, all the way from the classroom to the education ministry. Without relevant data, teachers and officials cannot adapt their methods to contextual problems and children will not develop to their full potential. What is less evident, however, is how governments can promote rigorous assessments across a broad spectrum of domains and use the data to actually improve education. With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, building the bridge between data collection and learning outcomes is the key to ensuring that “access plus learning” does not exist in rhetoric alone.


Paving the way for the next generation of learning

04/11/2015 - Educators: Technology-focused news for New Zealand's educators

Educational assessments continue to evolve at warp speed. The landscape is transforming into a set of digitally guided activities that are increasingly actionable, outcomes-oriented (results unified with instruction), and able to facilitate students’ continuous learning.


We have SDGs now, but how do we measure them?

03/11/2015 - Brookings Education + Development Blog

by Kate Anderson

Does the world agree on the definition of a mountain? Is internet access a “basic service” for all people? Should the same-sized cities in China and Jamaica be held to the same standards Last week in Bangkok, 28 statistics experts from around the world discussed these questions in order to figure out how the new Sustainable Development Goals can be measured. The 17 goals include things like working toward inclusive and equitable education for all (goal 4). Of course, declaring such an admirable goal is the easy part; it’s much harder to figure out how to measure such things, and thus know if progress is being made.


Towards Education 2030 Consultation

The UIS launches consultation with UNESCO Member States on monitoring learning outcomes post-2015

21/10/2015 - UNESCO Insitute for Statistics

The international community has committed to ensuring “lifelong learning for all” with the passage of Sustainable Development Goal 4. But to transform this promise into action, governments and donors will need robust data to monitor and improve the learning outcomes of citizens everywhere. To this end, the UIS is working with partners to develop the technical guidance, methodologies and statistical information that will be needed to monitor and improve learning outcomes.


Join the e-Forum ‘Towards a global framework for measuring learning?’

19/10/2015 - IIEP website

The new Sustainable Development Goals aim to ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030. It also entails free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education that will lead to relevant and effective learning outcomes for all girls and boys. While this ambitious agenda will shape conversations around education for the next 15 years, it is also vital that a framework is in place to monitor the achievement of these goals.


Measuring progress toward SDG 4 in Kenya, Zambia, and Palestine

07/10/2015 - Brookings Education + Development Blog

By Kate Anderson and Fabiola Lara

With the sustainable development agenda recently approved the U.N. General Assembly, efforts to improve learning and outcomes around the world for the next 15 years will be led by Sustainable Development Goal 4. Here, we check in with three policymakers serving as LMTF 2.0 Learning Champions to gather their perspectives on what assessment challenges they are facing, how Goal 4 can help, and what’s still needed from the international community.

05/10/2015 - News

Joint Message on the occasion of the World Teachers’ Day: Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies


05/10/205 - UNESCO

Every year on World Teachers’ Day, we celebrate educators and the central role they play in providing children everywhere with a quality education. Today, as the global community comes together around the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, the role teachers play has never have been more important. The new global education goal, SDG 4 which is at the heart of the Education 2030 Agenda, calls for “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Realising this goal is critical to achieving all our global development targets – for strong societies depend on well-educated citizens and a well-trained workforce. But we can only realize this agenda if we invest in recruiting, supporting, and empowering teachers.

02/10/2015 - News

Early Assessment of Learning is Critical to Achieving Quality Education Goal


01/10/2015 - Work In Progress, The Hewlett Foundation Blog

By Pat Scheid

I was born January 1, 1961 to a working class family in a small town in the U.S. Midwest—a New Year’s baby. My parents weren’t concerned about whether I would finish high school, let alone the risk that I would graduate unable to read or do math well enough to participate fully in society. But UNESCO’s 2015 EFA Global Monitoring Report tells a different story for many children and their parents, even today. At the current rate of progress, it will be 2072 before all young people in lower and middle income countries achieve literacy.

30/09/2015 - News

Making Best Use of Assessment to Improve Learning


30/09/2015 - UNESCO Bangkok

In reflecting upon the United States, Kathryn Parker Boudett as Director of the Data Wise Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education recently noted that schools and education systems are “drowning in data” on student performance. This is no less true in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, regardless of income level.

In a background paper for the 2015 Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR), Benavot and Koseleci (2015) highlighted that 69 percent of countries of the region had carried out a national assessment by 2013, as compared to only 17 percent in the 1990s. In addition, an increasing number of countries in this region are participating in international assessments such as PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS. However as noted in a recent policy briefpublished by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and UNESCO Bangkok on the use of large-scale assessments of learning to inform education policy, there is little or no impact of such assessments on policy in many countries of the region.

29/09/2015 - News

Putting education first key to unlocking progress across new UN development agenda – Ban


26/09/2015 - United Nations News Centre

World leaders and education activists met at the United Nations today for a high-level event to mark the inclusion of education as a transformative stand-alone goal in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Achieving quality education for all is Goal 4 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that make up the new Agenda that world leaders adopted on Friday with the aim of ending extreme poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.

24/09/2015 - News

Laying the foundation to monitor learning globally

UIS creates a catalog of learning assessments


22/09/2015 - Global Partnership for Education Blog

By Silvia Montoya

“At least 250 million children are failing to learn the basics” (Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2012). By putting a number to the problem, the GMR highlighted a critical message to leaders and citizens around the world. Whether these children are in school or not, they have not mastered basic reading and writing skills needed to thrive in today’s world.

With the new and ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we must go beyond the advocacy messages and estimates and develop the robust indicators needed to monitor the learning outcomes of youth globally. 

22/09/2015 - News

Five steps to achieving the goal of educating every child in the world


22/09/2015 - The Guardian

Pauline Rose and Benjamin Alcott

Sustainable development goals to be agreed by world leaders this weekinclude a commitment to ensure that all young people have access to good quality primary and lower secondary education by 2030. The goals include a pledge that no one will be left behind. Reaching these goals will require improved educational quality for the most disadvantaged children from the earliest years.

22/09/2015 - News

Are citizen-led assessments raising learning levels?


16/09/2015 - World Bank Blog

By Marguerite Clarke

Citizen-led assessments (CLAs) emerged in India in 2005 as a way to raise awareness and advocacy around low learning levels, and to act as a force for bottom-up accountability and action that would improve education quality and learning. Thousands of volunteers traveled to rural districts and administered simple reading and math tests to the children in households they visited. The dismal results, published in the 2005 Annual Status of Education Report(ASER), helped stimulate debate and prioritize learning in national policy.

From this beginning, CLAs quickly expanded across the globe. A decade on, it seems reasonable to ask if our expectations for these surveys have been met. Are CLAs in India, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda really helping to shift the education agenda in these countries in the direction of quality? Have they improved overall quality or learning levels?

13/09/2015 - News

The South Asian learning crisis


04/09/2015 - Dhaka Tribune

By M Niaz Asadullah

Our children are not being suitably prepared for the future.

South Asia is home to a growing youth population, and widely considered to benefit from the “demographic dividend” in the coming decades. The United Nations Population Fund’s State of World Population 2014 report, “The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth, and the Transformation of the Future” therefore calls for increased investment in youths and adolescents. Most governments in South Asia have already invested heavily in education to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of universal primary education for all children by 2015, and have succeeded in closing school enrollment rate gaps vis-a-vis other developing regions.

13/09/2015 - News

Kenya: Nyeri Pupils 'Best in Reading and Maths


09/09/2015 - AllAfrica.com


Nyeri children are the best in reading and mathematics, a report by an education lobby shows. Pupils in Nairobi and Kajiado are in second and third positions respectively. The findings of a survey by Uwezo Kenya shows that more than 50 per cent of Class Three pupils in these regions can do Standard Two work.

10/09/2015 - News

New Think Tank to Focus on Learning, Education Policy


09/09/2015 - Philanthropy News Digest

With its founding president asserting that "[we've] arrived at a new moment for public education in America," a new national education think tank in the Bay Area hopes to bridge the world of research and policy making to inform evidence-based education policies at the federal, state, and local levels.

08/09/2015 - News

Uganda: Experts Demand More From Early Reading Programmes


07/09/2015 - AllAfrica.com

Sylvia Karungi, a blind teacher based in Ggaba, helping blind children in a reading session. The need for early reading is now recognised as critical.



Using Assessment to Create Student-Centered Learning


02/09/2015 - Edutopia

By Andrew Miller

Assessment is key to creating a more student-centered classroom. Before proceeding, though, I want to clarify what I mean by assessment. I don't mean testing, nor do I mean grading. Unfortunately this term (as well as other terms like data-driven instruction) has been hijacked to mean more testing and knowing students only in terms of their test scores. We know this is unacceptable and does not meet the needs of all students.

08/09/2015 - News

Schooling for girls worldwide to be assessed using new index


31/08/2015 - Reuters

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - An advocacy group set up by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Foreign Policy Magazine are launching an annual index to assess the availability and quality of education for girls around the world, organizers said on Monday. The index will compile data to highlight gaps in secondary educational opportunities as well as gaps in donor funding, the magazine said in a statement.

08/09/2015 - News

When the supermarket becomes a classroom: Building learning communities beyond the school walls


01/09/2015 - Brookings Education + Development Blog

By Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff

Only 20 percent of a child’s waking time is spent in school. That means that even with the best schools, the best teachers and the best educational policy, schools cannot close the achievement gap. To be sure, mountains of research demonstrate the significance of early schooling in changing learning trajectories for young children.

07/09/2015 - News

Can pre-primary education help solve the learning crisis in Africa?


03/09/2015 - Global Partnership for Education Blog

Early learning is key to achieving the 2030 education goal by Aglaia Zafeirakou

Globally, the Education for All goals adopted in 2000 and coming to an end this year have enabled developing countries to achieve remarkable progress. Thanks to the clear focus that the goals provided, millions more children now have access to basic education (EFA GMR 2015).

Yet access is not sufficient, and a learning crisis is evident, especially among the poorest and most vulnerable students. Around the world, 250 million children worldwide cannot read, write or do basic math, 130 million of whom are in school. (EFA GMR 2014).


Metas educativas 2021: el gran reto

25/08/2015 - OEI

Roberto Mauro Velásquez Rondón.
Arequipa Perú.
IBERCIENCIA. Comunidad de Educadores para la Cultura Científica.
La quinta meta general educativa nos permite analizar la calidad de la educación que están recibiendo nuestros estudiantes y sobre todo nos hace ver en ellos si se está adquiriendo las competencias básicas, imprescindibles para el desarrollo de una nación especialmente aquella que permite el aprender para toda la vida: aprender a aprender.

Voy a hacer un análisis de la quinta meta general:


Ethiopia: Leadership and Education

27/08/2015 - AllAfrica.com

24/08/2015 - News

New statement on framing and measuring inequalities in education


20/8/2015 – EFA GMR:

As reported in a previous series on this blog site, a two day workshop with 40 attendees was organized by the EFA GMR and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) last December on ‘Framing and measuring inequalities in post 2015 education targets’. Today, participants are publishing a short consensus outcome statement summarizing key points made during the workshop, which aims to contribute to on-going discussions on measuring and monitoring inequalities in education in the coming decade and beyond. The statement presents the following key findings:

24/08/2015 - News

Plan to scrap national exams in PNG


18/8/2015 - Solomon Star: 

PORT MORESBY, (POST COURIER) - Grade 8 and Grade 10 national examinations in Papua New Guinea will be scrapped by 2017. The only national examination will be for Grade 12 which will then prepare every student for tertiary institutions. Students learning from elementary to Grade 12 will be assessed through various tests during these years of learning. This is according to education acting assistant secretary for planning Maxtone Essy. 

24/08/2015 - News

In schools, the no-fail policy may have failed. What now?

The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) on Wednesday made a strong pitch for scrapping the no-detention policy for Classes I to VIII, along with bringing back board exams in Class X.


21/8/2015 – The Indian Express: 

At a meeting of CABE — the top body advising the government on education — chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday, a broad consensus on scrapping the no-detention policy emerged. There was also a pitch for bringing back the Class X exams. The Ministry has asked all states to give their views within 15 days, following which the process of making changes may begin.

24/08/2015 - News

Profe ¿Por qué no puedo sacar el móvil en clases?


20/8/2015 – OEI:

Las metas educativas hacia el 2021 proponen la incorporación del uso de la tecnología en busca del mejoramiento de la calidad de la educación y el currículo escolar; por lo que se vuelve necesario la innovación dentro del currículo en el uso de herramientas y metodologías, cotidianas y llamativas, para las poblaciones de estudiantes actuales.

En una reunión de docentes debatíamos el nuevo reglamento para la institución educativa en la cual trabajo. Exigir el uso del uniforme, prohibir manifestaciones de violencia, entre otras cosas que se aprobábamos con facilidad los presentes, hasta llegar al uso de los teléfonos móviles celulares dentro de la clase; lo cual, calentó el debate y nos invitó a todos los profesionales presentes a un foro de mayor discusión en el tema, principalmente cuando esta herramienta tecnológica se había vuelto útil, incluso para para las personas presentes en sus lecciones.

24/08/2015 - News

France: Union research sheds light on state of teaching profession


20/8/2015 - EI: 

UNSA Education, one of EI’s affiliates in France, has – for the third year in a row – published a study examining the current preoccupations of members of the education workforce in the country. Based on a survey that got 21,200 responses and was addressed at all professionals working in education, the so-called UNSA Barometer highlights some of the problems current education employees experience.

24/08/2015 - News

Can providing information on school performance lead to improvement?


August 18, 2015 by WB - 

In high-income countries, learning outcomes have improved as a result of an intervention that increases transparency and accountability through the use of test scores.  In a previous blog, I mentioned examples of ‘high-stakes testing’ accountability systems, such as No Child Left Behind.  A high-stakes test has important consequences for the test taker, school, or school authorities. It carried important benefits if the test is passed, such as a diploma, extra resources to the school, or a positive citation. Some of these interventions also follow the “naming and shaming” of school leaders, which is done in England.

There is also evidence that suggests that even just providing information on test scores will lead to improvement.  This is the case in school choice systems such as in the Netherlands. However, even in a ‘low-stakes’ environment (which carries none of the consequences of a high stakes test; even poor performance isn’t penalized), information can have a powerful effect.  So far the evidence on low stakes accountability has been mixed, but there are some promising signs.

24/08/2015 - News

Children learn better in their mother tongue

Advancing Research on mother tongue-based multilingual education


August 19, 2015 by GPE - 

Globally, there are 50-75 million ‘marginalized’ children who are not enrolled in school. Children whose primary language is not the language of instruction in school are more likely to drop out of school or fail in early grades. Research has shown that children’s first language is the optimal language for literacy and learning throughout primary school (UNESCO, 2008a). In spite of growing evidence and parent demand, many educational systems around the world insist on exclusive use of one or sometimes several privileged languages. This means excluding other languages and with them the children who speak them (Arnold, Bartlett, Gowani, & Merali, 2006).

24/08/2015 - News

Do Teacher Incentives Improve Learning Outcomes?


July 30, 2015 by NORRAG - 

Over the past decade, many countries have increased their spending on education as a share of gross domestic product. Between 1999 and 2012, public expenditure on education grew by 2 to 3 percentage points in such diverse countries as: Benin, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan and Mozambique, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). Yet this investment has not necessarily led to improvements in academic performance, according to international assessments. This inevitably leads to questions about school trajectories and how to ensure that all children acquire a quality education and the skills they need as adults. From curriculum reform to school infrastructure investment, there are many options to consider, but in the end they tend to focus on teachers, with discussions revolving around wages, evaluation and performance pay.

17/08/2015 - News

10 ways youth are improving education around the world

Celebrating young people’s work in education


August 12, 2015 by GPE - 

Today marks International Youth Day. To celebrate, we are profiling some of the many youths who are working tirelessly to improve education in their communities and around the world.

17/08/2015 - News

The $1-a-week school

Private schools are booming in poor countries. Governments should either help them or get out of their way


August 1, 2015 by The Economist - 

Across the highway from the lawns of Nairobi’s Muthaiga Country Club is Mathare, a slum that stretches as far as the eye can see. Although Mathare has virtually no services like paved streets or sanitation, it has a sizeable and growing number of classrooms. Not because of the state—the slum’s half-million people have just four public schools—but because the private sector has moved in. Mathare boasts 120 private schools.

17/08/2015 - News

Why Should We Study Ecuador’s Education Reform?


August 11, 2015 by PREAL - 

Discussions of recent education reforms in Latin America seldom mention Ecuador. Since 2007, this South American republic of approximately 15 million people has attempted a profound reform of its school system, and managed some interesting successes. But it remains one of the least observed and least researched educational reforms in Latin America. The Ecuadorian case should be studied because we can all learn from it, for at least three reasons.

17/08/2015 - News

New York Sees A Huge Jump In Number Of Kids Opting Out Of State Tests

Kids are refusing to take standardized tests all over the state


August 13, 2015 by AP/Huffington Post - 

About 20 percent of New York's third- through eighth-graders refused to take the statewide English and math tests given in the spring, the state's education chief said, acknowledging the opt-outs affected assessment data released Wednesday, which otherwise showed a slight uptick in overall student achievement.

10/08/2015 - News

How civil society influences education policy in Bangladesh

The Campaign for Popular Education works to ensure Bangladesh will continue making progress in education


August 3, 2015 by GPE - 

Since its inception in 1990, the Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) has grown from a network of 15 member organizations to a credible and recognized coalition with a membership that includes over 1,300 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 15 teachers’ organizations and thousands of education activists across Bangladesh. Such wide and diverse representation has enabled the coalition to contribute with relevant inputs to public policy discussions and influence change within the Bangladeshi education system.

10/08/2015 - News

What do youth think?

Interview with Allan Päll Secretary General of the European Youth Forum


August 4, 2015 by OECD educationtoday - 

This is a tough time for young people, especially in Europe. Youth un- and underemployment is still at record highs in some countries; and as the OECD Skills Outlook 2015 reports, more than 35 million 16-29 year-olds in OECD countries are neither employed nor in education or training. More worrying still, around half of those young adults are out of school and not looking for work.

10/08/2015 - News

A People’s Global Network on Learning is Born


August 5, 2015 by World Education Blog - 

While Kenya and Nairobi were at a standstill preparing for the US President Barack Obama’s Airforce I to land on July 24 for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit,  in another beautiful scenic setting, a global network on learning was born! The network will help hold countries accountable for ensuring their children are not just in school, but also learning. Committed to transparently conducting citizen-led household based assessments on learning, the network will increasingly enable communities to hold their leaders to account; it will support the call for lifelong learning for all – central to the new SDG on education.

10/08/2015 - News

How can we leave no one behind in education and learning?


August 4, 2015 by Post2015.org - 

The new international agenda is at last taking seriously the destabilising effects of inequality on achieving sustainable development. In the case of education, unequal distribution of schooling opportunities has beenshown to lead, among other negative impacts, to slower economic growth and increased probability of conflict outbreaks.

03/08/2015 - News

Do Teacher Incentives Improve Learning Outcomes?


NORRAG NEWSBite, By Silvia Montoya, UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and Jordan Naidoo, UNESCO -

Over the past decade, many countries have increased their spending on education as a share of gross domestic product. Between 1999 and 2012, public expenditure on education grew by 2 to 3 percentage points in such diverse countries as: Benin, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan and Mozambique, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). Yet this investment has not necessarily led to improvements in academic performance, according to international assessments. This inevitably leads to questions about school trajectories and how to ensure that all children acquire a quality education and the skills they need as adults. From curriculum reform to school infrastructure investment, there are many options to consider, but in the end they tend to focus on teachers, with discussions revolving around wages, evaluation and performance pay.

03/08/2015 - News

Final assessment of MDG impact on education

New UN report shows education gains and continued challenges


July 27, 2015 by GPE Secretariat - 

The global effort to enable all the world’s children to receive a quality, primary education has made impressive gains since 2000, according to a recently released UN report. But for enormous numbers of children, the report cautions, getting an education – let alone a quality education – remains far out of reach. This is a challenge that will be the focus of initiatives under the soon-to-be launched Sustainable Development Goals. 

27/07/2015 - News

Breaking down the silo: connecting education to world trends


OECD Education Today blog, 22 July 2015, by Tracey Burns

Did you ever wonder if education has a role to play in stemming the obesity epidemic sweeping across all OECD countries? Or what the impact of increasing urbanisation might be on our schools, families, and communities? Or whether new technologies really are fundamentally changing the way our children think and learn? If so, you’re not alone.

The OECD’s work on Trends Shaping Education stimulates reflection on the challenges facing education by providing an overview of key economic, social, demographic and technological trends. It has been used by ministries to guide strategic thinking and in Parliaments as a strategic foresight tool. It’s also part of the curriculum in teacher education colleges, and is a resource for teachers when designing courses and lectures, as well as parents and students themselves.

The fourth edition of the book will be launched in January 2016.

27/07/2015 - News

Computers in Primary Education. Be careful!!!


PREAL Blog, 21 July 2015, by Eduardo Vélez Bustillo -

In the early 1980s my colleagues at Instituto SER de Investigación in Colombia were working with Seymour Papert, then Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. They were applying Logo (Logo Programing Language) among primary education rural students in Nemocón, Colombia. Seymour was also one of the principals for the One Laptop Per Child initiative, and started what today is the MIT media lab. In fact, he is one of the fathers of education technology. Papert created Logo as a tool that can, in principle, be used by educators to improve the way children think and solve problems. For many years, studies on the cognitive and social benefits of Logo, however, have produced conflicting results.Our research in Nemocón (and in urban Bogotá) showed that it changed social relations within the school (girls used Logo in more creative ways than boys so became more prestigious than boys); it helped improve self-esteem and even originality and creativity; it also increased good attitudes towards the school. But its impact on learning was negligible.

27/07/2015 - News

What happened to education in the Financing for Development Conference, 13-16 July 2015, Addis Ababa?


23 July 2015, NORRAG NEWSBite, by Kenneth King - 

What was the Education angle in the Financing for Development (FFD) Conference? Did the FFD Conference confirm the Education Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and Targets? How did the approach of the Outcome document of the FFD differ from the Incheon Declaration?

In the approximately 200 side events attached to the FFD in Addis, education and skills development were not that visible. There were over 6,000 participants in the conference, but very few of these had education as their principal focus. Perhaps because of the sequence of events from the World Education Forum (WEF) in Korea in May, to the Oslo Education Summit in early July, to Addis in mid-July, there was one, high-level side event sponsored by Korea, Norway, Ethiopia and UNESCO, focusing on The Investment Case for Education. A second equally key side event involving education was one jointly supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and UNAIDS on Financing Health and Education. This was one of the few events promoting two distinct sectors in one panel. But that was about the extent of education events in Addis.

21/07/2015 - News

To teach effective writing, model effective writing


Edutopia. Originally Published: June 10, 2014 | Updated: July 14, 2015

I strive to teach my high school students the value of criticism, especially when it comes to improving their writing.

To do so, I model how criticism continues to help me become a better writer. Earlier this year, for example, I shared a draft of one of my education feature articles, which included detailed feedback from an editor at a prominent media company. I asked my classes for advice on how to address several edits, dealing with sources, transitions, terminology, and structure. A few days later, I directed my budding writers to the much-improved final draft. This easy but worthwhile activity helped more of my students feel comfortable receiving criticism, and not view it as an affront. As a result, they improved their writing by taking the time and care to consider and respond to reader insight.

I want my students to feel secure in the knowledge that nobody is beyond criticism (even their teacher), and that the bigger challenge is developing the good sense to acknowledge and successfully respond to feedback.

Along those lines, I also offer the suggestions below about teaching writing:

22/07/2015 - News

UNESCO makes case for investing in education at 3rd Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa


UNESCO website, Paris, 10 July

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will take part in the Third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where world leaders will seek to raise funds for achieving the sustainable development goals that will be adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in September. In Addis Ababa, the Director-General will promote the 4th sustainable development goal, which calls for inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. Ms Bokova will demonstrate what is at stake in a presentation at a side event, The Investment Case for Education, organized by UNESCO with the governments of Ethiopia, the Republic of Korea and Norway.

20/07/2015 - News

The state of teacher policies in El Salvador


By PREAL on July 14, 2015

In El Salvador, Teachers’ Day, celebrated on June 22nd, is a time to reflect on the importance of teaching—a profession that is crucial to the integral development of people and societies. In this context, on June 23rd, the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), with support from the Inter-American Dialogue’s Education Program and the Inter-American Development Bank, presented the report “The State of Teacher Policies in El Salvador.” This effort is part of a regional project that seeks to strengthen teaching in order to improve education quality.Similar reports have also been produced in Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, with the goal of fostering informed debates about teacher policies and inviting all stakeholders to reflect about which aspects of the teaching profession must be reinforced and how this can be done.

20/07/2015 - News

17 ways education influences the new 17 global goals


July 12, 2015 by GPE Secretariat

Education is essential to the success of every one of the 17 new sustainable development goals.

This September, the United Nations will commit to the new Sustainable Development Goals, which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs outline a new and ambitious worldwide effort to reduce poverty and hunger, improve health, enable equality, protect the planet and much more. Real progress will be elusive unless all children receive a quality education.

13/07/2015 - News

Education is a human right and a prerequisite for sustainable development


Global Partnership for Education blog -

This week at the Education for Development Summit in Oslo, global leaders gathered to affirm their commitment to the ambitious new education agenda and to reaching the 59 million children out of school and improve the quality of learning for those in school.


Global education unionists ready for biggest ever EI Congress

Education International website -

Around 1,000 delegates, 700 observers and 100 visitors are confirmed to be in Ottawa, Canada from 21-26 July making it the best attended Congress in the history of Education International (EI). The world’s largest federation of education organisations and unions, EI represents 32 million teachers and education employees in about 400 organisations in over 170 countries and territories. In less than two weeks, delegates will debate the major contemporary current issues pertaining to educators’ status, the trade union movement, and ways to achieve quality public education for all around the globe. The Congress’s theme “Unite for Quality Education — Better Education for a Better World” provides the framework for the discussions at the Congress, which follows the global campaign of the same name.

13/07/2015 - News

New IIEP publication finds youth participation key to creating strong education systems


IIEP website -

Empowering youth voices and involving them in the process of designing better education systems could improve both policy-making and learning outcomes, says a new publication from UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning. “Education is one area where young people remain passive but could become drivers of reform in a system of which they are part,” say the authors. The publication illustrates both the many benefits – from decreasing drop-out rates to increasing the relevancy of education –and the obstacles to engaging youth at all stages in shaping a positive school experience.

30/06/2015 - News

Afghanistan opens National Institute for Educational Planning


IIEP website -

Afghanistan’s first-ever National Institute for Educational Planning (NIEP) officially opened its doors in Kabul on 21 April 2015, simultaneously welcoming 44 new trainees and celebrating the graduation of the previous cohort of 48 in a formal ceremony attended by local and international partners. The graduates of the two-year diploma national training programme in educational planning and management, who come from all around the country, are proud to celebrate their achievement, the result of their unwavering commitment to rebuilding the country’s education system. All will continue to work to improve the quality, equitable access to, and relevance of education services.

30/06/2015 - News

Schooling Ain't Learning, and Learning Assessments (Alone) Ain't Reform


By Charles Kenny, Center for Gloabl Development Blog Global Development: Views from the Center

A new report examining independent learning assessments in developing countries shows that while they produce robust measures to date they have done little to improve the quality of learning. Growing awareness of the sorry state of education is necessary, but it is far from sufficient to spark change.

30/06/2015 - News

Do We Measure What We Treasure?


UNESCO Bangkok website -

The 2015 World Happiness Report states: “If you treasure it, measure it. If schools do not measure the well-being of their children but do measure their intellectual development, the latter will always take precedence”. Yet in considering the Asia-Pacific region, it seems that there is a somewhat alarming obsession by governments, media and the general public with test scores, whether in national exams or international assessments, which may be casting a shadow on other dimensions of learning. These other dimensions may not seem to be the most important at first glance, yet they could arguably be the ones that make students, teachers and the entire school community happiest.

24/06/2015 - News

The Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education funds new projects


The MasterCard Foundation

Toronto, Canada, June 17th, 2015: A partnership of private donors and foundations working to improve education today announced $10.3 million in grants that will increase the participation, quality and relevance of secondary education for economically disadvantaged and marginalized children in developing countries. Through the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education, Dubai Cares, Echidna Giving, Intel Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, and an anonymous donor announced 15 new investments that will support innovative work to address critical issues that impair secondary education and learning for marginalized populations in East Africa, Nigeria and India.

17/06/2015 - News

Why media reports about learning assessment data make me cringe


World Education Blog - by Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

With a new set of post-2015 education goals and targets on the horizon, the international community is looking to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) to help collect global data on countries as they seek to improve the learning outcomes of their children and youth. UIS is the official source of cross-nationally comparable education data, uniquely placed to identify and produce a range of new indicators with the support of its technical and financial partners. The challenges ahead are tremendous. While addressing the myriad of issues related to data production, we must address the following critical issue: How will the data be used?

02/06/2015 - News

Why are citizen led learning assessments not having an impact on home soil – and how can we change that?


World Education Blog, 2 June 2015, by Colin Bangay

Citizen-led learning assessments have been one of the most internationally influential educational initiatives of the decade. However, what of impact in their home countries?

This blog is written on ASER India’s tenth birthday, prompting us to celebrate its success but also look to the future. ASER in India has been ground-breaking, inspiring participatory learning assessments across the globe: Uwezo in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, Bèekunko in Mali, Jàngandoo in Senegal, and ASER Pakistan. The findings of these assessments are widely cited and underpin important commentary on learning in the EFA Global Monitoring Report. Collectively, this movement has been critical in shifting attention away from the exclusive focus on access, brought about by the shape of MDG 2,  to one on learning embedded in the post 2015 sustainable development goals and the learning metrics task force.

But what of ASER’s impact on affecting reform efforts? A 2014 RCT impact assessment of ‘Uwezo’ in Kenya concluded the programme had no discernible impact on either private or collective action. This finding echoes a comprehensive survey of community led initiatives by The Global Partnership for Social Accountability, which warns that information alone is not enough to affect change.  ASER India’s 2006-14 review of learning trends also tells a disappointing story – at best of learning stagnation – giving rise to two questions – Why might that be?  What might be done about it?

20/05/2015 - News

Global Education Goals Shouldn’t Just Be a Numbers Game


Open Society Foundations - Voices - by Dierdre Williams -

In the year 2000, 164 governments pledged to provide quality basic education for all children, youth, and adults by the year 2015. The pledge was codified in six interrelated goals known as the Education for All (EFA) goals. Two of these six goals formed part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—eight goals adopted by UN member states in the year 2000 that aimed, among other things, to eradicate extreme poverty.

18/03/2015 - News

Mozambique: Fully bilingual primary education as from 2017



Maputo — The Mozambican Ministry of Education and Human Development announced in Maputo on Wednesday that, as from 2017, primary education will become fully bilingual, with children in the initial years of schooling being taught in 16 Mozambican languages.

27/07/2015 - News

Preparing teachers for Global Citizenship Education


UNESCO Bangkok Website

The Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) launched in September 2012 by United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon prioritised the importance of putting every child in school, improving the quality of education and fostering global citizenship.

UNESCO has taken up the challenge to promote global citizenship through education in view of current trends, events and turmoil in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. An education that can inculcate respect for human rights, gender equality, social justice and diversity is critical for developing citizens who possess desirable values, knowledge and skills to ensure inclusive, peaceful and sustainable societies.

05/02/2015 - News

In Haiti, 15 new schools bring better learning to remote areas


UNICEF website

By Michelle Marrion

Construction of new school buildings in rural Haiti has had a positive impact on communities, bringing increased attendence, greater interest and, for one boy, a seat where he can see better.

05/02/2015 - News

Well-equipped schools boost students’ learning in Afghanistan


World Bank website

Students in Herat Province are enjoying the use of resources such as libraries and computer labs that make lessons more stimulating and help them learn more quickly. These resources have been made possible through Quality Enhancement Grants under the Education Quality Improvement Program, which aims to increase equitable access to quality basic education, especially for girls. The program is implemented by the Ministry of Education and supported by the World Bank and Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund.

03/02/2015 - News

International Mother Language Day Celebration 2015


UNESCO website

The theme for IMLD 2015 is "Inclusion in and through education: Language counts". Its focus is on one of the main challenges that cuts across many of the goals, i.e. Inclusion (equity/quality).

05/12/2014 - News

El desempeño escolar a nivel primario progresó en la región entre 2006 y 2013


IIPE Buenos Aires

Para analizar los resultados de aprendizaje en lenguaje, matemáticas y ciencias de estudiantes de 3º y 6º grado de primaria en países de América Latina desde 2006, uno de los objetivos del TERCE (Tercer Estudio Regional Comparativo y Explicativo) fue asegurar la comparabilidad con SERCE, su antecesor. Gracias a que todas las áreas, excepto escritura, fueron comparables con el segundo estudio, SERCE, en cuanto a puntuación, el TERCE pudo evaluar si los estudiantes de los países participantes hicieron progreso en términos de logro de aprendizaje, entre 2006 (año de aplicación del SERCE) y el 2013 (año de aplicación del TERCE).

29/10/2014 - News

Pupils begin 'tough' new national curriculum


BBC News

Millions of children in England will begin a "tough" new national curriculum when they return to school this week. Five-year-olds will learn fractions and computer coding, while those in early secondary school will have to study at least two Shakespeare plays. The curriculum is being implemented for most year groups simultaneously. Teachers' leaders say the timetable is unrealistic, but the Department for Education said its aim was to prepare children for "life in modern Britain". A spokesman said the government wanted "all children to learn the core knowledge in key subjects - the ones universities and employers value the most".

28/08/2014 - News

Generating evidence to improve learning


World Bank: Education for Global Development Blog

Very soon, tens of millions of children around the world will start a new school year.  It’s supposed to be the time for children to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life. Are they getting that education in school?  Not always.  Nearly 25 percent of primary school-age children around the world can’t read, write or do basic mathematics.  About one-quarter of these children have never had the chance to learn because they aren’t in school.  Making sure that children learn – in other words, giving children the tools needed so they can reach their potential – is a global priority.  Success requires understanding the most effective way to do this.  That’s where evidence matters.


Data Analysis for Evidence-Based Policy-Making Workshop

27/08/2015 - UNESCO Bangkok wesbsite

Large-scale data on learning outcomes produced through national and international assessment systems are becoming increasingly available. However, the use of this data for evidence-informed policy-making is limited. In order to improve the use of student learning assessment data in strengthening education systems, and to support evidence-based policy-making in improving education quality, UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) is launching a regional programme called “Learning Enablers for Asia and Pacific” (LEAP). LEAP specifically focuses on 1) mapping of national practices of collecting, analysing and utilizing international and national assessment data for policy formulation and implementation, 2) conducting analysis of large scale international and national assessments to identity learning enablers and 3) organizing technical workshops to enhance institutional and human capacity in the area of data analysis and policy design. 


(Learning) time is on their side

25/08/2015 - OECD Education Today blog

by Marilyn Achiron

Got a minute? How about 218 of them? That’s the average amount of time students in OECD countries spend in mathematics class each week (although to some, it feels like an eternity). Spare a thought, though, for students in Chile: they spend about twice that amount of time (400 minutes, or 6 hours and 40 minutes) each week in maths class. But who’s counting? Actually, PISA is. PISA 2012 asked students to report how much time they spend in their mathematics, reading and science classes – the three core subjects PISA assesses. PISA wanted to find out whether students are spending more or less time in class than their counterparts did a decade ago, and whether there is any relationship to the amount of time spent in class and student performance.



India: court urges state officials’ children to attend governmental schools

26/08/2015 - Education International

The National Coalition for Education has welcomed the recent judgement of the Allahabad High Court in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh “historic” for urging governmental officials to send their children to governmental school. The high court ruled on 18 August that all Uttar Pradesh’s government employees, legislators and judicial officers must send their children to government schools in order to improve the education system: