What Changed? Exploring Teacher Incentives, Social Accountability, and Student Outcomes in Indonesia

What causes gains in student learning? When a policy change or intervention yields better student learning outcomes, this is cause for celebration. But if we want those learning gains to become a reality for other children in other contexts, we need to go beyond celebration toward analysing what exactly the intervention achieved—such as whether the learning gains were accompanied by undesirable side effects—and how exactly the intervention achieved it.

School of Education (LUMS) EduSpeak: The Global Learning Crisis – What We Do Know, What We Don’t by Prof. Lant Pritchett

RISE Research Director Lant Pritchett delivered a talk, “The Global Learning Crisis: What We Do Know, What We Don’t”, hosted by the Syed Ahsan Ali & Syed Maratib School of Education, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) on 7 February 2020. The discussion centred around the education sector and how it has become much more complex over the years. Additionally, Pritchett spoke on the ‘Learning Crisis’ and how systems need to be realigned to counter the issue.

Incoherent in Translation? Why We Can Learn from—but Not Copy—Finland’s and Singapore’s Teacher Accountability Approaches

When translating, context matters. In Singapore, calling someone an ang moh does not necessarily mean that they have red hair, as in the literal meaning of the Hokkien term. Rather, ang moh can denote any white person, regardless of hair colour. In Finland, Joulupukki is not (or, at least, no longer) the “Christmas goat” but rather Santa Claus.

Bridging the Governance-Sectors Divide—Reflections on Lant Pritchett’s New Essay

Development practice has long been characterized by dialogues of the deaf. The divide between governance and sector specialists is one example. How this divide could be bridged is the focus of a new review essay by Lant Pritchett, currently the research director of the ambitious and influential Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) program.

What Makes a Politician Tackle Education?

Josef Ritzen, the Netherlands’ education minister for eight years before he joined the World Bank, once told me: “The view of a prime minister is that an education minister only brings problems. There’s nothing he or she can do to improve quality that has a political upside. So, most ministers try to do nothing.” Ritzen’s recent successors have learned this lesson the hard way with public outcry over heightened math admission requirements for teacher training colleges that have led to a teacher shortage and larger classes.

Improving School Performance through School Ranking: The Double-Edged Sword of Accountability

Despite the appeal to improve school performance through strengthened accountability, there is concern that such efforts could distort behavior if the stakes are high: schools and teachers could teach to the test, neglect unrewarded activities, or simply cheat. As a result, a number of countries (e.g., Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Pakistan) have turned to low-stakes accountability such as publicizing information, or report cards, about school performance.