In a recent piece, Jim Kim explained that the World Bank’s new Human Capital Index (HCI) will “encourage countries to invest in human capital with a fierce sense of urgency.” Indeed, a key objective of the HCI is to spur more investments in education and health.
“Do kids in developing countries need less reading and math skills than OECD Kids?” This question did not appear on the agenda at a three-day workshop recently organized by USAID. It was not even articulated. But the entire event—rather opaquely titled: “Linking Assessments to a Global Standard with Social Moderation”—was predicated on the assumption that some new global standards were needed because the definitions of basic reading and math skills used by the OECD are too unattainable for many/most developing countries. If that sounds horribly retrograde and paternalistic, it is.
Benefits of an Indicator
The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (“The Commission”) has issued a bold proposal: “To galvanize attention globally, a single global indicator of learning should be agreed on to complement national measures of learning.