Learning Levels Will Not Improve by Spending More on Education

A fundamental tension in the design of education systems is that, historically, they have served three very different roles. First, they have sought to impart knowledge and skills that improve employment and earnings prospects (the human capital role). Second, they have aimed to create shared norms of behaviour, values, and identity (the socialisation role). Third, they have aimed to assess and classify students by educational ability and achievement to select students for higher education and skill-intensive occupations (the sorting role).

Quantifying the System: A Concrete, Quantitative Case That Systems Matter from South Africa

Anyone who follows RISE closely (or just knows what the acronym stands for) will know that we are focused on “systems” of education. Our focus on systems might seem obvious to some, but to others it might be puzzling. The systems focus can sometimes feel abstract, even to those of us who work on the programme. 

About Meera

India is close to achieving universal enrolment for children of elementary school age. More and more children are coming to school and staying in school longer.

Three Years after SDG Adoption: It's Time for Action on Learning Data

“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.