On 17 October, 2019, the World Bank announced a new goal and initiative to measure and eliminate education poverty. This is an exciting step in tackling the learning crisis. Their measure of education poverty focuses on a single, simple indicator: that every child should read fluently by Grade 4.
That learning in many developing countries is in crisis has been well-established. The learning crisis was the focus of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2018, and UN global education goals highlight the need for improved learning. Yet, we are still learning much about the contours of the learning crisis, with important implications for how to address it.
Internationally comparable data on learning levels in developing countries is severely limited.