The RISE Vision
Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) is a large scale, multi-country research programme that seeks to understand how school systems in the developing world can overcome the learning crisis and deliver better learning for all.
Through the support, facilitation, synthesis, and harnessing of education systems research, the RISE Programme aims to:
- Provide an analytical framework to describe and understand how education systems function
- Generate research that evaluates large-scale system reform efforts on the basis of its impact on student learning and equity in learning across genders and socio-economic classes
- Generate explanations for why reforms succeed or fail
- Collect and disseminate new quantitative and qualitative data on education generally
- Build a community of practice of local and international researchers, policymakers and education practitioners to ensure they have access to the most relevant, up-to-date research
One of the greatest achievements in education worldwide has been reaching near universal primary school enrolment and attainment. This feat has been driven largely by closing inequality gaps between genders, incomes, and location (urban versus rural). Yet despite these massive improvements, there is a learning crisis.
Learning profiles (gains in learning per year of schooling) remain appallingly flat - children leave school lacking basic competencies. Success demands change, and now the global education movement is pivoting from a narrow focus on measures and metrics of the expansion of time served in school to a focus on learning outcomes achieved and lives transformed.
RISE is funding research that goes beyond the proximate causes of test score performance to understand the underlying ingredients of a well-functioning system — for example, the way in which goals are set, progress is assessed and measured, the teaching career is structured, schools are financed and managed, and innovations produced, evaluated and disseminated. RISE will investigate how and why education systems succeed or fail in attempts to promote learning for all children.
There is a growing global consensus that many developing countries face a learning crisis and that national and international learning goals can help focus attention on that crisis.
If developing countries sustain current levels of learning progress, they will not meet OECD learning levels within a generation. In order to reach the required levels, these countries would require an acceleration in the pace of improvement from an average gain of 0.9 points per year to 3.8 points per year on international assessments (or similar accelerations on national assessments). But strategies like requiring students to stay in school longer or providing infrastructure or recurring inputs alone will not improve learning. Any quality-improvement strategy should be embedded in an effective system that focuses on learning.