I cannot help but notice that the same situation occurs in the developing world (i.e. teacher strike in Chicago right now.) The argument used by teachers, at least in the United States -where measuring learning outcomes seems as politically-charged as in Africa- is that tools currently used fail to take into account the contextual issues of learning (poverty, family-issues, etc.) that may have as great an impact on a child's ability to learn as the performance of the teacher. So I have two questions for Shanta. 1. Is there a way to measure learning outcomes (say, with a standardized test that measures progress towards a universal goal) controlling for these contextual issues? (so that teachers don't see them as unfair measurements of their abilities?) 2. Are there any examples around the world in which the de-politization of learning outcomes has actually been achieved? And if yes, do they point to the existence/non existence of unions as the main obstacle? Thank you.