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I was interested and pleased to see the emphatic shift to a focus on outcomes in the New Education Strategy report. It continues a growing general trend to focus on what actually happens as a result of public and private investment in education of all kinds. I come at this from a slightly different angle; as head of the OECD's Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, I initiated a project on Measuring the Social Outcomes of Learning, which is now in its third phase - see We raised the issue of the wider goals of education, in particular improving health and strengthening civic participation. One of the issues we had to wrestle with is the fundamental methodological one of getting to grips with causality: not being trapped in simplistic (though maybe in one sense sophisticated) approaches which seek to isolate single variables or causes. It's the multiple interactions between education and (particularly) health which count, even if it makes analysis more complex and less amenable to single-number outcomes. This has had weighty support from the Stiglitz/Sen report for President Sarkozy, on measuring economic performance and social progress. I recognise that the 'learning outcomes' which the WB deals relate specifically to progress in educational terms, whereas at CERI we extended this still further, to non-educational outcomes. But this is all part of a major, and welcome, shift towards focussing on what actually happens as a result of all the public and private investment (of time and effort, as well as money).