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  • Reply to: Finding a reasonable target for math and reading test scores   1 week 1 day ago
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important topic. One way to better leverage national and regional assessment efforts would be to create more systematic mechanisms for those involved in these assessments to engage with each other at the policy and technical levels in concert with global and international bodies. This would create opportunities for synergies, capacity building, and knowledge and data sharing. One possible mechanism for doing this under the SDGs will be the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning, overseen by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (https://sdg.uis.unesco.org/2016/05/13/getting-down-to-business-the-global-alliance-to-monitor-learning/#more-79). The use of the results from assessments is the justification for why we administer them in the first place, but the effectiveness of that use depends on how good the data are. Making use of inaccurate data will not necessarily improve student learning and may actually make things worse. Attention needs to be paid both to generating valid and reliable data on student learning and to making good use of that data. One without the other will not work.
     
  • Reply to: Finding a reasonable target for math and reading test scores   1 week 3 days ago

    Great piece Marguerite. I'm worried though about the continued reliance on just a few International Large Scale Assessments (as if those are the only one that "count"). How can we better leverage national and regional efforts, whether results from Washington DC's PARCC assessments or results from ASER in Pakistan? Should the emphasis be on the USE of the assessments rather than the results themselves? How do we really define what is "comparable"?

    I completely agree that we need to help manage expectations in partnership with governments. What are reasonable expectations for gains? Against which measures? What is the most equitable way to encourage measurement of progress? One key message we need to continue to share is that (for most countries) if you want to improve overall means you need to focus on moving results for the bottom quintile(s).

    More thoughts here: http://bit.ly/SDG411blog

  • Reply to: There is no easy fix to the dropout problem   1 month 2 weeks ago

    Hi Rafa,

    Thanks for this.

    Of potential interest is the recently completed USAID-funded School Dropout Prevention Pilot (SDPP) Program that tested the effectiveness of dropout prevention interventions in four target countries: Cambodia, India, Tajikistan and Timor-Leste.

    More here: http://schooldropoutprevention.com/.

    Steve

  • Reply to: The impact of Ebola on education in Sierra Leone   1 month 2 weeks ago

    Readers might also like to know of a complementary radio series in Sierra Leone, an innovation by Child to child, shortlisted as one of the most innovative education programmes in West Africa working in child health, education, and violence prevention by the Center for Education Innovations (CEI) and Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), in collaboration with the UBS Optimus Foundation.

    The programme, Pikin to Pikin Tok (which means Child to Child Talk in the local language Krio) is made up of three different programmes – Story Time, Under the Mango Tree and Messages Through Music – each of which target different age ranges, and are intended to enhance children’s social, numeracy, literacy and life skills. Under the Mango Tree targets the older children and is designed to support them to develop critical life skills. This programme directly addresses the issues that have emerged in the wake of Ebola, including stigma and exclusion, disability, sexual violence and teenage pregnancy and helps children to critically think through how they might best deal with them. Hundreds of solar-powered and wind up radios have been distributed.

    Listeners’ Groups guide the children in their discussion of the topics discussed by their peers on the radio. Children are encouraged to phone in after the radio broadcasts to express their views and opinions, and in line with the ethos to work in partnership with children, groups of children have been recruited and trained as ‘young journalists’. They have helped to identify stories, interview key stakeholders and record audio content. The radio team mixes this audio content into high quality programmes which are then broadcast by local radio station Radio Moa across Kailahun District. The voices and views of women and girls are consistently heard throughout the programmes on Pikin to Pikin Tok. Consequently, girls have increased their understanding of sexual abuse and learned how to keep themselves safer. Girls become more willing to speak out, demonstrating their newly acquired knowledge and outperforming boys in their levels of confidence.

    For more information, go to: http://www.childtochild.org.uk/projects/pikin-to-pikin-tok-radio-programme/ . It was also the subject of a feature on it in a BBC World Service December broadcast of ‘Focus on Africa’

    The programme utilized the substantial experience gained by Child to child on the ground in an early childhood education programme (Getting Ready for School) in Kailahun, at the heart of the Ebola crisis, which was forced to close because children had been meeting in groups. The project builds on the Child to Child concept of older children (Young facilitators) teaching/coaching younger children (Young Learners) which in turn, improves their health, knowledge and general well-being. More information on this can be gained from the Child to child website and through the case study currently being finalised by ODI for UNGEI under its initiative to showcase models of good practice in impact on girls’ education.

  • Reply to: There is no easy fix to the dropout problem   1 month 3 weeks ago

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your comments. The proposed solution is conceptually very different from the previous ones since the diagnostic identifies the problem starting since birth (in many cases) as oppose to being the outcome of a current constraint (income or other). Therefore, the real solution is prevention through ECD and compensatory basic education. But that would only benefit future generations.

    What about the current adolescents? For them the most effective intervention (that I know of) is the one implemented in Chicago. It is not only CBT, it is also one hour of additional math instruction per day and personalized mentoring. Implementing that is far from easy and quite costly indeed. In a way is like trying to fix a lifetime of deficiencies in one year.

    Regarding paying for outcomes, the evidence regarding its effectiveness is not conclusive. Have a look at the following blog post by colleagues here at the Bank.

    http://blogs.worldbank.org/education/can-school-grants-buy-learning-it-s-debatable

    http://blogs.worldbank.org/impactevaluations/do-school-grants-buy-student-learning-no

    What the evidence suggests is that you have to learn more about the "production function", change some of the inputs and help schools use them in an effective way, rather than simply pay for outcomes.

    Happy to discuss further.
    Best,
    Rafa