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  • Reply to: Scaling up the Private Sector in Education: Three Lessons   1 day 12 hours ago

    I think this is a really good blog.  There have been many studies on charter schools in the U.S and on Academy chains in the UK but the implications for developing countries of chains of private schools is really under-researched and this blog highlights the challenges and the opportunities.

  • Reply to: Teaching 21st Century Skills to Ready Students for the World of Work   1 day 21 hours ago

    While we think of the new set of skills required to successfully navigate the modern world of employment (including self-employment), there is need for educationists and policy makers to rethink the number of years our kids spend pursuing formal education. Do they really need to spend a minimum of more than 15 years (assuming a 6-6-3 system) of schooling to obtain the first degree with just general skills? There is need for an overhaul of education systems in order to produce graduates with specialized skills (tailored to market needs) after those many years in school. The time saved and greater skills gained will go along way in uplifting economies.

  • Reply to: Is There a Role for the Private Sector in Education?   3 days 13 hours ago

    Thank you for your comment. We agree that education is a fundamental human right and that each local, regional and national government should ensure learning for all. Each child has a right to a good quality education regardless of whether the provider is public or private. The political context is important and something that has been mentioned by others above which we reaffirm here.    Rigorous impact evaluations are mentioned in the article with links but far more is needed as you point out in terms of rigorous research in the area particularly in different development contexts. The Bank is working to do this through its Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) and there is a growing academic literature also. Its a space which offers innovations and opportunities which need to be balanced by strong government stewardship. On the evidence...

    Charter type schools 

    Abdulkadiroğlu, A., Angrist, J. D., Dynarski, S. M., Kane, T. J., & Pathak, P. A. 2011. “Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters and Pilots.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 126(2): 699-748. 
    Showed that charter schools who were subject to greater accountability had large and significant test score gains for lottery winners in middle and high school. In contrast,  for pilot schools, who were subject top less accountability than charters,  gains were small and mostly insignificant for pilot school lottery winners in terms of  test scores. 

    Angrist, J D. Dynarski, S.M., Kane, T.J., Pathak, P.A. and Walters, C.  2010.  "Inputs and Impacts in Charter Schools: KIPP Lynn." American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 100(2)
    Found that charter school winners performed 0.4 s.d higher on math than charter school losers and that KIPP Lynn raises achievement more for weaker students.

    Dobbie, W., Fryer, R. G., & Fryer Jr, G. 2011. “Are High-quality Schools Enough to Increase Achievement Among the Poor? Evidence from the Harlem Children's Zone.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 3(3): 158-187
    Found the effects of attending an Harlem Children's Zone middle school are enough to close the black-white achievement gap in mathematics. The effects in elementary school are large enough to close the racial achievement gap in both mathematics and English Language Arts. 

    Hoxby,C.M. and Murarka, S.  2009. "Charter Schools in New York City: Who Enrolls and How They Affect Student Achievement." NBER Working Paper 14852.
    Found that charter schools performed 0.09 standard deviations per year in math and 0.04 standard deviations per year in reading with a longer school year related to higher student achievement .

    Tuttle, C. C., Gill, B., Gleason, P., Knechtel, V., Nichols-Barrer, I., & Resch, A. 2013. “KIPP Middle Schools: Impacts on Achievement and other Outcomes.” Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research.
    An evaluation of 43 KIPP middle schools found an average estimated impact of 0.36 standard deviations in math. 

    Evidence from developing countries 

    Barrera-Osorio, F. and Raju, D. 2011. "Evaluating Public Per-student Subsidies to Low-cost Private Schools: Regression-discontinuity Evidence from Pakistan.” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5638.
    Found the program has also increased test scores in math and science by 0.4 and 0.5 standard deviations.
    French, R., and Kingdon, G. 2010. “The Relative Effectiveness of Private Government Schools in Rural India: Evidence from ASER Data.” Department of Quantitative Social Science Working Paper No. 10-03. Institute of Education, University of London. 
    Showed that the private school achievement advantage of 0.17 standard deviations.

    Muralidharan, K. and Sundararaman, V. The Aggregate Effect of School Choice: Evidence from a Two-stage experiment from India. NBER Working Paper No. 19441

    The results suggest that private schools in this setting deliver (slightly) better test score gains than their public counterparts, and do so at substantially lower costs per student. 

    The Impact Evaluation in Education database includes many more studies on the private sector and can be accessed here http://datatopics.worldbank.org/EdStatsApps/Edu%20Evaluation/evaluationH...

  • Reply to: Report from Nigeria: Education Needs Intelligent Champions   3 days 17 hours ago

    I like your positive reaction to a meeting withkey stakeholders discussing the future of education in a country like Nigeria. I can imagine the positive feeling one gets from such a meeting. I have experienced it.  What I could not see iswhat is coming next to really change the system. Indeed this may be a topic for many future blogs.  The bottom line isthat yes, involvement of business leaders, high-level government officials, representatives of successful countries (generally Singapore and Korea by the way), 'motivational speakers', etc., are critical to have a comprehensive discussion on how to get Intelligent Champions. I have seen many of these meetings, and yes, one gets optimistic about the next steps. I remember when Jim Wolfensohn had a meeting with the Minister of Finance of the world to discuss education investment, or multiple cases similar to the meeting in Nigeria where representatives of critical sectors agreed to have national plans to move education ahead; or even international meetings including multi and bi-lateral institutions, UN agencies, governments, CSOs, etc., with similar objectives; and history shows that not much is done afterwards.  I am not a pessimistic. Iknow that education indicators (read quantitative targets) have improved, although in some cases the gap between the high-income countries and low-income countries is still increasing. But I am becoming skeptic as I fail to see in many countries the real vision and political commitment that, for example, Singapore and Korea had to move their education systems ahead; and I do not see new international effective mechanisms to support countries that have this vision and commitment.   Maybe Nigeria will prove me wrong.  I hope so.

  • Reply to: Is There a Role for the Private Sector in Education?   3 days 19 hours ago

    This was a very slanted piece in my opinion clearly arguing for an increased role of private providers in the what is been termed the 'education market'. It is most interesting the blog on the World Bank page has little hard quantitative or qualitative data to back up the assertions made in the blog about the role of private providers in education. While there are numerous forms of Public Private Partnership and provision of services they each need to be carefully examined within given national and political context this piece failed to do that. What is most worrying but not surprising was that the issue of the Right to Education and obligation that this International Human Right places on the State was not mentioned at all.