News and Research 20

 

Vietnam: More young children are ready for school  With the support of World Bank funding and expertise, Vietnam has expanded access to full-day preschool from 66 percent (2012) to 86 percent of five-year-old children (2016). It has also improved the quality of preschool instruction by providing professional development for a large number of Early Childhood Education (ECE) teachers and managers. More than 2,000 core teachers were trained to provide professional development to about 250,000 ECE teachers in order for them to adopt a child-centered learning approach… https://youtu.be/jjnSvLMU5Xk

Snapshots of Early Childhood Education in Northern Lao PDR  The ‘Snapshots’ report series presents preliminary findings from the Early Childhood Education (ECE) study. The ECE study was initiated to evaluate the Early Childhood Education Project in Lao PDR and provides a comprehensive picture of the environments children in Northern Lao PDR are growing up in, and how this impacts children’s early development…

The Returns to Preschool Attendance   Preschool attendance is widely recognized as a key ingredient for later socioeconomic success, mothers’ labor market participation, and leveling the playing field for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. However, the empirical evidence for these claims is still relatively scarce, particularly in Europe. Using data from the 2011 Austrian European Union Statistics of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), we contribute to this literature in all mentioned dimensions. In particular, we investigate the effect of preschool attendance on an individual’s later educational attainment, the probability that they work full time and their hourly wages, the likelihood of the mother working when the child is 14 years old, and on the overall distribution of wages. We find strong and positive effects of preschool attendance on educational attainment, the probability of working full time, hourly wages, and the probability that the mother is in the labor market. Full time workers at the bottom and the top of the distribution tend to benefit less than those in the middle. Women in particular benefit more in terms of years of schooling and the probability of working full time. Other disadvantaged groups (second migration migrants; people with less educated parents) also often benefit more in terms of education and work…

Education reform for raising Vietnam competitiveness  Vietnam has some of the best university-based teacher training programs in the world, said Deputy Minister Nguyen Minh Hien of the Ministry of Education of Training at a recent forum in Hanoi. However, it also has some of the worst – and these poor performing programs produce the overwhelming majority of the nation’s teachers in schools with the highest percentage of students living in poverty…

Regulating Publicly Funded Private Schools: A Literature Review on Equity and Effectiveness  As school choice is an increasingly common feature of OECD education systems, the regulation of publicly funded private schools has become a salient concern for researchers and policy makers alike. Focussing on three areas of regulation – selective admission, add-on tuition fees and for-profit ownership – this paper provides a review of the theoretical and empirical literature concerning their effects on equity and educational effectiveness. It also offers an overview of different countries’ approaches to the funding of private education and the methodological challenges involved in their empirical evaluation. The available evidence confirms that the funding of private schools has yielded widely different results across educational systems and suggests that regulatory frameworks are an important factor shaping these outcomes. Selective admission and substantial add-on tuition fees in particular are likely to exacerbate social segregation and can undermine schools’ incentives to compete on the basis of educational quality. The evidence on subsidised for-profit schools is equally divergent across countries but evidence points to the importance of rigorous accreditation processes and clear conditions concerning selectivity and fees to guide allocation of public funds. Although important questions are yet to be conclusively addressed, including the interaction of different regulatory devices and their effect on specific student groups, the existing literature suggests that private school regulation can make an important contribution to the equity and effectiveness of school choice programmes…

Competition Among Schools: Traditional Public and Private Schools  This chapter considers research on the effects of competition between private and public schools. It focuses on three questions: (1) Do children experience higher achievement gains in private school? (2) If so, is this because private schools are more productive? (3) Does competition from private schools raise public school productivity and/or otherwise affect those “left behind”? The chapter shows that unless each of these questions is answered, one cannot form a full assessment on the desirability of private school entry. Voucher experiments suggest that question 1 can be answered in the affirmative for some subgroups and in some contexts. Such work cannot typically isolate channels, however, and hence does not address question 2. Question 3 has been primarily studied by papers on large-scale voucher programs. These suggest that private school entry results in nonrandom sorting of students, but are less clear on the effects. The bottom line is that despite demand for clear, simple conclusions on the effects of competition from private schools, research does not yet provide these…

Market Forces in Education “If the government would make up its mind to require for every child a good education, it might save itself the trouble of providing one. It might leave to parents to obtain the education where and how they pleased, and content itself with helping to pay the school fees of the poorer classes of children, and defraying the entire school expenses of those who have no one else to pay for them” (J.S. Mill, On Liberty)…

Regulation and Funding of Independent Schools: Lessons from Sweden  As the share of students attending independent schools across Canada increases, the regulatory context of these non-government schools becomes increasingly relevant. Innovation, performance, and efficiency in this education sector can be enhanced by appropriate regulation and funding—or hindered by onerous or inappropriate regulation and funding—and thus other countries with long histories in independent schooling have lessons for Canada. Sweden’s experience is the focus of this paper…

Why should for-profit providers of education services be excluded from the schools market? A review of theory and evidence Opponents of the idea that schools could be owned and operated by businesses for profit often claim that such can only come at the expense of quality. Until relatively recently, there’s been little rigourous evidence to help settle this question, but now that there is, it’s clear that there’s no basis for this claim, and therefore for excluding commercial operators. Here I provide a brief review of the evidence on this question as it has emerged in recent years, concluding with some thoughts on what systems might have to gain from liberalising their market entry requirements in this regard…

Education for all: the private sector can contribute  Education is a human right, which states have the responsibility to ensure. But they need not be the sole provider. Private involvement can increase financial resources committed to education and supplement state capacity to absorb growing demand while assuring standards. While there are various ways in which the private sector can be involved, a strong regulatory framework is vital to ensure high quality and equity, at the same time encouraging investment and competition…

Grow, invest, insure: a game plan to end extreme poverty by 2030  As global extreme poverty has fallen — by one measure, from close to 2 billion people in 1990 to about 700 million today – the world has learned about antipoverty strategies that work. These experiences should inform the final push to end extreme poverty. In the 1960s and 1970s, when close to half of the world was living in extreme poverty, the approach that worked best consisted of two sets of complementary measures: encouraging broad-based growth that is labor using, and investing in education, health, and family planning. When extreme poverty rates came down—first in East Asia and then in other parts of the developing world—it became clear that the two-point strategy to make economies grow and enable people to invest in human capital needed a social assistance supplement to help people with disadvantages so severe that they could not benefit from economic opportunities and better social services. This two-and-a-half-point strategy has been working well over the past quarter century, and the end of extreme poverty is in sight. But more people are now at risk of slipping back into poverty because of economic, natural, and health-related hazards. To end extreme poverty by 2030, the approach now needs three complementary components: economic growth, investments in people, and measures to insure against setbacks to families, nations, and regions due to disabilities, recessions, disasters, and disease. In countries that have reduced poverty a lot and those that could do a lot better, a winning game plan for putting a quick end to extreme poverty should be based on a three-point strategy: grow, invest, and insure…

Sir Michael Barber to leave Pearson  Pearson today announces that Chief Education Advisor Sir Michael Barber has decided to leave the company in late 2017. Sir Michael plans to continue working with governments around the world to improve outcomes for citizens…

I’m leaving and I want you to join me  After 31 years at the FT I’m becoming a teacher and have set up Now Teach.  A year from now, I will not be at my desk at the Financial Times writing mocking columns about the madness of corporate life. I will be standing in front of a classroom of teenagers in an inner London school teaching them the basic rules of trigonometry…

Datasets: International Large-Scale Assessments  This dataset includes system-level data for 34 International Large-Scale Assessments (ILSAs) for 243 sub-national and national school systems, from 1963 to 2012…

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