News and Research 21

 

TIMSS 2015: Which Countries Improved Most?  This week, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) released the sixth installment of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), an analysis of secondary school students in math and science. More than 600,000 students from 60 countries and benchmarking regions participated…

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Celebrating progress – PISA’s success stories  Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong are often lauded for their top three rankings in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests. However, there are some countries sitting lower down the leaderboard that have shown great progress and improvement in recent years but rarely grab the headlines… Since the first round of tests in 2000, no country has improved more than Peru (76 points in mathematics, 57 in reading and 40 in science), although it starts from a low base sitting 65th out of 65 countries in 2012. Poland has also seen impressive improvements: 48 points in maths (from 470 to 518), 39 points in reading (479 to 518) and 43 points in science (483 to 526) – ranking 14th, 10th and 9th in these three areas, respectively, in the last round of results… When Vietnam first participated in PISA in 2012, it scored higher than the OECD average and outperformed many developed countries…

The 2015 PISA results will be published December 6

China battles foreign influence in education  China has long oscillated between the urge to equip its elite with foreign knowledge and skills, and an opposing instinct to turn inward and rebuff such influences. In the 1870s the Qing imperial court ended centuries of educational isolation by sending young men to America, only for the Communist regime to shut out the world again a few decades later. Today record numbers of Chinese study abroad: over half a million people left in 2015 alone, many for America (see chart). The Communist Party officially endorses international exchanges in education while at the same time preaching the dangers of Western ideas on Chinese campuses. A new front in this battlefield is emerging, as the government cracks down on international schools catering to Chinese citizens…

Effect of School Based Management on Teacher Job-Satisfaction and Job-Performance  Introduction of Weber’s organizational structure into Indonesian Educational system since the Dutch colonial resulted in a difficult time. The use of Weber‘s organizational structure had made it difficult for teachers to make decisions concerning with schools facilities, curriculum, and student recruitment. The school principals usually had to wait for sometimes from their superintendents to make decisions concerning with school facilities, curriculum and student recruitments. Introduction of School based management into Indonesian Educational system since 2003 has made a great impact on teacher job satisfaction and job-performance. Recent studies showed that 57.30% of school based management directly contributed to job satisfaction and indirectly 11.10% contributed to job satisfaction through work motivation. Further investigation reported that total effect of school based management toward job satisfaction and job-performance were 48.4% and 30.8% respectively. It was concluded that school based management contributed a great impact on teacher job-satisfaction and job performance…

Coping with Change: International Differences in the Returns to Skills  Expanded international data from the PIAAC survey of adult skills allow us to analyze potential sources of the cross-country variation of comparably estimated labor-market returns to skills in a more diverse set of 32 countries. Returns to skills are systematically larger in countries that have grown faster in the recent past, consistent with models where skills are particularly important for adaptation to dynamic economic change…

The blob is wrong: Competition between schools raises standards the world over  The A-Level results released last week confirm the dominance of schools in London and the South East. Provisional league tables have only appeared so far for state schools, but these two regions have two-thirds of the top 100. South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, and Wales did not have a single school between them in the top 100…

“Teaching to Teach” Literacy  Significant numbers of people have very low levels of literacy in many OECD countries and, because of this, face significant labour market penalties. Despite this, it remains unclear what teaching strategies are most useful for actually rectifying literacy deficiencies. The subject remains hugely controversial amongst educationalists and has seldom been studied by economists. Research evidence from part of Scotland prompted a national change in the policy guidance given to schools in England in the mid-2000s about how children are taught to read. We conceptualise this as a shock to the education production function that affects the technology of teaching. In particular, there was phasing in of intensive support to some schools across Local Authorities: teachers were trained to use a new phonics approach. We use this staggered introduction of intensive support to estimate the effect of the new ‘teaching technology’ on children’s educational attainment. We find there to be effects of the teaching technology (‘synthetic phonics’) at age 5 and 7. However, by the age of 11, other children have caught up and there are no average effects. There are long-term effects only for those children with a higher initial propensity to struggle with reading…

Laws, Educational Outcomes, and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from the Full Count 1940 Census  This paper uses a new dataset on state compulsory attendance, continuation school, and child labor laws with the 1940 full count Census of Population to estimate the returns to schooling for native-born white men in the 1885-1912 birth cohorts. IV estimates of returns to schooling range from 0.064 to 0.079. Quantile IV estimates show that the returns to schooling were largest for the lowest quantiles, and were generally monotonically decreasing for higher quantiles. These findings suggest that early schooling laws may have contributed to the Great Compression by increasing education levels for white men at the bottom of the distribution…

Public-private partnerships in early childhood development: The role of publicly funded private provision  Collaboration between the public and private sector in development is growing and public-private partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly being utilized as a way to address challenges and gaps in traditional education and health delivery, with the potential to accelerate progress toward the global aims of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the aim of improving access to and the quality of services, PPPs have the potential to effectively target poor and marginalized populations. However, the structure, mechanisms, and form of the people and organizations—otherwise called actors—that engage in PPPs can vary widely, resulting in a diverse array of definitions, conceptualization, and models. Common elements of PPPs frequently include some type of formalized partnership between public and private actors, clearly defined outcome or performance metrics, payments tied to the delivery of services, agreed-upon quality and quantity levels, defined prices, a set long-term operation period, and shared risk across partners. A range of mechanisms for harnessing private-sector expertise and capacity have been applied within the education and early childhood development sphere, including for the management and operation of schools, the provision of education to a specific population through a voucher or subsidy, the training of teachers and other staff, and the development of textbooks or curriculum…

The Returns to Digital Skills: Evidence from India, 2005-2011  This paper examines returns to digital skills (e.g., the ability to use computers) by analyzing recent microdata on individual wages in India. Our findings suggest that individuals who have digital skills earn 10.9% higher wages than those without digital skills. We also find evidence for complementarity between education and digital skills at the individual level. Returns to digital skills also vary by occupation and location of computer use (whether at the office or in the home). These findings complement prior research on returns to computer skills, and they inform policy interventions and debates about giving away computers or laptops to citizens or to students, which some consider a waste of taxpayer money or responding to populist pressures…

Time Use and the Labor Market: The Wage Returns to Sleep  We investigate the labor market effects of the single largest use of time—sleep. Motivated by a productive sleep model, we show that sleep is complementary to work in the short run and complementary to home production for non-employed individuals in both the short and long run. Using time use diaries from the United States, we demonstrate in both parametric and non-parametric frameworks that later sunset time reduces worker sleep and wages. After investigating these relationships and ruling out alternative hypotheses, we implement an instrumental variables specification that provides the first causal estimates of the impact of sleep on wages. A one-hour increase in location-average weekly sleep increases wages by 1.3% in the short run and by 5% in the long run…

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