News and Research 24

 

The Stagnant Wage Premium  The wage gap between college degree holders and workers without a degree has not grown in recent years, and a new study says the culprit is information technology’s displacement of “routine” jobs…

Investing in the Future: Higher Education and the Rate of Return  High economic returns to higher education signal that university is a good investment – especially for the student and his or her family… Added to that are its social benefits – one can argue that higher education has social returns as well. Financing higher education, however, requires a sustainable financial model, which in most countries entails smart cost recovery (via, for example, income-contingent student finance) and targeted support – which means guidance and information, not just money – for those particularly disadvantaged…

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Religion and Education Around the World  Large gaps in education levels persist, but all faiths are making gains – particularly among women…

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Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy  As AI changes the nature of work and the skills demanded by the labor market, American workers will need to be prepared with the education and training that can help them continue to succeed…

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Global Perspectives: Streaming in Singapore: It’s Not Tracking, And It Actually Promotes Equity  …In Singapore, streaming – the practice of differentiating education for students based on their results on assessments at several key gateways – is thought of not as a way to segregate the most challenged students and make teaching classes more manageable. Instead, it reflects the philosophy that students who falter should neither be automatically promoted to do work they are unprepared for, nor should they be repeatedly held back and then labeled a failure until they drop out. Instead, all students should have access to an education that is tailored to their needs and interests and that they find rewarding and fulfilling. In fact, this approach sounds much like the calls for more personalized learning in the United States. In Singapore, this strategy is part and parcel of a commitment to ensuring that all students finish a challenging curriculum and are prepared to contribute to society and the world of work…

Pakistan – Does sharing test scores with parents improve student learning?  Education is a driver of development around the world. But as many countries have found, getting children into school is only the first step in an education. Not all schools provide the same level of teaching, and children in especially poor countries may finish primary school without basic reading and math skills. With the renewed focus by development groups and governments on what children learn when they’re in school, it’s important to understand some of the factors that might motivate schools to do better and motivate parents to successfully demand better. The World Bank, as part of its commitment to quality education for all, works with policymakers to develop innovative ways to improve school quality. This requires gathering evidence on what works and why. The evaluation found that giving parents information led to improved test scores, lower fees in the private schools in the village and higher primary school enrollment. The results indicate that when parents know how well their children are doing in school—and know how well other children are doing in different schools—it can spur better learning. Impact evaluation evidence increasingly is showing that people are motivated to demand more and better services when they have information that allows them to correctly judge the situation. These results show that approaches that improve performance in the private sector can simultaneously strengthen the public sector, which may have implications beyond education. The importance of meetings, given that the majority of parents were illiterate, can’t be ignored as a route for raising parental involvement and helping them understand what is going on in the schools…

Community monitoring interventions to curb corruption and increase access and quality of service delivery in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review  This Campbell systematic review assesses the effectiveness of community monitoring interventions in reducing corruption. The review summarises findings from 15 studies, of which seven are from Asia, six from Africa and two from Latin America…

The Failure Of Public Schooling In One Chart:

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Challenges in establishing kindergarten education system in villages of Guizhou, China  The Miao ethnic group is among the 56 minority groups in China. Their ideas of education for young children differ from that of the mainstream education system in China. This study examines the scenario of early childhood education for Miao children living in villages of Guizhou Province. It discusses the history and traditions of the Miaos and the kinds and forms of education provided, but not necessarily desired, for their children between 3 and 5 years old. School principals and teachers responded to such issues, and visual data collected during a field trip to two different villages were used to triangulate the responses. Findings show that even though there has been a strong belief that links poverty to the opportunity of schooling, empirical evidence from this study cannot yet confirm this argument. Parents’ views of schooling were considered as influential factors. Nonetheless, challenges of early childhood education in rural areas, especially in underprivileged villages, of China are still inseparable from availability of resources and the government’s initiatives…

Inequality in Educational Opportunities and Outcomes: Evidence From Young Lives Data in Vietnam  …While the majority of the children attended preschool before entering Grade 1, about half of the children spent less than two years in the preschool programme; this might contribute to the disadvantage of ethnic minority children, as these children need enough time to learn Vietnamese, which is the only medium of instruction, but not their mother tongue…

Recent Flattening in the Higher Education Wage Premium: Polarization, Skill Downgrading, or Both?  Wage gaps between workers with a college or graduate degree and those with only a high school degree rose rapidly in the United States during the 1980s. Since then, the rate of growth in these wage gaps has progressively slowed, and though the gaps remain large, they were essentially unchanged between 2010 and 2015. I assess this flattening over time in higher education wage premiums with reference to two related explanations for changing U.S. employment patterns: (i) a shift away from middle-skilled occupations driven largely by technological change (“polarization”); and (ii) a general weakening in the demand for advanced cognitive skills (“skill downgrading”). Analyses of wage and employment data from the U.S. Current Population Survey suggest that both factors have contributed to the flattening of higher education wage premiums…

From data to learning: the role of social accountability in education systems  The call for more and better data is a popular refrain in development circles. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, for example, call for nothing short of a data revolution and innovations like results-based financing and adaptive management demand an ever increasing body of data to work from. But as we proceed down the path of data growth and reform, there are important questions that must be asked…

 

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