Transforming Education (News and Research 271)

World Bank Supports Croatia in Transforming Its Primary Education and Offering Better Learning Opportunities | The World Bank Board of Directors approved a loan to the Republic of Croatia in the amount of EUR25 million ($28.9 million equivalent) for a project to improve the learning environment in selected primary schools. The Croatia: Towards Sustainable, Equitable and Efficient Education Project (SEE Education) will support the Ministry of Science and Education’s (MSE) introduction of the Whole Day School (WDS) system in selected schools, which is designed to improve student learning outcomes, particularly among disadvantaged students, through increased instructional hours and improved teacher training and school infrastructure. Since school days will be better aligned with common working hours, young mothers and fathers, of children attending WDS will find it easier to participate in the labor market and thereby increase their earnings. The project will also strengthen the capacity of MSE to scale up the WDS system at the national level and to implement other needed sector reforms. Croatia has committed to a set of sweeping reforms, outlined in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) 2021-2026, to modernize and improve the education system and respond to the learning challenges which have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the two large earthquakes that struck Croatia in 2020. The project will also support the design of new infrastructure standards for Croatian schools, incorporating seismic resilience into building upgrades, and encompassing best practice OECD-EU climate, environment, and energy-efficiency standards, contributing to the European Green Deal agenda.

More than half of teachers in Bulgaria leave after the first year: World Bank | Only 10% of the newly appointed teachers stay within the system of education, more than half leave after the first year, indicates a World Bank report for the 2014-2018 period. The second year is the most critical with 60% of the teachers leaving after it, and 56% – after the third year.

America’s falling standards in reading and maths predate the pandemic | The test results of the lowest-performing children are falling the furthest | “We can’t be competitive in the 21st century if we continue to slide the way we have,” President Joe Biden warned in October. Mr Biden worries in particular that educational attainment in America is sliding. Recently published scores, from tests taken just before the covid-19 pandemic, show how far.

Turkey sees a learning loss in all grades of primary education, says minister | Turkey’s Minister of National Education Mahmut Özer met with education editors and talked about the targets to be achieved in equality of opportunity in education in 2022. He said that the rate of access to preschool education will be increased and the difference in opportunities between schools will be minimized. Teachers will also be obliged to have a three-month mandatory professional and personal training. Referring to COVID-19, Minister Mahmut Özer said, “During the outbreak, there were losses of learning in all grades in the course of distance learning. There were losses in all grades of primary education.”

Will the Covid-19 Pandemic Leave a Lasting Legacy in Children’s Skill Development? | There is clear evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic seriously impeded the cognitive and socio-emotional development of many children. If remediation fails, these skill losses are likely to reduce skill development, lifetime income, and economic growth and increase educational and economic inequality in the long run

What are the current priorities for preschool education in Russia and in the world? | Tigran Shmis on DO.ONLINE. On Facebook or YouTube (starting 6:00 minute).

The Impact of COVID-19-Related Budget Reallocations | Using Albania as an example, the analysis seeks to quantify the impact of budget reallocations by examining how the Government utilized them for financing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis covers national government and subnational transfers in 2020. Part of the reallocation was actualized by reducing spending on education. The report has a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the reallocation as it will affect future earnings.

What happens when schools shut down? Investigating inequality in students’ reading behavior during Covid-19 in Denmark | Students’ online reading behavior increased significantly as a consequence of the lockdown of schools; there is a socioeconomic gradient in students’ reading behavior both before and during the lockdown; and inequality in reading behavior during Covid-19 increased exclusively during the first lockdown period in which schools were closed and students where taught online. There was only a short-term increase in inequality on children’s actual reading activity during Covid-19.

Uzbekistan: Ministry of Public Education Considered Opportunities to Expand Cooperation with the World Bank | During the meeting, First Deputy Minister Usmon Sharifkhodjaev and Fadia Saadah, the World Bank’s Human Development Director for Europe and Central Asia, discussed the current projects which are being implemented in Uzbekistan with the financial support of the Bank. The parties also discussed the Bank’s assistance in developing human capital, including through support in reforming the education and social sectors. They considered opportunities for expanding the bilateral cooperation in the relevant areas.

Dinaric Perspectives on TIMSS 2019 | Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science in South-Eastern Europe | This open access book makes use of the wealth of information provided by TIMSS. Analyzes grade four school students’ performance in science and mathematics across the Dinaric countries. Offers multidimensional and culturally sensitive perspectives TIMSS 2019 results. Provides insight into underrepresented countries in comparative research in education.

Preparation, Practice, and Beliefs: A Machine Learning Approach to Understanding Teacher Effectiveness | This paper uses machine learning methods to identify key predictors of teacher effectiveness, proxied by student learning gains linked to a teacher over an academic year. Teacher covariates are stronger predictors of teacher effectiveness in math than in Kiswahili. Teacher beliefs that they can help disadvantaged and struggling students learn (for math) and they have good relationships within schools (for Kiswahili), teacher practice of providing written feedback and reviewing key concepts at the end of class (for math) and spending extra time with struggling students (for Kiswahili) are highly predictive of teacher effectiveness.

Do More School Resources Increase Learning Outcomes? Evidence from an Extended School-day Reform | Whether allocating more resources improves learning outcomes for students in low performing public schools remains an open debate. We focus on the effect of increasing instructional time, which is theoretically ambiguous due to possible compensating changes in effort by students, teachers, or parents. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that a reform extending the school day increases math test scores. It also improved reading, technical skills and socio-emotional competencies. Our results are partly explained by reductions in home production by students, specialization by teachers and investments in pedagogical assistance to teachers, in addition to the extended instructional time.

(EC)^2 Conference 2021: Econometrics of Climate, Energy, and Resources | Aarhus, 10-11 December 2021 online | Saturday December 11 13.00-13.50 GMT+1 Session: Fuel Mix and Energy Prices; Macroeconomics of Emissions | Education Quality, Green Technology and the Economic Impact of Carbon Pricing | YouTube