News and Research 42: Shared principles for equitable and excellent basic education


psachLearning for all: shared principles for equitable and excellent basic education systems  More than 200 participants – including government officials, policymakers and education experts from over 20 countries gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia, for the global conference Learning for All: Shared Principles for Equitable and Excellent Basic Education SystemsThe conference addressed themes related to improving learning outcomes for all students, including how to support effective teaching and early childhood development, balancing school autonomy and accountability, and how education systems can build the skills needed for the 21st century…[more]

Indonesia needs to revive interest in reading books

Education in Cambodia – GPE

Private education plays expanding role across Africa

How a former economist in a village near Dehradun is transforming lives of the poorest of the poor

Northwestern economist receives lifetime achievement award

Daily chart: Higher education in Britain is still good value compared with America

Economy mega shifts are here to stay – Tap your talents to thrive

250 Million Children Lack Basic Reading Skills. Let’s Make It Zero.

The Comparative Politics of Education: Teachers Unions and Education Systems around the World

Going beyond basic indicators: A new tool to measure education service delivery

Teacher performance pay: Experimental evidence from Pakistan

The Business of Education in Africa

Social intelligence will revolutionize education. Here’s how:

Prof. George Psacharopoulos: Sixty Years of Returns to Education, Where Do We Stand?

How China Escaped the Poverty Trap

how china

In 1980 China’s GDP per capita was $193. Lower than that of Bangladesh, Chad and Malawi.  This means that average food consumption was below basic nutritional standards.  But 30 years later, China is the world’s second largest economy, the world’s largest exporter and GDP per capita jumped 30-fold to $6,091 – at the same time Malawi’s income grew by $50. How China Escaped the Poverty Trap by Yuen Yuen Ang documents in detail the process of economic development and shows how improving institutions and opening up of markets simultaneously led to economic growth.

News and Research 41: China to make high school compulsory


chinaChina to make high school compulsory

Move expected to raise enrollment ratio, support children in less developed areas. The country is to extend the current nine-year compulsory education to encompass high school students nationwide by 2020, according to a guideline recently released by the Ministry of Education and other three ministries. The Guideline for Popularizing High School Education (2017-20), released early this month, aims to raise the gross enrolment ratio for high schools to above 90 percent on average nationwide with rates in central and western China substantially improved. Last year, China’s overall gross enrollment ratio was 87.5 percent for high schools, meaning a rise of 2.5 percentage points in the next four years, according to the guideline. The ratio is a statistical measurement to show the number of enrolled students to those who qualify for certain grades, ranging from primary school to middle and high school periods. Over the past few decades, China required children to attend primary and middle schools, while high school was not obligatory. Meanwhile, the document said the country is set to achieve a more reasonable structure between high school and secondary occupational education while enrolling a larger number of children into both schools. In addition, these schools will enjoy more funds and better facilities to significantly improve the quality of education. High school is a special and important stage for most Chinese students, which links the nine-year compulsory education and college time they will spend before getting a job. That’s why high school has been considered a key period to improve quality of the nation’s human resources. The guideline was in line with China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), which pledges to popularize high school education by the end of this period. The new document is also to bridge regional disparity of high school education as the central and western regions lag far behind the east…

Variation in Education Costs and Future Earnings  Future earnings differ substantially across college majors, but so do instructional costs. They don’t always line up…

America’s Missing Workers Are Primarily Middle Educated

Social inclusion essential for eradicating poverty

How Dubai Cares is getting children into school

800 million students will be unemployed by 2030: Here’s why

Asians spend seven times as much as Americans on tutoring to give their kids an edge

Evidence of Private Wage Returns to Schooling in Indonesia from Labor Force Surveys

Returns to Education Using a Sample of Twins: Evidence from Japan

Escuela Nueva is 30 years old: Bringing a student-centered participatory pedagogy to scale in Colombia

Returns to Education During and After the Economic Crisis: Evidence from Latvia 2006–2012

Benefits to elite schools and the expected returns to education: Evidence from Mexico City

Flourish or Fail? The Risky Reward of Elite High School Admission in Mexico City

Impact of Universal Primary Education Policy on Out of School Children in Uganda

High School Track Choice and Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from Urban Mexico

Public-Private Partnerships in Education Presentation at Harvard Ministerial Leadership Forum, April 25, 2017

The impact of an accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback: Evidence from Mexico


The impact of an accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback: Evidence from Mexico

The impact of an accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback: Evidence from Mexico

Economics of Education Review Volume 58, June 2017, Pages 123-140

Rafael de Hoyos                   Vicente A. Garcia-Moreno                 Harry Anthony Patrinos


•    We assess a low-stakes accountability intervention in Mexico
•    The main outcomes of interest are national student assessment test scores
•     A difference-in-difference and a regression discontinuity design are used to identify effects
•     Information on results led to significant positive changes in test scores in a short period of time
Abstract: The Mexican state of Colima implemented a low-stakes accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback among schools with the lowest test scores in the national assessment. A difference-in-difference and a regression discontinuity design are used to identify the effects of the intervention on learning outcomes. The two strategies consistently show that the intervention increased test scores by 0.12 standard deviations only a few months after the program was launched. The results indicate that full and wide dissemination of information detailing school quality is critically important.

Keywords: Accountability; Information; Education


El impacto de una intervención de rendición de cuentas con la retroalimentación diagnóstica: evidencia de México

Rafael de Hoyos                Vicente A. García-Moreno               Harry Anthony Patrinos

Economics of Education Review Volume 58, June 2017, Pages 123-140

  • Evaluamos una intervención de rendición de cuentas de bajo riesgo en México.
  • Los principales resultados de interés son los resultados de las pruebas nacionales de evaluación de los estudiantes.
  • Se utiliza un diseño de diferencia en diferencia y una discontinuidad de regresión para identificar los efectos.
  • La información sobre los resultados condujo a cambios positivos significativos en los resultados de las pruebas en un corto período de tiempo.

Resumen: El estado mexicano de Colima implementó una intervención de rendición de cuentas de bajo riesgo con retroalimentación de diagnóstico entre las escuelas con los puntajes más bajos en la evaluación nacional. Se utiliza un diseño de diferencia en diferencia y de discontinuidad de regresión para identificar los efectos de la intervención sobre los resultados del aprendizaje. Las dos estrategias consistentemente muestran que la intervención aumentó los resultados de las pruebas en 0,12 desviaciones estándares sólo unos meses después del lanzamiento del programa. Los resultados indican que una difusión completa y amplia de información que detalla la calidad de la escuela es de importancia vital.

Palabras clave: Responsabilidad; Información; Educación

Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the World Bank’s Research Support Budget and the comments of participants at the World Bank’s economics of education seminar. Thanks to Óscar Hernández and staff at the Secretariat of Education of Colima, Mexico, for all the support provided during the evaluation.

News and Research 40: Netherlands & Finland at Top of World in Life Satisfaction for Students


Tonga PEARL Music Video produced for public awareness.  Titled “Read with Your Child for At Least 10 Minutes a Day” it will air on national television starting Monday. This is one of the various ways we are working with the Ministry of Education in Tonga to promote school readiness and early childhood development under the PEARL program financed by the GPE.pearl

Tonga: 10 Minutes Reading a Book with a Child Makes a Lifetime of Difference Family is central to life in Tonga. And celebrating family, and time spent together is the focus of a new World Bank-supported campaign encouraging Tongan parents and family members to dedicate 10 minutes each day to reading with their child. The campaign, Laukonga Mo e Fanau (Read with your child in Tongan) aims to tackle an issue identified in a recent World Bank-led study as one of the key barriers to children’s development and success at school: that many children have not had enough nurturing, early childhood experiences —such as reading together with their loved ones—and as a result, arrive at school unprepared to take on the challenges of a new environment. “Our study showed that a large number of children between three and five didn’t know how to hold a book,” said Siosi Tapueluelu, the World Bank’s Senior Operations Officer in Tonga. “Many couldn’t draw a recognizable figure or shape, and the majority lacked perseverance; the push to finish what they started. These skills are critical for early childhood development, and being ready for school on Day 1.”…

Advancing 21st Century Competencies In East Asian Education Systems: East Asia is undergoing rapid transformation of its primary and secondary education systems as countries reform education to respond to the fundamental changes taking place in societies and economies in the 21st century. Such reforms are not an addition of new “21st century competencies” to an established set of expectations, but rather, a comprehensive reconceptualization of education and its role in society. This report, written by Professor Kai-ming Cheng of the University of Hong Kong and a team of researchers across East Asia, studies the education reform efforts of Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan to provide students with skills for the future. Read the report ».  These five systems largely share similar cultural heritages and share similar philosophies of education, despite differences in polity and ideology. All five societies are among the more advanced economies and hence are among the first to feel the challenges of the 21st century. With no exception, all five systems have experienced significant, substantial, and comprehensive education reforms, which are ongoing. The following case studies focus on the five education systems: Advancing 21st Century Competencies in Hong Kong, by Kai-ming Cheng and Liz Jackson, University of Hong Kong; and Wing-on Lee, The Open University of Hong Kong; Advancing 21st Century Competencies in Japan, by Daisuke Kimura and Madoka Tatsuno, Global Incubation x Fostering Talents (GiFT); Advancing 21st Century Competencies in Singapore, by Jennifer Pei-Ling Tan, Elizabeth Koh, Melvin Chan, Pamela Costes-Onishi, and David Hung, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University; Advancing 21st Century Competencies in South Korea, by Hyo-Jeong Kim and Jeongmin Eom, Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) under the auspices of UNESCO; Advancing 21st Century Competencies in Taiwan, by Hsiao-Lan Sharon Chen and Hsuan-Yi Huang, National Taiwan Normal University

Netherlands and Finland at the Top of the World in Life Satisfaction for Students The OECD released the third volume of its analysis of PISA data this week, focusing on the life satisfaction of students, their relationships with teachers, use of their time outside of school, and prevalence of bullying. Students’ Well Being surveys 72 countries and jurisdictions, and finds that although in general correlations between students’ life satisfaction and achievement in school are relatively weak, top performers Netherlands and Finland are near the top of the lists in the life satisfaction of their students. Top-performing Asian systems like South Korea performed below the OECD average on these measures of well-being, highlighting the importance of reforms they have recently undertaken to de-emphasize high-stakes testing and promote more holistic curricula. The OECD recommended that policymakers consider policies to promote teacher collaboration, so that teachers can share information about students’ stress and challenges, as well as parent involvement to encourage parents to be more engaged with students’ learning and development in the home.

U.S. students satisfied with life, but some foreigners happier …American students scored close to the average of 7.3 among OECD’s 35 member countries. But students in some member countries are doing markedly better: an average Mexican high schooler rated life satisfaction at 8.2 out of 10. The Netherlands and Iceland had a level of 7.8 and Finland had 7.9. American students also reported higher levels of anxiety over tests, bullying or a feeling of not belonging at schools, compared with many of their peers…But the authors highlight the cases of Netherlands, Finland and Switzerland, where good grades and high spirits exist side by side…

Dutch Teens Rank Near Top of Global Survey on Life Satisfaction

UK in skills crisis as young workers struggle with reading and maths 

Parents make a big difference just by talking

PISA 2015 Results (Volume III): Students’ Well-Being

Do children spend too much time in schools? Evidence from a longer school year in Indonesia  …the longer school year decreases the probability of grade repetition and increases educational attainment; it also increases the probability of working in formal sectors and wages later in life…

New podcast Between 2 Geeks Getting an Education on Education with Husein Abdul Hamid

Bold funding plan can get every child in the world into school says UN envoy Gordon Brown

Governments are struggling to keep pace with the fast growth of students

Investing in parents for a more productive and inclusive Brazil

Japan’s private schools fill a niche but at a cost

News and Research 39: The impact of an accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback

The impact of an accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback

Evidence from Mexico

The Mexican state of Colima implemented a low-stakes accountability intervention with diagnostic feedback among schools with the lowest test scores in the national assessment. A difference-in-difference and a regression discontinuity design are used to identify the effects of the intervention on learning outcomes. The two strategies consistently show that the intervention increased test scores by 0.12 standard deviations only a few months after the program was launched…



Lessons from Jakarta Education must be both excellent and available to all

Education is one of the smartest investments in people that any country can make

Education is fundamental to achieving growth and reducing poverty. But to truly realize education’s promise, we must ensure that education is both of high quality (leading to children’s learning) and that a quality education is extended to all children. This is exactly what more than 200 government officials, World Bank representatives and policymakers from more than 20 countries addressed recently in Jakarta, during the “Learning for All: Shared Principles for Equitable and Excellent Basic Education Systems” global conference…


World Bank Approves $100M in Loans for Schools  The World Bank approved $100 million in loans to Cambodia to bolster secondary education by improving schools and educators’ qualifications…



Education Solutions: Vocational and Civics


A Counterintuitive Approach to Improving Math Education Focus on English Language Arts Teaching

East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, April 2017: Sustaining Resilience The outlook for developing East Asia is expected to remain broadly positive in the next three years, driven by robust domestic demand and a gradual recovery in the global economy and commodity prices. The economies of developing East Asia and Pacific are projected to expand at 6.2 percent in 2017 and 6.1 percent in 2018…



With equal $ for all schools, this country has blurred the lines between public & private

From Compliance to Learning: A System for Harnessing the Power of Data in the State of Maryland

Lessons learned from World Bank education management information system operations: portfolio review, 1998-2014

What if more students wanted to be teachers?

Colombia leads the developing world in signing the first social impact bond contracts

Designing for Scale: Reflections on Rolling Out Reading Improvement in Kenya and Liberia

Why bullying in Japanese schools is especially traumatic

How Chinese schools discriminate against 65% of the population

China’s grim rural boarding schools

China’s elite boarding schools

Hong Kong’s next leader wants to make life easier for pupils

African universities recruit too many students

News and Research 38: The Netherlands: Top-Performing School System

The Netherlands: Top-Performing School System Looking to Get Better  We got interested in the Netherlands when the first results came out for the 1995 administration of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS), the largest international comparative study of student achievement done up to that date. The Netherlands and Flemish Belgium were among the top European performers in the TIMSS league tables for mathematics.  We went to see how they did it.  The answer in both places seemed to be the same.  Despite some important differences between the two systems, what they had in common was a powerful math curriculum called Realistic Mathematics.  This curriculum, the work of Hans Freudenthal, a retired professor of mathematics at Utrecht University, was widely implemented in both countries…


Kiribati Pre-School  The Ministry of Education is pleased to announce a new initiative starting on March 15th. To gain a better understanding of early childhood development in Kiribati, a survey will be conducted to collect data about all children ages 3 to 5 years old, whether attending preschool or not attending preschool…

Are all early childhood education experiences equally cost-effective?  The wide range of opportunities for early childhood education means children can often have very different education experiences on their way to primary school. International evidence shows that investing in high-quality early childhood programs can have large economic returns, especially for children from socially disadvantaged groups. In response, developing countries are looking to increase public investments in the early years, especially in early education programs. As they do so, one of the challenges policymakers face is deciding what to fund. After all, there are a wide range of opportunities for early childhood education that already exist in local settings such as playgroups and kindergartens. As a result, different children can often have very different early childhood education experiences on their way to primary school.

World Renowned Experts Address A Global Audience  The global education and skills forum 2017 closed after two days of discussing how to build and share education solutions at scale. Influential education thinkers and leaders shared their experience and thoughts through dynamic discussions and debates addressing the conference theme: how do we make real global citizens? Throughout the conference, attendees heard from the public, private and social sectors to discuss providing quality education for every child…

An Enduring Commitment Transforming Education: Getting Public Private Partnerships Right  Transforming Education: Getting Public Private Partnerships (ePPPs) Right, a publication by The Education Partners, explores a fundamental change in our approach to education. We know that investing in education creates benefits beyond the classroom by positively impacting society and the economy. To realize these benefits, we must bring many stakeholders together through ePPPs to mobilize resources, realize efficiencies, and share in the risks and the rewards…

Malala designated as new UN peace messenger and will promote girls’ education

The Impact of an Accountability Intervention with Diagnostic Feedback: Evidence from Mexico

Social and Emotional Learning: one pioneering way rural China is bridging the education gap

Dropping Out of Rural China’s Secondary Schools: A Mixed-Methods Analysis

Vietnam: 21st Century Skills For All: UNICEF and Pearson Launch Educational Partnership for Children

Interview: “Inclusive education will improve the quality of education,” with Kazuo Kuroda, JICA-RI

Is Pre-Kindergarten an Educational Panacea? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Scaled-Up Pre-Kindergarten in the United States

The Private Schooling Phenomenon in India

External efficiency of the education system is important for FDI inflows

Medium & Long-Term Educational Consequences of Alternative Conditional Cash Transfer Designs: Evidence from Colombia

Building tax systems to foster better skills

Underinvestment in education research in the USA

What Would Happen If Learning in School Became More Like Working at a Startup?

Asian Development Outlook 2017: Transcending the Middle-Income Challenge