The Millennium Development Goal of universal primary-school completion has been successful. By 2011, 90 percent of countries had already met the goal; only 19 of 212 countries are unlikely to meet it by 2015. That is good news for international campaigns and government efforts to get more kids in school. But meeting enrollment targets does not necessary improve education.
CGD Policy Blogs
This is a joint post with Christian Meyer.
Over the last decade, Latin America has seen solid economic growth combined with decreasing (but still very high) income inequality – lifting millions of people out of poverty and fueling the rise of a not-poor-but-not-rich “middle” class.
Colleagues and friends of CGD:
This week I started leave from CGD for three-plus months, to teach at Williams College. For those of you from the US west coast and outside the United States, Williams is among America’s most selective (and expensive!) small liberal arts colleges. It’s nestled in a tiny town in the Berkshire mountains in western Massachusetts.
It’s that time of year when again when university students and their professors return to classrooms around the world, and CGD has a wealth of materials to help educators and students interested in development make the most of their studies.
My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is Justin Sandefur, a research fellow at CGD whose recent work has focused on education in Kenya. One study examines the returns of private schooling, while another looks at the effects of contract teachers on student test scores. The results of these studies highlight shortcomings in public education, including failures of accountability and a dense bureaucracy.
The gap between schooling and learning is under the spotlight of late –and a new book by CGD’s own Lant Pritchett (draft chapters available here) is sure to increase the wattage. The story that Lant has to tell is not the happiest –widespread evidence from across the developing world that many kids who sit in classrooms for years often learn almost nothing for their time.