Is ‘summer’ reading loss universal? Using ongoing literacy assessment in Malawi to estimate the loss from grade-transition breaks

Published abstract: "Summer learning loss – decreased academic performance following an extended school break, typically during the period after one grade ends and before another grade starts – is a well-documented phenomenon in North America, but poorly described in sub-Saharan African contexts. In this article, we use the term ‘grade-transition break’ loss in lieu of ‘summer’ loss to refer to the period after one grade ends and before another grade starts. This study analyses data from early grade reading assessments in Malawi, estimating statistically significant average reductions of 0.38 standard deviations (SD) across several measures of reading and pre-reading skills during two grade-transition breaks. The data show the loss in reading skills during the extended breaks between grades 1 and 2 and between grades 2 and 3 in two consecutive years. The study found no gender-based differences in loss. The findings suggest a need for early grade reading interventions to develop and evaluate mitigation strategies lest significant proportions of within-year performance gains be lost over the break between academic years."

Measures of quality through classroom observation for the Sustainable Development Goals: Lessons from low-and-middle-income countries

Background paper prepared for the 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report Education for people and planet: Creating sustainable futures for all With the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global education agencies are grappling with how quality can and should be measured for global reporting purposes. Several factors at the education system, school, and classroom levels shape education quality, including the limited information available at the global level about what is happening in the classroom. Such information can only come through observation-based measures that record teacher practices, either through routine monitoring conducted by system actors or through surveys. Classroom observation is used extensively in not only teacher education and professional development, but also in evaluation studies. However, there are fewer cases where classroom observations are used for system monitoring purposes—particularly in low- and middle- income countries. This paper reviews what has been learned from observation instruments in low- and middle-income countries and what opportunities (i.e., scope) there are to systematize these countries to that they can monitor quality at both the school and system levels.

Independent Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Institut pour l’Education Populaire’s “Read-Learn-Lead” (RLL) Program in Mali

The Institute for People’s Education (Institut pour l’Éducation Populaire, or IEP) designed the Read-Learn-Lead (RLL) program to demonstrate that the new official curriculum, if properly implemented and supported, can be a viable and effective approach to primary education, using mother tongue and a very specific pedagogical delivery approach. The RLL program sought also to demonstrate how the new Curriculum can be effectively implemented and supported, and what resources are needed to do so. RLL offers students and teachers carefully structured and systematic lessons, activities, and accompanying materials for instruction and practice on critical early reading skills in mother-tongue medium during the first years of elementary school. It is organized around three programmatic “results sets,” the first of which focuses on Grades 1 and 2 and is the subject of the present evaluation. This independent evaluation study, funded through a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and carried out by RTI, explored the effectiveness of the RLL program’s Results Set 1 as applied over three school years (2009-2010 to 2011-2012) in the Bamanankan language and in other Malian national languages (Bomu and Fulfulde in all three years, and Songhai in 2009 and 2010).

CIES 2017 Presentation: Measurement of early reading under the SDGs

Measurement of learning is central to the Sustainable Development Goals for education, both in early primary (grade 2/3) and in early childhood (under the age of 5) (IAEG 2016). Of particular concern is the ability of global measurement approaches to reflect the social and linguistic differences of a diverse range of societies, including traditionally marginalized groups. This presentation relies on literacy assessment data to answer the following question: can results from non-equated national assessments be used to report against global goals?

Improving procedural and conceptual mathematics outcomes: evidence from a randomised controlled trial in Kenya

Article published in the Journal of Development Effectiveness, Volume 8, 2016 - Issue 3. Published Abstract: To improve learning outcomes, an intervention in Kenya called the Primary Math and Reading (PRIMR) Initiative provided pupil learning materials, teachers’ guides and modest teacher professional development in mathematics. This paper presents the causal impact of PRIMR’s mathematics intervention on pupil achievement indices for procedural and conceptual numeracy, using a differences-in-differences analytic strategy. The mathematics intervention produced modest, statistically significant results: generally similar results for males and females, a larger impact in grade 2 than grade 1, a larger impact in nongovernment schools than public schools, and smaller outcomes in mathematics than for English or Kiswahili. These findings have relevant policy implications in Kenya given an impending national mathematics programme.

Liberia Teacher Training Program Endline Assessment of the Impact of Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Interventions

This report addresses the main research question: In Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 schools, were the pupils who participated in the United States Agency for International Development’s Liberia Teacher Training Program (LTTP) Phase II (LTTP II) reading and mathematics interventions now achieving better results?

MobiLiteracy-Uganda Program: Phase 1: Endline Report

In 2012, Urban Planet Media and Entertainment Corporation/Urban Planet (UP) was awarded a grant through All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development. The grant awarded to UP was used to develop, pilot test, and evaluate an early literacy product in Uganda that targets parents through their mobile phones and encourages them to engage their early primary- school aged children in literacy skills-building activities outside of school hours. The product delivered to caregivers multimedia (text plus audio, or SMS+audio) content in Luganda on a daily basis over period of 91 days. During this period, all of the letters of the Luganda alphabet were introduced as well as 10 key vocabulary words all related to a short story. The product was evaluated by RTI International using RCT methodology. This is the Endline report describing the findings using a product evaluation framework.

MobiLiteracy-Uganda Program: Phase 1: Baseline Report

In 2012, Urban Planet Media and Entertainment Corporation/Urban Planet (UP) was awarded a grant through All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development. The grant awarded to UP was used to develop, pilot test, and evaluate an early literacy product in Uganda that targets parents through their mobile phones and encourages them to engage their early primary- school aged children in literacy skills-building activities outside of school hours. The product, which is delivered in the Luganda language, delivers multimedia (text plus audio, or SMS+audio) content on a daily basis over period of 91 days, during which all of the letters of the Luganda alphabet are introduced as well as 10 key vocabulary words all related to a short story. The product was evaluated by RTI International using RCT methodology. This is the baseline report describing the methodology and participant characteristics after pre-testing.