Language Complexity in the Philippines [CIES Presentation]

Presentation delivered at CIES.This study attempts to determine whether or not the complexity of the L1 should be a factor in interpreting reading achievement in multilingual contexts, as well as in planning early grade reading teaching and learning materials and curricula in settings with complex languages.

Reading achievement in the Philippines: The role of language complexity

This study looks at the impact of first language (L1, or “mother tongue”) complexity on reading achievement in the Philippines using Grade 3 Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) data collected in 2013 and 2019. EGRA data were collected from 232 schools in 2013, when students learned to read in the national languages of Filipino and English. These data on English and Filipino performance were collected again in the same schools in 2019, when students would have, according to policy, learned to read first in their mother tongue.

Measuring Early Reading Achievement in the Philippines: How Data Can Support Policy-Making? (2019 National EGRA results)

This presentation describes results from the 2019 National EGRA study, comparing it to the same study that was done in 2013. It was presented at the International Mother Languages Conference and Festival, organized in the Philippines in 2021.

2019 Regional Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA): Bahasa Sug, Chavacano, Magindanawn, and Mëranaw

This study measured students’ reading ability and gathered basic demographic information from children and teachers. Some standard context information was also gathered from children about their exposure to reading in the home. Thus, the data allow us to describe one outcome of the current schools sampled—children’s reading ability—but they do not provide any empirical measurement of the inputs that contribute to this outcome. To explain the current state of reading performance as measured by this study, we must rely on other contextual data from our concurrent Language Usage Study and general knowledge of mother-tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) implementation, as documented by policy and other studies carried out by other researchers. In the absence of direct measurement of “implementation fidelity” to a particular reading instruction program or materials, we must also rely on global evidence of how reading skills develop in alphabetic languages. To put it simply, children can learn to read, but only if they are taught to read. Teachers can only teach reading if they have been prepared to do so through training and are equipped with appropriate materials. Teachers and students must be present and making productive use of class time. The purpose of using EGRA as a system diagnostic is primarily to establish a baseline against which future progress can be measured and to identify priority areas for instructional improvement and teacher training. Cite this report: Betts, K., Punjabi, M., Pouezevara, S. & Cummiskey, C. (2019). 2019 Regional Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA): Bahasa Sug, Chavacano, Magindanawn, and Mëranaw. Prepared for USAID under the All Children Reading-Philippines Project, AID-OAA-TO- 16-00017. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI.

Evaluación de Lectura Inicial en El Salvador: Infome Final

La Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID) decidió financiar este estudio para proporcionar información actual al Ministerio de Educación (MINED) y al Gobierno El Salvador sobre el desempeño en lectura de los estudiantes de segundo y tercer grado a nivel nacional y, específicamente, en las escuelas ubicadas en los municipios del Plan El Salvador Seguro (PESS). PESS es un plan nacional para ayudar a 50 municipios cuyos índices de violencia y delincuencia son altos. La vinculación entre educación (tanto matricula como aprendizaje) y la violencia es una de las razones clave por la cual tanto el MINED como USAID quieren obtener más información sobre el estado de las habilidades lectoras en los grados iniciales. El MINED destacó su compromiso en mejorar la lectura cuando se inauguró el año escolar 2018 con una promesa de terminar con el analfabetismo. Para entender el desempeño en lectura de los grados iniciales, USAID solicitó a RTI que efectuara el presente estudio utilizando la Evaluación de Lectura Inicial (EGRA, por sus siglas en ingles), un instrumento adaptado y validado en más que 70 países. EGRA mide las habilidades básicas para poder leer con fluidez y con comprensión, que es el objetivo final de la lectura.

Repetition of Primary 1 and Pre-primary Education in Uganda

This paper describes a 2016 pilot study undertaken in Uganda to document the real repetition rate in Primary 1 classes and to examine the relationship between repetition in Primary 1 and attendance in pre-primary education. The study explored knowledge and practice about the age of entry for children into pre-primary education and Primary 1. It also documented parents’ knowledge and expectations about participation in pre-primary education. The study was conducted in two purposefully selected districts in Uganda (a “high-risk” district—with higher rates of poverty and reported repetition—and a “low-risk” district—with lower rates of poverty and reported repetition) by RTI International, with support from the Development Research and Social Policy Analysis Center, a Ugandan data collection firm. In addition to answering research questions about early primary repetition and pre-primary attendance, the pilot aimed to test a methodology of triangulating information from the Education Management Information System, school records, and parents’ reports. The study confirmed that it is possible to compare data from teacher and classroom records with data from parent and teacher interviews; parents or caregivers were invited to come to school for an interview, and a large percentage did. The study also showed that according to teachers and parents, repetition rates in Primary 1 are much higher than perceived by the system. Repetition rates in Primary 1, as perceived by parents and teachers, are quite high—roughly 30% to 40%, depending on source and location. In addition, parents reported that early entry into Primary 1 (and the possible resulting repetition) is being used as a substitute for pre-primary education due to the lack of preprimary schooling options. Some parents send their children to school at an early age because they cannot afford pre-primary schooling, even though they realize the child might have to repeat the year or will learn less the first time through Primary 1. For children who attended pre-primary, the data demonstrate a strong “protective” effect on their chances of repeating Primary 1 (i.e., the children who attended pre-primary were less likely to repeat in Primary 1). Gender was not found to affect these issues to any significant degree.

Complex Data Analysis: Improve your data analytic abilities using Stata and Early Grade Reading and Mathematics Assessment Data

Workshop delivered at CIES 2017 (Atlanta). The workshop will begin with introducing participants to accessible online educational survey data from EGRA and EGMA. Participants will be introduced to two different early grade reading surveys and the data sets associated with them. They will be given the opportunity to review the original research questions, sample methodology, and instruments in order to understand the context of the survey. Participants will then explore the data to better acquaint themselves with the data’s: structure, content, abilities, and limitations.

Equity Identification at Baseline

Presentation delivered at CIES 2017 (Atlanta). A systematic way to use baseline evaluation studies to help define and identify disadvantaged schools in an intervention program.

Examination of Over-Enrollment, Repetition, and ECD Access in Uganda [Presentation]

[Presentation delivered at CIES 2017]. Education system data has indicated a pattern of over-enrollment in the early grades in some low-income countries. One factor that may influence the observed enrollment bulge is access to pre-primary education programs, as children who do not enter school prepared could be more likely to repeat leading to more children enrolled than are of enrollment-age. This presentation reports on a research study undertaken in Uganda to better understand pupil enrollment and repetition in Primary 1 as it relates to pre-primary access. Data was collected from schools in a district with high reported repetition, lack of or low preprimary access, and high apparent dropout between grade 1 and 2, and a district with low reported repetition, high preprimary access, and low apparent grade 1 dropout. School records were reviewed to collect ages of enrolled pupils and repeater status, in order to calculate age patterns and repetition rates in Primary 1 for each district. In addition, parents of randomly sampled pupils were interviewed about their child’s preprimary attendance, repetition of primary one or other grades, and access to preprimary education programs. Teachers of the sampled pupils were also interviewed regarding pupil age and repetition history. Overall, data was collected on 1,909 pupils in 80 schools, and 1,792 parents were interviewed. The presentation will focus on the following research questions: 1) What are the estimated repetition rates as reported by parents and schools in Primary 1 in schools in the sampled low- and high-risk districts in Uganda; 2) What are the ages of the pupils attending Primary 1 in our sample of Uganda schools and how does this relate to repetition; 3) How do the reported repetition rates relate to parent report of ECD attendance and access; and 4) What is the discrepancy between school-reported and parent-reported repetition rates. Data collection methods, measurement of repetition and ECD attendance and access, and policy conclusions will also be discussed.

Report on the Pilot Application of Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) in Ghana to Assess Literacy and Teaching in Primary Grade 3

This report summarizes main findings and lessons learned from the piloting of lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) in the education sector in Ghana. It also suggests next steps for applying LQAS more broadly for education program monitoring.