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Figure 2. Share of teachers with a higher degree by school type.

Unnatural Selection: The (Under) Performance of Elite Public Secondary Schools

Politicians often claim elite schools are vehicles for social mobility. We look at the evidence on effects on the kids who attend elite schools—and on the kids who don’t—to explore whether they live up to their hype. We suggest they produce at best a small bump in learning outcomes, but at a high cost (including to the children who don’t get in) and without doing a particularly good job of targeting the poor. We then consider what this means for policymakers in developing countries planning to rapidly scale up provision of secondary education.

Scatter plot showing expected years of school vs. harmonized test scores.

Does Education Need a QALY and Is LAYS It?

The ‘Learning Adjusted Year of Schooling’ (LAYS) concept, introduced last year by the World Bank, seeks to combine access and learning outcomes into a single measure, allowing funders to compare directly across different kinds of interventions. We like the idea and applaud innovation in measurement, but think LAYS still has some way to go before it’s really ready to be used as a robust measure by funders.

A word cloud of the most commonly used words in the titles of Esther Duflu's research papers and other publications.

A Quick Guide to 100+ Publications by Economics Nobel Winner Esther Duflo

Two weeks ago, Esther Duflo won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences<, together with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” In the blog post below, you’ll find a quick introduction to more than a hundred of her research publications, including research articles, policy articles summarizing research, book chapters, book reviews, comments on others’ research, and books.

Line chart comparing TCF and other private schools in India on exam scores

Unchained Melody: The Role of Private School Chains in Developing Countries

A recent report by the Center for Universal Education at Brookings suggests that private school chains may prove to be valuable supplements to public education. But donors looking for scale should think twice before placing all bets on private school chains. The vast majority of private schools are not part of a chain. They’re run by individual proprietors, otherwise known as “mom n’ pop shops.”

Bilateral donors have very different priorities for their education spending.

The State of Global Education Finance in Six Charts

There are just eleven years to go to achieve the many targets under SDG4 and recent reports suggest things are woefully off-track. The UN General Assembly—taking place in New York this week—will be the platform for the announcement of various new initiatives and big funding pledges hoping to fast-track progress toward that goal. With the spotlight on the global education aid architecture, we analysed the latest aid data from the OECD and UNESCO Institute for Statistics to see what it tells us about how much aid is going to education, where it is allocated, by who, and through what channels.

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