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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.”
World leaders and policymakers are in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to discuss key global issues, including global education. Here, we round up the big announcements at UNGA related to education.
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.
Which African country is making the most progress in teaching kids to read by the time they reach third grade? Which language-of-instruction policies are most effective in early literacy teaching? Which country is getting the most children to complete primary school equipped with basic literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking skills? The answers? We don’t know because there is no way to know. Comparable data on learning outcomes over the past 10 years in sub-Saharan Africa simply does not exist.
The global education community has been calling on poor countries to increase their spending on education for years now, to little avail. Instead of repeatedly making the case for how important education is, or calling for poliltical will, a smarter approach could be to directly address the political economy of education spending.
Better school choice won’t create better schools by itself, but it can save time for everyone involved and make a system fairer that is critical for the life chances of millions. That’s a choice worth making.