Tested methods to strengthen the link between schooling and learning include school choice, conditional cash transfers to students on the basis of attendance and scores, decentralization combined with published information on learning outcomes, and teacher pay based on attendance and performance. Nonetheless, learning outcomes (and especially development impact) are primarily affected by the broader social and economic environment in which students live. This suggests a need for realism regarding what can be accomplished by education ministries and a focus on that broader environment—for example health and media interventions that might have considerable returns in learning.
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