A Millennium Learning Goal: Measuring Real Progress in Education
AbstractThe Millennium Development Goal for primary schooling completion has focused attention on a measurable output indicator to monitor increases in schooling in poor countries. We argue the next step, which moves towards the even more important Millennium Learning Goal, is to monitor outcomes of learning achievement. We demonstrate that even in countries meeting the MDG of primary completion, the majority of youth are not reaching even minimal competency levels, let alone the competencies demanded in a globalized environment. Even though Brazil is on track to the meet the MDG, our estimates are that 78 percent of Brazilian youth lack even minimally adequate competencies in mathematics and 96 percent do not reach what we posit as a reasonable global standard of adequacy. Mexico has reached the MDG—but 50 percent of youth are not minimally competent in math and 91 percent do not reach a global standard. While nearly all countries’ education systems are expanding quantitatively nearly all are failing in their fundamental purpose. Policymakers, educators and citizens need to focus on the real target of schooling: adequately equipping their nation’s youth for full participation as adults in economic, political and social roles. A goal of school completion alone is an increasingly inadequate guide for action. With a Millennium Learning Goal, progress of the education system will be judged on the outcomes of the system: the assessed mastery of the desired competencies of an entire age cohort—both those in school and out of school. By focusing on the learning achievement of all children in a cohort an MLG eliminates the false dichotomy between “access/enrollment” and “quality of those in school”: reaching an MLG depends on both.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 97.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.cgdev.org
primary school; poverty; millenium development goals; school completion; school enrollment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-02-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2007-02-17 (Development)
- NEP-EDU-2007-02-17 (Education)
- NEP-HRM-2007-02-17 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Gertler, Paul & Patrinos, Harry & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2008.
"Empowering parents to improve education : evidence from rural Mexico,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3935, The World Bank.
- Gertler, Paul J. & Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2012. "Empowering parents to improve education: Evidence from rural Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 68-79.
- Das, Jishnu & Zajonc, Tristan, 2010.
"India shining and Bharat drowning: Comparing two Indian states to the worldwide distribution in mathematics achievement,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 175-187, July.
- Das, Jishnu & Zajonc, Tristan, 2008. "India shining and Bharat drowning: comparing two Indian states to the worldwide distribution in mathematics achievement," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4644, The World Bank.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Roodman).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.