Newsletter No. 15

Message from the READ Trust Fund Program Managers

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the September 2020 READ 2 Trust Fund newsletter. As COVID-19 continues to affect lives and livelihoods in many countries, schools around the world are applying different modalities for delivering learning safely. In this newsletter, along with updates on the READ 2 RAS program, we share with you the latest approaches to assess student learning in new and innovative ways.

One such innovation is using basic (non-smartphone) phones, especially in contexts with low or no connectivity or access to smart devices, to support formative assessment to ensure continuous student learning – for example, through SMS/text-based quizzes, live phone connection to teachers (e.g., through virtual call centers), or through interactive voice response (IVR), particularly for families with low literacy or children with visual disabilities.

In July 2020, with support from the READ 2 Trust Fund and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and in partnership with the Center for Global Development (CGD), the Learning Assessment Platform (LeAP) team organized the Innovations in phone-based assessments to support learning webinar. This event enabled the global community of policymakers and assessment practitioners to learn about the latest innovations – from Botswana and Peru – in this area. Although phone-based formative assessment is particularly relevant when students and teachers cannot be together in the same room due to school closures, such approach to assessment can play a key role in a future of “Schools Without Walls,” where all children can learn, anytime and anywhere. We are continuing to explore this topic and are working to develop feasibility criteria to support countries that would like to implement remote formative assessment using basic phone technologies.

We hope you and your families stay safe and healthy. As always, we welcome your feedback, inputs, and ideas, and we look forward to continuing to work together.

With best regards,

Julia Liberman and Victoria Levin
READ 2 Trust Fund Program Managers

READ RAS Spotlight

READ 2 RAS Program Update
The READ 2 RAS Program continues supporting Russia in developing the capacity of its experts and researchers in the education area. Most recently, the program hosted a webinar for education professionals in Uzbekistan on the importance of international research for the development of human capital... read more
 

Blogs

Advancing schooling beyond coronavirus – new insights from PISA
By Andreas Schleicher
PISA provides the tools that help educators and policy-makers to not just to look forward, but also outward... read more
Optimizing Assessment for All: Assessment as a stimulus for scaling 21st century skills in education systems
By Esther Care
Assessment can be used as a lever for changing classroom practices and to strengthen education systems' capacity to integrate 21st century skills into teaching and learning... read more
Assessing foundational learning for all children during and after the COVID-19 crisis
By Ketan Verma, Ranajit Bhattacharyya, and Hannah-May Wilson
Find out four reasons why citizen-led assessments are useful to measure learning during and after the COVID-19 crisis… read more
How to define, measure, and assess digital skills
By Andreas Blom, Mariam Nusrat, and Nicole Goldin
Digital competency frameworks allow governments and employers to plan initiatives that can bridge the information gap between job seekers and employers… read more
A new comparable learning assessment designed in the Global South, For the Global South: Exploring the ICAN 2019 Findings
By Ketan Verma and Hannah-May Wilson
The PAL Network’s International Common Assessment of Numeracy is an open-source, easy-to-use assessment tool currently available in 11 languages… read more
Student Assessment During COVID-19
By Laura Jimenez
Some state leaders are asking the U.S. Department of Education to waive the annual federal testing and accountability requirements for 2021… read more
Revealing stereotypes about immigrant students to middle school teachers in Italy
By Alberto Alesina, Michela Carlana, Eliana La Ferrara, and Paolo Pinotti
Researchers evaluated the impact of informing middle school teachers in Italy about their implicit stereotypes towards immigrant students on end-of-year grading… read more

Read more Education for Global Development Blogs here.

General News Roundup and Resources

Capturing 21st century skills: Analysis of assessments in selected sub-Saharan African countries
This publication explores examples of classroom and national assessment tools used in nine sub-Saharan African countries to identify if “21st century skills” are demonstrated… read more
Should school-level results of national assessments be made public?
Publishing school-level results increases students’ test scores across the entire score distribution, with no evidence of adverse impacts on noncognitive skills… read more

Technology in the classroom and learning in secondary schools
This paper studies the impact of a computer-assisted learning program on learning outcomes among high school students in The Gambia… read more

The effect of school closures on standardised student test outcomes
Students of the 2020 cohort in the last year of primary school in Flemish schools in Belgium experienced significant learning losses in all tested subjects... read more
Distorted quality signals in school markets
This article provides novel evidence for the costs that distortions in quality signals generated by standardized tests in accountability systems impose on educational markets… read more
Driven to succeed? Teenagers’ drive, ambition and performance on high-stakes examinations
This paper contributes new evidence by examining two inter-related non-cognitive factors that are rarely studied in the literature: ambition and drive… read more

How can released state test items support interim assessment purposes in an educational crisis?
Educators can use publicly available previously administered test items to estimate achievement distributions at the classroom and school level… read more

Building the right skills for human capital: Education, skills, and productivity in the Kyrgyz Republic
This report summarizes the findings from the 2019 skills survey for the adult Kyrgyz population… read more

Webinars

Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
5th IZA Workshop: The Economics of Education
Presented papers available
September 23-25, 2020 

National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME)
2020 Virtual Annual Meeting and Online Repository
Video recording available
September 9-11, 2020 

American Institutes for Research
PAAAC Skills Map: Implications for Research, Policy and Practice
Video recording available
August 26, 2020

World Bank and the Center for Global Development (CGD)
Innovations in phone-based assessments to support learning
Video recording available
July 22, 2020

Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE)
RISE Annual Conference
Video recording available
July 15 - August 5, 2020
National Council on Measurement in Education
Global launch webinar of ICAN (International Common Assessment of Numeracy)
Video recording available
July 9, 2020
https://twitter.com/WBG_Education
https://www.facebook.com/WorldBank
http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/read
Copyright © 2020 World Bank Group
For more information about the READ Trust Fund Program, contact the READ team






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