RISE Working Paper 19/030 - The Limits of Accounting-Based Accountability in Education (and Far Beyond): Why More Accounting Will Rarely Solve Accountability Problems
Josef Ritzen, the Netherlands’ education minister for eight years before he joined the World Bank, once told me: “The view of a prime minister is that an education minister only brings problems. There’s nothing he or she can do to improve quality that has a political upside. So, most ministers try to do nothing.” Ritzen’s recent successors have learned this lesson the hard way with public outcry over heightened math admission requirements for teacher training colleges that have led to a teacher shortage and larger classes.
Despite the appeal to improve school performance through strengthened accountability, there is concern that such efforts could distort behavior if the stakes are high: schools and teachers could teach to the test, neglect unrewarded activities, or simply cheat. As a result, a number of countries (e.g., Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Pakistan) have turned to low-stakes accountability such as publicizing information, or report cards, about school performance.
RISE Working Paper 19/027 - Can Public Rankings Improve School Performance? Evidence from a Nationwide Reform in Tanzania
As usual Ludger Woessmann and Eric Hanushek (this time with Annika Bergbauer) have written an interesting, provocative, and relevant paper—this time on testing.
The Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Conference 2018 in Mexico City kicked off with a series of fantastic pre-conference workshops which included a number of RISE researchers and affiliates making significant contributions.
A key part of the RISE agenda is to focus on getting to systems of basic education that are coherent around learning. All of the RISE country program research is focused on the system changes, not the evaluation of “pilots” or “field experiments” (one education minister recently complained, “All pilots fly, but at the end of the day we just have pilots and papers.”).