Achieving Learning for All Requires Measuring Basic Skills Early and Often; Proposed Changes to the SDG Indicators Would Make This Kind of Measurement Less Common

Proposed changes to the Sustainable Development Goals’ education indicators would shift the focus away from early mastery of basic skills. Learning in the early years is critical for achieving later learning—evidence is increasingly showing that children who fall behind in early primary school rarely catch up. To achieve SDG 4 of quality education for all, we must know what children are learning (or not) early in the primary cycle.

Three Years after SDG Adoption: It's Time for Action on Learning Data

“Do kids in developing countries need less reading and math skills than OECD Kids?” This question did not appear on the agenda at a three-day workshop recently organized by USAID. It was not even articulated. But the entire event—rather opaquely titled: “Linking Assessments to a Global Standard with Social Moderation”—was predicated on the assumption that some new global standards were needed because the definitions of basic reading and math skills used by the OECD are too unattainable for many/most developing countries. If that sounds horribly retrograde and paternalistic, it is.