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Secondary data

indicators of country-
level education quality

Robin Horn
Emilio Porta
key issues in the measurement of
education quality and actions needed to
close data-gaps.

■ Measuring learning outcomes and

selecting proxy indicators for
education quality
■ Data availability
■ Strengths and weaknesses of using
“secondary” data sources
How is student learning

Students Policy actions
Endowments and Specific
programs Endowments and
Behaviors of Behaviors of
Students Teachers
Parents Schools
Families Authorities

Indicators The Education

? Its organization and


Vegas & Petrow, 2008

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In the search of indicators

PISA 2006
In search of indicators
Variable associated with performance Fuller & Clarke, Vélez et al, 1993 Unesco-LLECE, 2001
and expected sign 1994
Studies % Studies % Studies %

Spending per student + 11 55% 8 13%

Student teacher ratio - 48 23% 21 10% 14 14%
Students with individual texts + 39 67% 17 76%
School library + 22 86%
Teacher's years of schooling + 26 50% 68 46% 14 14%
Teacher training + 17 65% 8 0 14 7%
Teacher’s years of Experience + 35 40% 62 40% 14 14%
Time for teachers to prepare lessons + 10 60% 1 0
Time available for teaching-learning + 33 82%

Frequency of "homework" + 13 85% 28 43%

Multigrade school - 8 75% 12 8%
Student's self-esteem + 7 100%

Schiefelbein, 2008
In search of indicators
Participation in Selected International Student Assessments by Country

In search of indicators
■ Need more research to determine the
right indicators
■ Consensus building
■ Promote learning assessments in
developing countries
■ Promote impact evaluation
■ Country benefits:
◆ Improve policy dialogue among policy
◆ School accountability
“The LORD spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in the Desert
of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year
after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: "Take a census
of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families,
listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to
number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old
or more who are able to serve in the army. One man from each
tribe, each the head of his family, is to help you. These are the
names of the men who are to assist you: from Reuben, Elizur son
of Shedeur;”

Numbers, The Census

Data availability: a challenge
we must face
Data availability: a challenge
we must face

Mapping of data availability for 2000-2006

EdStats Newsletter
Data availability: a challenge
we must face
Data availability: a challenge
we must face

EdStats Newsletter
Bridging existing information
■ Household
■ Learning
Plausible “secondary” Assessments
data sources Questionnaires
■ Existing
reports and
Using Household Surveys

Strengths Weaknesses

•Most developing countries •Currently they don’t focus

have HHS’s on education quality
•DHS is comparable indicators

•The cost of adding new •They aren’t just for

questions is low (U$50 per education.
household in the case of •Generally they are not
Vietnam) conducted annually
•Could include youth •Not representative at
outside school and adult school level
Using Learning Assessments
Strengths Weaknesses

•They have rich information •Most developing countries

about plausible quality do not participate in
indicators international assessments
•They can be comparable • Background questions
•The cost of extracting data change over time
from existing databases is •They are not conducted
low (U$ ½ M) annually
Existing reports and research

Strengths Weaknesses

•Most developing countries

have a variety of research •Comparability
papers with rich
•Not conducted on regular
•They can be serial (EAS,
proposals, USAID sector
•The cost for extracting data
is low
Recommendations for
Defining quality indicators Collecting information
■ Support ongoing ■ Renew countries’
research on commitment on
determining learning reporting their data to
outcomes UIS
■ Reach consensus on ■ Create a task team to
selecting education conduct a global
quality indicators assessment of
■ UNESCO Task Team countries’ EMIS (U$
■ Create a trust fund to
support countries’ data
■ Strengthen countries’
efforts on improving
their analytical capacity