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Is It Possible to Measure Learning Globally?

According to a new report released by the Learning Metrics Task Force, Toward Universal Learning: A Global Framework for Measuring Learning, the lack of global data informing the levels of progress being achieved across universally identified domains of learning is a significant barrier to ensuring a quality education for every child. Although measurement plays a crucial role in improving education quality and learning, the task force recognized that assessment can employ multiple approaches and that the most appropriate methods must be decided at the country level, based upon their specific contextual needs. Therefore, in providing input regarding the inclusion of education and learning in the post-2015 development agenda, the task force decided that it could not recommend a global goal for learning that would require countries to buy into a specific brand of assessment.

The report is the second of a three-part series called Toward Universal Learning and culminates the second phase of an 18-month consultation being conducted by the Learning Metrics Task Force. It documents the work of the Methods and Measures Working group, whose objective was to identify the desirability and feasibility of developing a global framework to measure learning. The task force also charged the working group to develop a hybrid model for measuring learning, using the seven learning domains identified during the first phase of the consultation.

In outlining a potential global framework for measuring learning, the task force avoided creating a "one-size-fits-all" approach, but rather identified six areas that could inform global policy dialogues while remaining relevant to country-level education goals. They also recognized that in terms of feasibility, significant improvements in assessment capacity at the national level and a strong commitment to improving national and classroom-level assessment are necessary. The report provides recommendations on how to support national capacity and decision-making. While pointing out the benefits of measurement data to improve learning equity among marginalized groups, the task force also identified the need to measure, and thus value, skills and learning acquired by out-of-school children and youth.

For More Information:

About the Learning Metrics Task Force (Center for Universal Education website)

Toward Universal Learning: A Global Framework for Measuring Learning (Report 2: Full Report and Executive Summary download)

Toward Universal Learning: What Every Child Should Learn (Report 1: Full Report and Executive Summary download)