What Can Latin America Learn from Rigorous Impact Evaluations of Education Policies?

Produced by: 
Harvard University
Available from: 
May 2014
Paper author(s): 
Murnane RJ
Ganimian AJ
Education - Health

This PREAL Working Paper by Richard J. Murnane and Alejandro J. Ganimian distills four main lessons for pre K-12 education policy in Latin America from impact evaluations in developing countries throughout the world. First, reducing the costs of going to school and expanding schooling options increase attendance and attainment, but do not consistently increase student achievement. Second, providing information about school quality, developmentally appropriate parenting practices, and the economic returns to schooling affects the actions of parents and the performance of private schools. Third, more or better resources improve student achievement only if they result in changes in children’s daily experiences at school. Finally, well-designed incentives increase teacher effort and student achievement from very low levels, but low-skilled teachers need specific guidance to reach minimally acceptable levels of instruction.


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