Weekly Update on Education

05 April 2011

Michelle Rhee’s Cheating Scandal
The Daily Beast, March 29, 2011

Bad education policy is no excuse for cheating—especially cheating from principals and teachers, whom we hope will serve as role models for our kids. But the sad truth is that we shouldn’t be surprised by USA Today’s disheartening findings on test score irregularities in the Washington, D.C., public schools during the reign of Michelle Rhee, the firebrand former chancellor best known for firing teachers, closing underperforming schools, and linking teacher and principal pay to student test scores. Such irregularities are, in part, the unintended consequence of a spate of popular education reform policies that over-rationalize teaching and learning—both of which are creative processes—by measuring them almost exclusively through the results of multiple-choice standardized tests.

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IIM governance structure should change: Kapil Sibal
Times of India, April 1, 2011

With the census results out, it was an evidently happy Kapil Sibal who was at the 36th IIM-B convocation.“We firmly believe that in the next few years, we will achieve full literacy in the country,” said the Union minister for human resource development, who is also a strong propagator of the Right to Education Act. The literacy rate has gone up from 64.8% to 74% — female literacy is 65% (up from 53%) and male 82% (as against 75%).

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India Graduates Millions, but Too Few Are Fit to Hire
Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2011

Call-center company 24/7 Customer Pvt. Ltd. is desperate to find new recruits who can answer questions by phone and email. It wants to hire 3,000 people this year. Yet in this country of 1.2 billion people, that is beginning to look like an impossible goal.

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In a first, women steal literacy lead over men
Hindustan Times, March 31, 2011

More Indian women gained literacy over the past decade than men, the 2011 census which was unveiled today showed — a first for India which is still grappling with rampant female infanticide and gender discrimination. A total of 110 million additional women have become literate since 2001, as opposed to 107 million men over the same period. Never before have women outdone men in numbers gaining literacy over any decade.

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A yr on, RTE has a long way to go
Hindustan Times, March 31, 2011

A year after the Right To Education (RTE) was introduced it has got mixed bag results. According to studies by studies by different civil society groups, dropout rate in many schools is still high, but there has been a slight improvement in new enrolments. April 1 is the first anniversary of the watershed Right to Compulsory and Free Education, also called RTE law. In this year, the independent groups increased vigil in schools to find how the law has been implemented.

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Gujarat faces staff shortage in higher education
DNA, April 4, 2011

The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has revealed an acute shortage of teaching staff in the higher education institutions of Gujarat. It has also highlighted the lack of quality education provided in the state as 60% institutions in higher and technical education have not obtained NAAC/NBA accreditation.

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The missing daughters of Jhajjar
Livemint, April 4, 2011

Jhajjar, Haryana: Fifteen-year-old Aarti Ahelawat waits patiently for the midday meal at the government senior secondary school in Chhuchhakwas, a village in Haryana’s Jhajjar district. Her younger brother goes to the privately run Paramount Senior Secondary School a few metres away, and doesn’t have to wait for the free meal.

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Education Reform — Getting Personal
Huffington Post, March 29, 2011

I felt a lot less melancholy about the future of U.S. public education after having coffee a few days ago with Joel Rose, the founder of the path-breaking New York City experiment called School of One. That name conveys the philosophy of the program — now running in a limited form at three Manhattan middle schools — which is to customize learning for each student, so that no one is held back, nor pushed forward. For more than a year, School of One has been winning raves from education experts, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation president Arthur Levine.

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Research Article
Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School

Esther Duflo, Rema Hanna, and Stephen P. Ryan

ABSTRACT: We use a randomized experiment and a structural model to test whether monitoring and financial incentives can reduce teacher absence and increase learning in rural India. In treatment schools, teachers’ attendance was monitored daily using cameras, and their salaries were made a nonlinear function of attendance. Absenteeism by teachers fell by 21 percentage points relative to the control group, and children’s test scores increased by 0.17 standard deviations. We estimate a structural dynamic labor supply model and find that teachers responded strongly to the financial incentives, and that this alone can explain the difference between the two groups. Our model is used to compute cost-minimizing compensation policies.

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ENABLE – ARK & CCS’s School Access and Voucher Programme

ARK’s work in Delhi has identified many communities where children are facing multiple social and economic challenges which put them at great risk of being excluded, dropping out or never attending school. To address this need ARK has partnered with Centre for Civil Society (CCS)
to implement ENABLE (Ensure Access to Better Learning Experiences), a school access and
voucher programme for underprivileged children in Shahdara.Read more


School Choice National Conference Video

Watch this video to catch the highlights of the School Choice National Conference 2010 held at India Habitat Centre.

Click here for the video


RTE Coalition

To initiate and continue the discussion amongst concerned groups and individuals on the issue of right of education and monitor the implementation of the RTE Act, an RTE Coalition has been formed. Join the coalition to make universal elementary education a reality in India. Log on to for more information.

Money for RTE

Has enough money been allocated to ensure effective implementation of RTE? Cast your vote and tell us your thoughts.

For more click here

Skill Vouchers - Global Experiences and Lessons for India

Leah Verghese and Parth J Shah

A study of the role that skill vouchers can play in catalysing demand for quality skill development services. This study examines global experiences with skill vouchers and draws lessons for India from these experiences.

For more click here

Reservation in Private Schools under the Right to Education Act: Model for Implementation

Shekhar Mittal and Parth J Shah

Through this document the Centre for Civil Society seeks to highlight the lacunae in the current framework for 25% reservation for weaker and disadvantaged groups in unaided private schools and seeks to provide inputs on effective implementation of the same.

For more click here


400 girl children from poor families of North East Delhi receive school vouchers for a period of 4 years.
For details visit website


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