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Weekly Update on Education (Issue No 269) 04 Feb 2014
- Parth J Shah
Interview with Business Recorder
RTE: Learning Outcomes more important than Syllabus Completion

What are the design elements common to most successful voucher schemes? Can private sector philanthropists, foundations and high net worth individuals roll out their voucher schemes in their respective localities? Has there been any experiment to integrate government voucher scheme with private sector philanthropy?

Parth J Shah answers key questions about RTE and school vouchers in an interview with Pakistan publication, Business Recorder.

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School Vouchers and Student Attainment: Evidence from a State-Mandated Study of Milwaukee’s Parental Choice Program
Authors: Joshua M. Cowen, David J. Fleming, John F. Witte, Patrick J. Wolf, and Brian Kisida
The Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 4, No.1, 2013

Abstract: In this article we examine educational attainment levels for students in Milwaukee’s citywide voucher program and a comparable group of public school students. Using unique data collected as part of a state-mandated evaluation of the program, we consider high school graduation and enrollment in postsecondary institutions for students initially exposed to voucher schools and those in public schools at the same time. We show that exposure to voucher schools was related to graduation and, in particular, to enrollment and persistence in a 4-year college. These differences are apparent despite controls for student neighborhoods, demographics, early-career test scores and—for a subsample of survey respondents—controls for parental education, income, religious behavior, and marital status. We conclude by stressing the implications for future scholarship and policy, including the importance of attainment outcomes in educational research.

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Education News

SC refuses to stay order on Delhi nursery admissions
- The Hindu, 31 Jan 2014
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the interim order on nursery admission process in the national capital but asked the Delhi High Court to expeditiously hear the pleas against the guidelines by advancing the scheduled hearing. A bench headed by Justice H.L. Dattu said since the order of the high court was in the nature of an interim order, it was not interfering with it and asked the high court to hear the issues raised as expeditiously as possible in the interest of the schools and welfare of the children.

Unesco finds Indian syllabi too ambitious
- The Times of India, 30 Jan 2014
The curriculum of Indian schools has drawn sharp criticism from the Unesco. The Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2014 released on Wednesday states that Indian curriculum is unrealistic and far too ambitious for the child. "It's crucial that primary school pupils master the foundation skills of basic numeracy and literacy in the early grades, so they can understand what's taught in later grades," the report reads.

US$129b a year wasted on poor quality education: UN
- Channel News Asia, 29 Jan 2014
A quarter of a billion children worldwide are failing to learn basic reading and maths skills in an education crisis that costs governments US$129 billion annually, the UN's cultural agency warned in a report on Wednesday. Inadequate teaching across the world has left a legacy of illiteracy more widespread than previously thought, UNESCO said in its annual monitoring report.

NCERT textbooks put to the test on gender bias
- The Times of India, 01 Feb 2014
Gender analysis of NCERT textbooks from Class I to V has shown that while most of them highlight gender concerns, there are elements of stereotypes in some of them. Gender review of English, Hindi, mathematics and environmental science textbooks was done by NCERT's department of women's studies.

Education Dept. allows public charter schools to hold weighted lottery
- The Washington Post, 30 Jan 2014
The Education Department on Wednesday reversed a long-standing policy and will now allow public charter schools that receive federal grants to give admissions preference to low-income children, minorities and other disadvantaged students. The move is designed to try to preserve racial diversity in schools that are attractive to wealthier families. Schools will be able to conduct a “weighted lottery” that gives preference to certain groups.

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According to the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013, India is in the top bracket of countries likely to achieve a primary enrolment target of at least 95 per cent by 2015.


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