Generating new evidence and practical recommendations to scale quality education interventions
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Generating new evidence and practical recommendations to scale quality education interventions

It is no longer a secret that there is a
global learning crisis. If current trends continue 800 million children, roughly
half of the youth generation, will reach adulthood without basic secondary level
skills. In low-income countries 9 out of every 10 children are projected to reach
adulthood without the skills they need to thrive. The good news is that each one
of us can point to an exceptional education program that is making a
difference in children’s lives. The challenge, however, is that these
initiatives tend to operate as islands of excellence that serve relatively
small numbers of students but do not reach the millions of learners worldwide
seeking a brighter future. To address this challenge the Center for Universal
Education’s Millions Learning Project is generating new evidence and data
around what can be done to effectively scale quality education around the world
with a focus on reaching the most marginalized communities. Our earlier
research found that the global community needs more evidence as well as practical
guidance about how to scale practices that improve both access to education
and learning. Our goal is to gain deeper insight into how policymakers civil
society and the private sector can best work together to enhance the quality of
children’s learning and development through accompanying evidence-based
initiatives as they scale in real-time. To pursue this goal Brookings is
establishing real time scaling labs with local institutions in several countries.
The labs will provide an opportunity to test research findings from the first
phase of millions learning and contribute to the growing evidence base
of how to provide a quality education to more children. These labs are not
physical spaces but rather a process to learn from, support, and document existing efforts to scale education interventions. The labs will involve in-person and
virtual workshops that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and funders
to design and implement scaling plans based on data collected. Over multiple
years lab participants will engage in an iterative learning cycle with five
phases. Initial convening will focus on participants articulating a shared
scaling goal and then identifying ways to achieve it. What are we trying to
accomplish? Next lab members will identify challenges and opportunities to
achieving these scaling goals. what are the root causes of major obstacles? what
current opportunities can we leverage to accelerate expansion? Lab participants
will then develop or refine a scaling action plan that outlines specific
actions to address the root causes of the challenges identified, drawing from
the millions learning scaling framework and other tools. Participants will put
the scaling plan into action using data-driven feedback loops to reflect,
learn, and adapt in real-time. Participants will frequently reconvene
to assess data collected, evaluate progress towards the scaling goal. and
make course corrections. The scaling action plan will continually
be adapted, based on real-time learning. Ongoing insights and lessons will be
shared between labs and with the broader international education community along
the way. At the end of the project Brookings will provide new evidence and
practical recommendations to inform policy, programming, and funding decisions
to help ensure that millions more children and youth can enjoy the bright
future they deserve.

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