World Bank Symposium: Assessment for Global Learning
November 7-8, 2013Washington, DC

A symposium on learning brought together technical experts and policy researchers to review and discuss existing tools and approaches for monitoring student learning, and to explore how best they can be used or improved to meet the post-2015 development agenda.

Symposium on Global Learning: Key Points Per Session

A global learning crisis is affecting the life chances of millions of children around the world. Despite significant progress over the past fifteen years in getting more girls and boys into school, gains have been uneven and learning levels remain alarmingly low. In response to this crisis, governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders are turning their attention to the challenge of improving the quality of education and accelerating learning. Measurement, through the use of learning assessment systems, is key to accelerating progress.

A symposium on learning that brought together technical experts and policy researchers who are active in the development community provided a platform to review and discuss the existing menu of tools and approaches for monitoring and supporting student learning, and to explore how best they can be used or improved to meet the needs of the post-2015 development agenda.

The symposium addressed the following questions:

  1. Why is measurement of learning important in the post-2015 development agenda?
  2. What are the available tools and approaches for measuring and effectively using information on learning? How can these tools and approaches be adapted or improved in order to better meet the learning needs outlined in the post-2015 agenda?
  3. How can governments best go about adapting or creating measurement tools and approaches that respond to the post-2015 agenda?

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The Learning Crisis and Development (Video)
Keynote Address: Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, City of Chicago
Dzingai Matumbuka, Chair, Association for the Development of Education in Africa
Lant Pritchett, Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard University


Technical, Political, and Institutional Challenges for Assessing Learning (Video)

Rukmini Banerji, Director, Pratham
Ray Adams, Special Advisor of Global Educational Monitoring, Australian Council for Educational Research

Miguel Szekely, Director, Institute of Educational Innovation at the Monterrey Institute of Technology


What Does the Research Tell Us About How to Assess Learning? (Video)

Daniel Koretz, Professor of Education, Harvard University

Derek Neal, Professor in Economics, University of Chicago

Jishnu Das, Senior Economist, World Bank




How Can International and Regional Large-Scale Assessments Inform Learning? (Video)

Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD

Dirk Hastedt, Executive Director, IEA

Montz Bilagher, Regional Coordinator of Evaluation and Trends Analysis, UNESCO

M. Jacques Malpel, PASEC Coordinator, CONFEMEN

Toziba Masalita, Acting Director, SACMEQ


How Can National Large-Scale, Citizen-led and Other Assessments Inform Learning? (Video)

Penelope Bender, Reading Specialist, USAID
Andrei Volkov, Scientific Supervisor, CICED and Marina Vasilyeva, Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Boston College
Rukmini Banerji, Director, Pratham
Sara Ruto, East Africa Regional Manager, Uwezo


Keynote Lunchtime Address: How Can Classroom Assessment Inform Learning?
Lorrie A. Shepard, Dean of the School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder







Turning Assessment Information into Indicators and Targets (Video)
Chris Thomas, Adviser, World Bank
Rebecca Winthrop, Director of the Center for Universal Education, Brookings Institution

What Can Governments Do to Implement Effective Learning Assessment Systems in the Post-2015 Context? (Video)
Marguerite Clarke, Senior Education Specialist, World Bank
Armen Ashotyan, Minister of Education, Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia
Shadreck Nkoya, Senior Research Officer, Examinations Council of Zambia

Conclusions and Next Steps
Elizabeth King, Director of Education, World Bank

Symposium on Global Learning: Key Points Per Session