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Policy Insights in Education

J-PAL’s Education sector focuses issues of access, quality, and equity in primary and post-primary education. Our policy insights below summarize general lessons from randomized evaluations on student participation and learning in developing countries, and transitions to college and charter schools in the United States.

Karthik Muralidharan (University of California, San Diego) and Philip Oreopoulos (University of Toronto), Education Co-Chairs

Students in India line up to wash their dishes

Student Participation

Despite dramatic increases in primary school enrollment worldwide, pockets of low enrollment remain, and millions of children who are enrolled are not attending regularly. Strategies that decrease the monetary or non-monetary costs of school, or increase the perceived benefits of school participation, have been found to be particularly effective.

Reducing costs to increase school participation

Last updated: February 2019
Programs that reduce the costs of education increase student enrollment and attendance. However, there is considerable variation in the cost effectiveness of different programs. Read More
Une petite fille dans une école primaire en Inde.

Augmenter le taux de scolarisation et l’assiduité scolaire: impacts selon le genre

Last updated: February 2019
Réduire le coût de la scolarité et mieux sensibiliser la population aux bienfaits de l’éducation permet d’augmenter la participation scolaire des garçons et des filles. Les programmes les plus efficaces ont tendance à bénéficier tout particulièrement au genre dont l’assiduité est initialement la plus faible. Read More

Increasing enrollment and attendance by making education benefits salient and changing perceptions

Last updated: April 2018
Interventions that address perception gaps about the benefits of education or make the benefits more salient can increase student participation at low cost. In contrast, increases in the quality of education can be difficult for parents to accurately perceive and thus do not necessarily lead to increases in enrollment or attendance. Read More

Student Learning

A Teaching at the Right Level reading activity in Zambia. Photo: Anton Scholtz | J-PAL

Tailoring instruction to students’ learning levels to increase learning

Last updated: January 2019
In classrooms around the world, many students are not learning at grade level and struggle to catch up. Dedicating a portion of instruction time to tailoring instruction to the learning levels of students is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways of improving learning. Tailored instruction can be delivered effectively through multiple channels: during or after school and by tutors, volunteers, government teachers, or through education technology. Read More

Additional Insights

 étudiants

Améliorer l’accès à l’université en simplifiant le processus de candidature

Last updated: February 2018
Aux États-Unis et au Canada, la mise en œuvre de programmes relativement peu coûteux visant à simplifier le processus de candidature à l’université et à accompagner les futurs étudiants durant cette transition permet d’augmenter les taux d’inscription dans le supérieur et de poursuite des études. Les composantes clés des programmes les plus efficaces sont notamment : la mise en place d’un accompagnement personnalisé, l’envoi de rappels à des moments stratégiques de la procédure et une... Read More
Students work on white board

Charter schools et apprentissage scolaire

Last updated: May 2017
Aux États-Unis, les évaluations de l’impact des charter schools, (des écoles privées à financement public), laissent apparaître de fortes variations. Dans le Massachusetts, les élèves admis par tirage au sort dans une charter school située en zone urbaine s’en sortent souvent bien mieux que les élèves refusés ; à l’inverse, les élèves admis dans une charter school située dans une zone non urbaine s’en sortent en moyenne aussi bien, voire légèrement moins bien que ceux qui ont perdu au tirage au... Read More

Sector Contacts

Priyanka Varma

Senior Policy Associate

[email protected]
(617) 253-7160

Masha Bertling

Masha Bertling

Pre-Doctoral Education Measurement Fellow

[email protected]

Radhika Bhula

Policy Manager

[email protected]
(617) 324-6562

Robert Rogers

Senior Policy Associate

[email protected]
(617) 258-0926

Samantha Friedlander

Senior Policy Associate

[email protected]

Sector Chairs