The learning crisis of developing country elites lessons from PISA-D


How much of the learning crisis can be addressed through “inclusion”—the equalization of grade attainment and learning outcomes across groups (e.g., girls/boys, rural/urban, poor/rich)—and how much of the learning crisis requires improvement in the country's system of basic education to improve learning outcomes across the board? This study uses the data from the seven countries who participated in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) for Development (PISA-D) to show that for most countries and subjects the average learning outcome for the advantaged (male, urban, native-born, speakers of assessment language), and elite (95th percentile in PISA measured socio-economic status) students was below the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) “minimum learning level” target of PISA level 2. Even if every child in these countries were fully “included”—had the same distribution of learning outcomes as the advantaged, SES elite, public school children—80 percent of all children would still fall short of proposed global minimum levels of learning.