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School children play in a classroom at Sao Jose school in Morro Do Veridiano, Belagua Municipality, Maranhao state, Brazil, October 10, 2018. Picture taken October 10, 2018. According to the 2015 National Household Sample Survey (Pnad), 2.8 million children and adolescents aged 4 to 17 are out of school. More than half (53 percent) come from households whose income per capita does not exceed half the minimum wage, a value of 477 reais (~$123 USD). While Brazil is in the top ten economies in the world, there are still millions of people in the northeast of the country who are in extreme poverty. REUTERS/Nacho Doce - RC1E18C08260

Leapfrogging in Education

By 2030, over half of the world’s young people are projected to reach adulthood without the skills they need to thrive in work and life. More worrisome still, it will take decades—in some places more than 100 years—for children from poor families to catch up to the learning levels of children from the richest families.

To address global education inequality, the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings is looking at the potential of education innovations to rapidly accelerate, or “leapfrog,” progress in education. The 2018 book “Leapfrogging Inequality: Remaking Education to Help Young People Thrive” outlines a continuum of action to help all young people develop the breadth of skills they need to thrive today and in the future. The book examines nearly 3,000 innovations to understand where leapfrogging is taking place around the world.

As CUE continues its leapfrogging research, the team will explore what approaches have high potential to rapidly accelerate transformation in teaching and learning and in which contexts. CUE is developing a “Leapfrogging Playbook” aimed at providing detailed guidance for policymakers and practitioners seeking to harness the power of innovation.

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