To meet the ambitious education targets specified in Sustainable Development Goal 4, countries need to accelerate their progress on education quality. Access to education has improved the world over since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals, but many children in school are not learning the basics in reading and writing. Furthermore, they often spend little time on important 21st century skills.
The Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF) was a multistakeholder collaboration, led by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, which worked to improve learning outcomes for children and youth worldwide. The LMTF focused specifically on strengthening assessment systems and the use of assessment data in service of moving the global agenda from access to education toward access plus learning and helping countries improve their assessment systems.
The LMTF worked in two phases. The first phase (LMTF 1.0) focused on catalyzing global dialogue and developing a series of recommendations on learning assessments. The second phase (LMTF 2.0) focused on implementing the task force’s recommendations. Now the SDGs are in place, the LMTF has officially sunset. While the LMTF is no more, the research and consensus built by LMTF and the community of practice it convened will continue long into the future.
The Center for Universal Education has also contributed to four projects which grew out of the LMTF: Skills for a Changing World; Measuring Early Learning Quality and Outcomes; Measuring Global Citizenship Education; and Breadth of Learning Opportunities.
MELQO is a consortium of individuals and institutions working to improve outcomes for young children by making early learning assessment more accessible around the world by developing two modules for assessing early childhood development. The ultimate aim is that countries are able to adapt the MELQO modules to their culture and context, and to embed the measurement process in existing system-wide monitoring and evaluation programs to improve early learning and development for all children.
Global Citizenship Education (GCED) is a strategy to help youth navigate the challenges presented by the diverse and interconnected world. CUE helped convene a GCED working group founded upon the LMTF’s recommendation that countries measure the demonstration of values and skills necessary for success in their communities, countries, and the world. The GCED report is the major outcome of this collaboration.
CUE and Educational International are using the LMTF seven domains of learning as an analytic foundation to investigate what learning opportunities are being offered to students in each of the domains. Together with an international working group, we are developing a set of tools that governments, teachers, and researchers can use to explore how a breadth of learning opportunities is being articulated at the national level and how that vision is delivered at the classroom level.