Global Variation in Education Outcomes at Ages 5 to 19

Author: Kin Bing Wu


This chapter confirms the positive relationship between educational attainment and economic growth. Student achievement at the system level is affected by size of the rural population, diversity of terrain, adult literacy rates, income distribution, ethnicity and languages, attitudes toward gender equality, and history of conflict. Variance in achievement attributable to between-school differences results from education policies, school resources, teacher characteristics, and instructional strategies. Case studies from India and China suggest that a singular focus on education policy without simultaneous interventions at the student level is unlikely to improve achievement on a large and sustained scale.