Big DI in Kenya
How's it working?
Over on Marginal Revolution, a long-standing blog about economics, Alex Tabarrok posted about an evaluation of Bridge International’s efforts in Kenya.
In an important new paper, Can Education be Standardized? Evidence from Kenya, Guthrie Gray-Lobe, Anthony Keats, Michael Kremer, Isaac Mbiti and Owen Ozier evaluate Bridge International schools using a large randomized experiment. Twenty five thousand Kenyan students applied for 10,000 scholarships to Bridge International and the scholarships were given out by lottery.
An evaluation of the program followed both the 10,000 lottery winners and the 15,000 who did not get the scholarships. Those who received scholarships gained access to schools “employing a highly-structured and standardized approach to pedagogy and school management”—yup, Big DI.
Here’s the absrtact from Gray-Lobe et al.:
We examine the impact of enrolling in schools that employ a highly-standardized approach to education, using random variation from a large nationwide scholarship program. Bridge International Academies not only delivers highly detailed lesson guides to teachers using tablet computers, it also standardizes systems for daily teacher monitoring and feedback, school construction, and financial management. At the time of the study, Bridge operated over 400 private schools serving more than 100,000 pupils. It hired teachers with less formal education and experience than public school teachers, paid them less, and had more working hours per week. Enrolling at Bridge for two years increased test scores by 0.89 additional equivalent years of schooling (EYS) for primary school pupils and by 1.48 EYS for pre-primary pupils. These effects are in the 99th percentile of effects found for at-scale programs studied in a recent survey. Enrolling at Bridge reduced both dispersion in test scores and grade repetition. Test score results do not seem to be driven by rote memorization or by income effects of the scholarship.
Fashes of the electrons to Shep B. for alerting me to this report.
Gray-Lobe, G., Keats, A., Kremer, M., Mbiti, I., & Ozier, O. (2022). Can education be stnadardized? Evidence from Kenya. Becker Friedman Institute, BFI Working Paper, 6 June, 2022. https://bfi.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/BFI_WP_2022-68-1.pdf
Tabarrok, A. (2022, 13 June). Direct Instruction produces large gains in learning, Kenya edition. Marginal Revolution, https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2022/06/direct-instruction-works-in-kenya.html