Starting behind and staying behind The case of

  • Slides: 36
Download presentation
Starting behind and staying behind The case of insurmountable learning deficits in South Africa

Starting behind and staying behind The case of insurmountable learning deficits in South Africa Nic Spaull & Janeli Viljoen 4 December 2014

Outline 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Rationale Data Learning deficits in Grades 3,

Outline 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Rationale Data Learning deficits in Grades 3, 4, 5 Learning trajectories in maths Conceptual model of education and the labour market Policy implications 2

Rationale • Learning is a cumulative process that builds on itself i. e. it

Rationale • Learning is a cumulative process that builds on itself i. e. it follows a hierarchical structure (see Gagne, 1962; Aubrey, Dahl, & Godfrey, 2006; Aubrey & Godfrey, 2003; Aunio & Niemivirta, 2010). • Mathematics, in particular, follows a coherent, explicit and systematically principled structure (vertically integrated subject – Bernstein, 1999) • With respect to South Africa, Taylor et al. (2003, p. 129): “At the end of the Foundation Phase, learners have only a rudimentary grasp of the principles of reading and writing. . . it is very hard for learners to make up this cumulative deficit in later years. . . particularly in those subjects that. . . [have] vertical demarcation requirements (especially mathematics and science), the sequence, pacing, progression and coverage requirements of the high school curriculum make it virtually impossible for learners who have been disadvantaged by their early schooling to ‘catch-up’ later sufficiently to do themselves justice at the high school exit level. ” (see also Schollar, 2008) 3

Data • Systemic Evaluation 2007 (Grade 3) – 51 000+ Gr 3 students wrote

Data • Systemic Evaluation 2007 (Grade 3) – 51 000+ Gr 3 students wrote the test in September in the mother tongue • NSES 2007/8/9 (Grade 3/4/5) – 15 000 students tested using the SE Gr 3 test in Gr 3/4/5 (same test), but test administered in English in each grade. – NSES Grade 3 test conducted in October (1 month after SE) • SACMEQ 2007 (Grade 6) – 9071 Gr 6 students wrote the test in Eng/Afr • TIMSS 2011 (Grade 9) – 11969 Gr 9 students wrote the TIMSS Gr 8 exam in 2011 4

To provide examples of “learning” between Grades 3, 4, 5 5

To provide examples of “learning” between Grades 3, 4, 5 5

NSES question 37 NSES followed about 15000 students (266 schools) and tested them in

NSES question 37 NSES followed about 15000 students (266 schools) and tested them in Grade 3 (2007), Grade 4 (2008) and Grade 5 (2009). Grade 3 maths curriculum: “Can perform calculations using approp symbols to solve problems involving: MULTIPLICATION of at least 2 -digit by 1 -digit numbers” 100% 18% 90% 80% 38% 37% 17% 33% 11% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 22% 17% 23% Still wrong in Gr 5 Correct in Gr 5 18% 20% 19% Correct in Gr 4 54% 20% 18% 18% 29% 25% 29% Q 2 Q 3 Q 4 Correct in Gr 3 At the end of Grade 5 more than a third of quintile 1 -4 students cannot answer this simple Grade-3 -level problem. 0% Q 1 Q 5 Question 37 6

NSES question 42 NSES followed about 15000 students (266 schools) and tested them in

NSES question 42 NSES followed about 15000 students (266 schools) and tested them in Grade 3 (2007), Grade 4 (2008) and Grade 5 (2009). Grade 3 maths curriculum: “Can perform calculations using appropriate symbols to solve problems involving: division of at least 2 -digit by 1 -digit numbers” 100% 90% 35% 80% 70% 59% 57% 55% 60% 50% 40% 13% 14% 15% 20% 13% 10% 12% 10% 16% 19% 17% Q 1 Q 2 Q 3 Q 4 30% 13% Still wrong in Gr 5 14% Correct in Gr 5 Correct in Gr 4 39% 0% Question 42 Q 5 Correct in Gr 3 At the end of Grade 5 most (55%+) quintile 1 -4 students cannot answer this simple Grade-3 -level problem.

Insurmountable learning deficits: 0. 3 SD South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic Quintiles

Insurmountable learning deficits: 0. 3 SD South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic Quintiles Based on NSES (2007/8/9) for grades 3, 4 and 5, SACMEQ (2007) for grade 6 and TIMSS (2011) for grade 9) 13 12 11 10 Effective grade 9 8 Quintile 1 7 Quintile 2 6 Quintile 3 Quintile 4 5 Quintile 5 4 Q 1 -4 Trajectory 3 Q 5 Trajectory 2 1 0 Gr 3 Gr 4 (NSES 2007/8/9) Gr 5 Gr 6 Gr 7 Gr 8 Gr 9 Gr 10 (SACMEQ 2007) Projections (TIMSS 2011) Actual grade (and data source) Gr 11 Gr 12 Projections Spaull & Viljoen, 2014 (SAHRC Report) 8

Of 100 students that started school in 2002 16% Do not reach matric 49%

Of 100 students that started school in 2002 16% Do not reach matric 49% 24% Fail matric 2013 Pass with university endorsement 2013 11% • 550, 000 students drop out before matric • 99% do not get a non-matric qualification (Gustafsson, 2011: p 11) • What happens to them? 50% youth unemployment… 9

 • Mainly professional, managerial & skilled jobs Requires graduates, good quality matric or

• Mainly professional, managerial & skilled jobs Requires graduates, good quality matric or good vocational skills Historically mainly white • Vocational training • Affirmative action Low productivity jobs & incomes • • • Often manual or low skill jobs Limited or low quality education Minimum wage can exceed productivity University/ FET • 17% • • Legislators, managers, assoc professionals • High quality secondary school Type of institution (FET or University) Quality of institution Type of qualification (diploma, degree etc. ) Field of study (Engineering, Arts etc. ) High quality primary school Some motivated, lucky or talented students make the transition Semi. Skilled (31%) Clerks, service workers, shop personnel, skilled agric/fishery workers, plant and machinery operators) Unskilled (19%) (Broad - 33%) cf. Servaas van der Berg – QLFS 2011 Low quality secondary school High SES background +ECD Minority (20%) Big demand for good schools despite fees Some scholarships/bursaries Unequal society Majority (80%) Low SES background Low quality primary school Elementary occupations & domestic workers Unemployed - Quality • High productivity jobs and incomes (17%) Attainment • Type Labour Market 10

Policy implications – the earlier the better • Large inequalities in educational outcomes are

Policy implications – the earlier the better • Large inequalities in educational outcomes are already present by age 8 • Relatively higher marks in grades 1 -3 in ANA are misleading and shouldn’t be taken seriously. – Grades 1 and 2 were not verified & large nonresponse (see pp 6 in 2013 report) – Not calibrated to curriculum. Orally administered in Gr 1 (&2 sometimes) – Not psychometrically calibrated to be comparable. Changes in ANA results year-on-year absolutely CANNOT be interpreted as trends or improvements/deteriorations • Need to adopt a national goal “All children must read and write fluently by the end of grade 3” 11

Wisdom… "Policies that seek to remedy deficits incurred in early years are much more

Wisdom… "Policies that seek to remedy deficits incurred in early years are much more costly than early investments wisely made, and do not restore lost capacities even when large costs are incurred. The later in life we attempt to repair early deficits, the costlier the remediation becomes" (Heckman, 2000, p. 5). 12

Thank you Comments, questions? This presentation and papers available online at: www. nicspaull. com/research

Thank you Comments, questions? This presentation and papers available online at: www. nicspaull. com/research 13

Learning trajectories • In order to develop learning trajectories we need data on student

Learning trajectories • In order to develop learning trajectories we need data on student performance at multiple points in the system. • No existing longitudinal study covering the full range of school. • Solution: Use within-survey benchmarks – How do students perform relative to average quintile 5 student? – Convert these differences into “grade-level” using the assumption of 0. 3/0. 4 / 0. 5 grades = 1 year of learning (see Hill, Bloom, Black, & Lipsey, 2007). – In NSES from Grade 3 -Grade 4 average student performance increased by 0. 28 -0. 61 SD 14

Hill, Bloom, Black, Lipsey 2007 - USA 15

Hill, Bloom, Black, Lipsey 2007 - USA 15

Quantifying learning in a year in SA 16

Quantifying learning in a year in SA 16

Insurmountable learning deficits: 0. 3 SD South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic Quintiles

Insurmountable learning deficits: 0. 3 SD South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic Quintiles Based on NSES (2007/8/9) for grades 3, 4 and 5, SACMEQ (2007) for grade 6 and TIMSS (2011) for grade 9) 13 12 11 10 Effective grade 9 8 Quintile 1 7 Quintile 2 6 Quintile 3 Quintile 4 5 Quintile 5 4 Q 1 -4 Trajectory 3 Q 5 Trajectory 2 1 0 Gr 3 Gr 4 (NSES 2007/8/9) Gr 5 Gr 6 Gr 7 Gr 8 Gr 9 (SACMEQ 2007) Projections (TIMSS 2011) Actual grade (and data source) Gr 10 Gr 11 Gr 12 Projections 17

Insurmountable learning deficits: 0. 3 SD South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic Quintiles

Insurmountable learning deficits: 0. 3 SD South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic Quintiles Based on NSES (2007/8/9) for grades 3, 4 and 5, SACMEQ (2007) for grade 6 and TIMSS (2011) for grade 9) 13 12 11 10 Effective grade 9 8 Quintile 1 7 Quintile 2 6 Quintile 3 Quintile 4 5 Quintile 5 4 Q 1 -4 Trajectory 3 Q 5 Trajectory 2 1 0 Gr 3 Gr 4 (NSES 2007/8/9) Gr 5 Gr 6 Gr 7 Gr 8 Gr 9 (SACMEQ 2007) Projections (TIMSS 2011) Actual grade (and data source) Gr 10 Gr 11 Gr 12 Projections 18

Insurmountable learning deficits: 0. 3 SD South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic Quintiles

Insurmountable learning deficits: 0. 3 SD South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic Quintiles Based on NSES (2007/8/9) for grades 3, 4 and 5, SACMEQ (2007) for grade 6 and TIMSS (2011) for grade 9) 13 12 11 10 Effective grade 9 8 Quintile 1 7 Quintile 2 6 Quintile 3 Quintile 4 5 Quintile 5 4 Q 1 -4 Trajectory 3 Q 5 Trajectory 2 1 0 Gr 3 Gr 4 (NSES 2007/8/9) Gr 5 Gr 6 Gr 7 Gr 8 Gr 9 (SACMEQ 2007) Projections (TIMSS 2011) Actual grade (and data source) Gr 10 Gr 11 Gr 12 Projections 19

This is a nice graph Highest level of education completed by 18 -20 year

This is a nice graph Highest level of education completed by 18 -20 year olds by asset-wealth quintile GHS 2012 100% 90% 80% • Clear differences between Q 1 -3 & Q 4/5, particularly with respect to exemptions. 2% 10% 16% 60% Exemption Grade 12 31% 20% Grade 11 22% Grade 10 42% 20% 23% Grade 7 24% 21% 30% Grade 6 Grade 5 19% 14% 21% 25% 16% 8% 10% 9% Quintile 1 10% 7% 6% 4% 5% 2% 6% 1% 0% Quintile 2 Quintile 3 Quintile 4 Quintile 5 0% Grade 4 Grade 3 Grade 2 20% 10% Grade 9 Grade 8 50% 40% 16% 18% 16% 70% 6% Grade 1 Grade R 20

Policy recommendations 1. Make the Annual National Assessments reliable. 2. Short-term interventions: determine which

Policy recommendations 1. Make the Annual National Assessments reliable. 2. Short-term interventions: determine which early-learning interventions work and implement only these. 3. Longer-term interventions: identify the most promising ways of raising teacher quality, especially Foundation Phase teacher quality. 4. “Policies that seek to remedy deficits incurred in early years are much more costly than early investments wisely made, and do not restore lost capacities even when large costs are incurred. The later in life we attempt to repair early deficits, the costlier the remediation becomes” (Heckman, 2000, p. 5). 21

Conclusion • Learning deficits are large, systemic and grow over time – Grade-level diffs

Conclusion • Learning deficits are large, systemic and grow over time – Grade-level diffs between Q 1/2/3 and Q 5 ranges 3 -5 years behind • Clear motivation for early intervention: – Epistemologically – mathematics content structure – Pedagogically – hierarchical learning (ala Maloney & Confrey, 2010) – Economically – ala Heckman (2000) and brain plasticity 22

Questions • Are the assumptions underlying trajectories tenable? – Constant learning? 0. 3 SD

Questions • Are the assumptions underlying trajectories tenable? – Constant learning? 0. 3 SD Correct? • Policy implications – Suspending the curriculum (ala GPLMS? ) – Being more ‘realistic’ about the curriculum (ala Pritchett) – Is it the curriculum or is it teachers? Adjusting teachers expectations (both their expectations of what’s possible and what is expected of them) 23

Quantifying learning deficits in Gr 3 • Following Muralidharan & Zieleniak (2013) we classify

Quantifying learning deficits in Gr 3 • Following Muralidharan & Zieleniak (2013) we classify students as performing at the grade-appropriate level if they obtain a mean score of 50% or higher on the full set of Grade 3 level questions. Figure 1: Kernel density of mean Grade 3 performance on Grade 3 level items by quintiles of student socioeconomic status (Systemic Evaluation 2007) (Grade-3 -appropriate level) 51% 11% 24

Quantifying learning deficits in Gr 3 • Given South Africa’s history, socioeconomic inequalities will

Quantifying learning deficits in Gr 3 • Given South Africa’s history, socioeconomic inequalities will also necessarily extend to provincial inequalities Kernel density of mean Grade 3 performance on Grade 3 level items by province (Systemic Evaluation 2007) (Grade-3 -appropriate level) 32% 6% NB. Only the top 16% of South African Gr 3 students are at a Gr 3 level 25

Learning deficits in Grades 3, 4, 5 • To compare learning deficits between Grade

Learning deficits in Grades 3, 4, 5 • To compare learning deficits between Grade 3, 4, 5 we need to use NSES • Problematic due to language of testing (English) since most children only switch to Eng in Gr 4. – EG isi. Zulu child scores 13% in NSES Gr 3 and 20% in NSES Gr 4, • Was the due to increased mathematical proficiency? Increased English language fluency/familiarity? Some combination? • Therefore we use only no-language items in our analysis 26

NSES Gr 3 & 5 performance on no-language Gr 3 -level items (Grade-3 -appropriate

NSES Gr 3 & 5 performance on no-language Gr 3 -level items (Grade-3 -appropriate level) GRADE 3 NSES GRADE 5 NSES Proportion functioning at Gr 3 level • Q 1 -4 Gr 3 (8%) Gr 5 (26%) • Q 5 Gr 3 (25%) Gr 5 (55%) 27

Over Aged Students 28

Over Aged Students 28

Using ANA 2012 100% 90% 2% 5% 11% 13% 16% 15% 18% 29% 18%

Using ANA 2012 100% 90% 2% 5% 11% 13% 16% 15% 18% 29% 18% 80% Percentage of Student Population 8% 20% 70% 21% 22% 60% Too Old 50% 83% 40% Over Age 76% 69% Appropriate Age 62% 30% 59% Too Young 57% 45% 20% 10% 0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 9 Grade ‘Over aged’ = appropriate + 1 ‘Too old’ = appropriate +2+ 29

Grade 3 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 9 Over Aged Students – Across data

Grade 3 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 9 Over Aged Students – Across data sets (Spaull & Viljoen, forthcoming)

Over Aged Students – Across data sets Appropriate NSES 2007 Over Age Too Old

Over Aged Students – Across data sets Appropriate NSES 2007 Over Age Too Old Appropriate NSES 2008 Over Age Too Old Appropriate NSES 2009 Over Age Too Old Appropriate SACMEQ Over Age Too Old Appropriate TIMSS Over Age Too Old (Spaull & Viljoen, forthcoming) Proportion 61% 23% 16% 57% 24% 20% 54% 22% 57% 24% 19% 54% 22% Mean Score 29. 6 25. 3 23. 1 37. 4 30. 4 26. 2 50. 3 41. 2 35. 4 520. 5 472. 3 445. 9 385. 0 338. 0 307. 0 SE 0. 249 0. 331 0. 371 0. 247 0. 305 0. 303 0. 256 0. 327 0. 309 1. 416 1. 837 1. 755 0. 800 0. 972 0. 854 % Points SD behind 4. 3 0. 2 6. 4 0. 3 7. 0 0. 3 11. 2 0. 5 9. 1 0. 4 14. 9 0. 7 48. 2 0. 5 74. 6 0. 8 47. 0 0. 5 78. 0 0. 9

Over Aged Students – Across data sets South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic

Over Aged Students – Across data sets South African Learning Trajectories by National Socioeconomic Quintiles Based on NSES (2007/8/9) for grades 3, 4 and 5, SACMEQ (2007) for grade 6 and TIMSS (2011) for grade 9) 13. 00 12. 00 11. 00 10. 00 Gap = 5½ gradelevels Effective Grade 9. 00 8. 00 Too Old 7. 00 Over Age 6. 00 5. 00 Appropriate Age Gap = 2 ½ grade-levels Quintile 5 4. 00 Older Trajectory 3. 00 Quintile 5 Trajectory 2. 00 1. 00 0. 00 Gr 3 Gr 4 (NSES 2007/8/9) (Spaull & Viljoen, forthcoming) Gr 5 Gr 6 Gr 7 Gr 8 Gr 9 (SACMEQ 2007) Projections (TIMSS 2011) Actual Grade (and data source) Gr 10 Gr 11 Projections Gr 12

Home-language vs. English 33

Home-language vs. English 33

34

34

Examples of high and no language items High language No language Other Total Grade

Examples of high and no language items High language No language Other Total Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Total 1 1 1 3 5 2 7 14 6 9 15 30 0 3 3 6 12 15 26 53 High language content items No language content items 35

“quasi-Difference-in-Difference” • Clearly some of the underperformance in NSES Gr 3 maths is due

“quasi-Difference-in-Difference” • Clearly some of the underperformance in NSES Gr 3 maths is due to language • Problematic for learning trajectory analysis • Solution? Only use nine Gr 3 -level no-language items for Gr 3 -4 -5 learning trajectories from now on 36