Winter 2012/13 Issue 15

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Bulletin Issue 15 - front coverThis edition of Research in Public Policy focuses on public services in developing countries, and also highlights recent research on teachers and educational outcomes in the UK and US.

In all too many cases, basic services such as education and health are poorly delivered in developing countries, but they are crucial for increasing living standards. In April 2012, a two-day conference held at CMPO brought together researchers working in this area. The conference served to highlight the similarity between the debate about what to do about public services in developing countries and the academic and policy debate in the UK, which has featured so heavily in CMPO research in the past. Among the issues considered were the role of financial incentives, conditionality in transfer programmes, evaluation of past reforms, the importance of political incentives and institutions. There is a common focus on education in developing and developed countries. The first three articles from the conference explore education and schools. They look at gender differences in maths performance across 19 African countries, the impact of an extra year in high school on student achievement in Ghana, and community monitoring of local schools.

Our second set of articles cover research on teachers and teacher labour markets in the UK and US. It is widely acknowledged that teacher effectiveness is the single most important factor for raising educational achievement. These articles discuss new findings on teacher turnover and teacher pay and their effects on pupil performance. CMPO researchers also examine evidence on teacher effectiveness and argue that major changes to current teacher training are required to raise student attainment in the UK.

Helen Simpson and Sarah Smith

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