You are here: Home Knowledge Base Economy Effective Investments in Education Solutions Focus education policy on providing rewards and sanctions for achieving better performance to energize local capacity and knowledge instead of trying to improve outcomes through general regulation.
Symposium 2012

Solution for Effective Investments in Education

The Challenge

Education is a fundamental right for everyone and key to the future of any country. Education has its price everywhere—but the only thing more expensive than investing in education is not investing ...

Education is a fundamental right for everyone and key to the future of any country. Education has its price everywhere—but the only thing more expensive than investing in education is not investing in education. Inadequate education produces high costs for society in terms of public spending, crime, health, and economic growth. No country can afford to leave too many of its children behind and not to help them achieve the competencies needed for a self-fulfilled life in economic independence.

Focus education policy on providing rewards and sanctions for achieving better performance to energize local capacity and knowledge instead of trying to improve outcomes through general regulation.

Education policy is plagued by attempts to improve outcomes through regulation, a situation that impedes improvement and frequently puts a ceiling on what outcomes are possible. These attempts invariably require treating all circumstances similarly, thus failing to recognize the importance of local demands, local knowledge and local capacity. The alternative is to provide incentives for better performance so that the abilities and energies of local people can be energized.

The fundamental idea of improved incentives is establishing rewards for those who move education towards higher achievement. These rewards would be a substitute for regulations that try to change actions by central command. Instead of telling educators how to do their jobs, incentives could focus on what they should achieve. Such an incentive system could include the following elements:

  • Accountability is central to any incentive system. It must be clear what the outcome is before incentives are applied and this will require clear and transparent measurement of achievement (see GESolution 1).
  • Local decision-making provides flexibility for educators to find the best way to achieve outcomes—although local decision-making without good accountability can produce perverse results.
  • Parental choice over schools, as far as it is feasible, directly involves parents in observing school outcomes and in setting incentives for local schools—since schools that lose students will have an incentive to improve their performance.
  • Direct rewards for the performance of teachers and leaders (properly measured) ensure that educators are working to enhance performance.
  • Dismissing low performers after failed attempts to improve their performance.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Bring together efforts from governments, schools, the private sector and civil society to initiate education initiatives and learn from promising education initiatives worldwide.

    Bring together efforts from governments, schools, the private sector and civil society to initiate education initiatives and learn from promising education initiatives worldwide.

    Bring together efforts from governments, schools, the private sector and civil society to initiate education initiatives and learn from promising education initiatives worldwide.

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Governments should invest in fair, objective and comprehensive metrics for evaluating teacher performance.

    Governments should invest in fair, objective and comprehensive metrics for evaluating teacher performance.

    Governments should invest in fair, objective and comprehensive metrics for evaluating teacher performance.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Governments should focus their investments on both individual and collective capacity-building—training pedagogues to use methods of individual support and to serve as "learning coaches" to help children "learn to learn" ...

    Governments should focus their investments on both individual and collective capacity-building—training pedagogues to use methods of individual support and to serve as "learning coaches" to help chi ...

    Governments should focus their investments on both individual and collective capacity-building—training pedagogues to use methods of individual support and to serve as "learning coaches" to help children "learn to learn" as well as being actively involved in local environments.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Governments should invest in embedding technology into pedagogical concepts to enable interactive learning experiences. For an effective use of technology, give teachers training and rewards, integrated in incentive systems for ...

    Governments should invest in embedding technology into pedagogical concepts to enable interactive learning experiences. For an effective use of technology, give teachers training and rewards, integrat ...

    Governments should invest in embedding technology into pedagogical concepts to enable interactive learning experiences. For an effective use of technology, give teachers training and rewards, integrated in incentive systems for student performance, to be champions of such new approaches.

    Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Use technological innovations to individualize public education cost-effectively.

    Use technological innovations to individualize public education cost-effectively.

    Use technological innovations to individualize public education cost-effectively.

    Civil Society