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All Children Reading: Community of Practice Event

Monday, July 23, 2012 at 6:00 PM - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM (EDT)

All Children Reading: Community of Practice Event

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All Children Reading: Community of Practice Ended Free  

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Dear Colleagues,

Interest in early grade reading is at an all-time high. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has established a goal of reducing the number of non-reading children in grade 2 by half, in at least 20 countries within 5 years. USAID aims to improve the reading skills of  100,000,000 children by 2015.  DfID and AUSAID similarly have set improving reading as a headline goal. These donors together represent an estimated 50% of global aid to basic education.

At the same time, countries have started to commit to improving children's reading. Recently, 26 countries met in Rwanda, and made ambitious and specific pledges to improve reading outcomes.  At the GPE replenishment conference in November 2011, similar pledges were made.

The time frame to achieve these goals is short and a heightened sense of urgency and focus has emerged.  As a result, the demand for services in this area is increasing rapidly.  CSOs/NGOs, consulting firms and other implementing partners will play a critical role in strengthening the supply of expertise in early literacy. Donor agencies, countries and other partners will need support from a range of sources in the months and years to come.  Given what we know from evidence to date about the challenges of improving reading outcomes, the support must be as technically sound and rigorously evaluated as possible and the quantity of available support must increase quickly.

GPE has discussed these supply-side issues with USAID, DfID, and AUSAID.  We have jointly concluded that it would be helpful if a broad group of CSOs, NGOs, consulting firms and other implementing partners were to learn as much as possible from each other, so as to increase and improve the quality of support for early grade reading programs. It is our hope that a strong community of practice will emerge, where sharing successes and failures, developing evidence and building a knowledge base for the field will be a long term collaborative endeavor.  All stakeholders are expected to benefit, as countries, funding partners and technical partners work together to deliver and support the most effective, evidence-based programming possible. 

To further this process, GPE is inviting a range of organizations to share their evidence-to-date with each other and with us. We propose to convene an event from the evening of July 23rd through the late afternoon of July 25th, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (details on venue to follow). We plan to follow this event with similar meetings in Europe and/or Australia, pending discussions with other donors.  In the future there will also be additional regional events similar to the ones held in Rwanda, to create opportunities for all concerned actors to improve their ability to improve children’s reading.

Given the need to quickly improve how we help children learn to read, our approach to "best practice" at this event will be fairly formal.  Specifically, we would like organizations with strong evidence of reading improvement (including parameters such as the number of students who learned to read with fluency, costing, sustainability, scale, and time frames), as measured via rigorous evaluation, preferably impact evaluation, to take the lead in sharing and presenting the key practices they feel were accountable for their results. We see this opportunity to present as a responsibility of implementing partners to further the knowledge of the field, and request that organizations that have seen results share these experiences. Selection criteria and information about presenting is in the box below.

In addition to organizations with extensive and evaluated experience, other organizations in our community are likely to be fairly new to rigorous reading improvement programming. Others may simply be intrigued by these opportunities and others may have done some work in the area but may have seen somewhat disappointing results.  These organizations are invited to share more informally or simply to attend, discuss, and network.  Key conclusions stemming from the sessions will be documented and distributed to participants and the community of practice at large.  

 

In order to preserve the intended nature of a technical meeting focused around plenary-discussion only, we will limit physical attendance to 60 participants. Registration will be on a first-response, first-served basis and with a limit of two representatives per organization. If more than 60 organizations respond, we may have to reduce representation to one person per organization.  Space will be reserved for the 6 organizations that will be the lead presenters (see selection criteria below) and for a few observers from donor organizations. We urge all interested in attending to RSVP as soon as possible.  The event will also be broadcast live via Adobe Connect, with a chat option for submitting questions and comments, for organizations and additional staff members who cannot attend in person. If the event proves popular and there is excess demand, it can be repeated.

 

The format of the discussion will be a modified Delphi process. A lead presenter for each topic will be chosen (see selection criteria below) to present in detail. Presentations are expected to be informal (no need for high production values) but technically detailed.  During each session, other organizations that can contribute to the topic or have questions will have time to do so, as there will be only 6 sessions in 2 days, allowing approximately 2:15 hours for each. Each session will be strongly moderated so as to allow for a convergence of ideas. Strong moderation will also be used to remind all to point out what precise evidence they base their assertions on, or whether they are proposing ideas that are interesting but have not been tried or proven yet. A note taker will summarize the conclusions for later usage by the community.

 

As noted, the idea of the workshop is to lead with the best possible research-based evidence on what works. To accomplish this, we will have a selection of lead presenters based on evidence of previous work, as judged by a panel of experts. Organizations wishing to present are asked to submit the information outlined on the next page.

 

If your organization would like to present, please send the information requested below to allchildrenreadingevent@gmail.com no later than 5:00 PM EST on June 8th.

Technical questions may be addressed to Luis Crouch, lcrouch@globalpartnership.org.


 
 

PRESENTERS:

The choice of presentations will be guided by available evidence on impact.  Organizations that can show impact from their programming are encouraged to share their knowledge and experience as a way to build knowledge for the field and to improve overall practice in the implementing partner community. Please review the following criteria and submit the requested information no later than 5 pm EST on June 8, 2012. Presenters will be notified on or before June 15th.

 

Selection Criteria

  • Please submit, as attachments to your response e-mail, one or two project evaluations that show program impact, including estimates of effect size, change in scores in absolute or percentage terms (but in either of those cases show the base), etc., including the methodologies used to determine impact (randomization of varying degrees of rigor, formality of assignment to control and treatment groups, etc., other rigorous methods such as case matching).
  • If the impact evaluation documentation does not include the following points for the chosen project, please address them to the degree possible in a separate file.

o   Current scale (numbers of children, schools, and teachers involved)

o   Cost of the project, and any cost reduction considerations or calculations when the project has been taken to scale by government (that is, using government labor and assuming all up front costs are out of the way)

o   If there has not been explicit written consideration of these issues in your project evaluations, mention whether there are plans to do so and how your organization would approach these issues.

 

  • Note: Please also include information on how you think one or two of the following list of issues accounted for your positive outcomes in a single program or in a range of activities We will use your selection of one or two of these areas as a guide for deciding on presentation topics, and to ask for presentations that cover the details. We are particularly interested in how you maintained rigor and fidelity in your approach. If not enough presenters highlight a particular key area, we may we may broaden the presentation topics.
    • Standards, Curricula, Lessons/Instructional Approach
    • Teacher Training, Coaching and Supervision
    • Language of instruction
    • Instructional Time
    •  Reading Materials (textbooks and supplementary materials (design or re-design, provision, logistics, etc.)
    •  Assessment (design, types, frequency, logistics)
    • Community Involvement and Accountability
    • Impact evaluation methodology
    • Specific work with the Ministry and civil society to ensure scale-up

 

 

 

 

 

Have questions about All Children Reading: Community of Practice Event? Contact the organizer

When & Where

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, 20433

Monday, July 23, 2012 at 6:00 PM - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 5:00 PM (EDT)


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