The problems with outcome-based approaches to education
Today we explore some of the problems with global learning metrics from the perspective of teacher unions. In particular, we look at outcomes-based approaches to international education development.
Such an approach uses global learning metrics to quantify supposed outcomes of education. But as a result, education is reduced and simplified.
My guest today is David Edwards, Deputy General Secretary of Education International in Brussels. Education International is the global federation of teacher unions. He will present some of the ideas discussed today at the CIES Symposium in November. Check out FreshEdpodcast.com for more details about the event.
Citation: Edwards, David, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 46, podcast audio, October 17, 2016. https://freshedpodcast.com/davidedwards/
Will Brehm 1:24
David Edwards, welcome to FreshEd.
David Edwards 1:26
Thanks for having me.
Will Brehm 1:28
What is outcomes-based approach to education?
David Edwards 1:31
Outcomes-based approach is sort of one of those newfangled policy terms that emerged in recent decades. Really, it’s not very much different than the idea that we had an outcome we’re going for, there’s an objective in our mind, and we’re trying to achieve that with our students. But when you apply the sort of economic principle of outcomes to education policy, and you bring educational investors into it, then what it has to do is … it basically is an approach that says if we put money in the front into education, we want to see outcomes in terms of … generally they’re talking about learning outcomes, we want to see test scores hit certain cut scores. So, we want to see a cut score. So, it’s an approach to education where the value of education is quantified through an outcome measure.
Will Brehm 2:18
So, outcomes are always, they have to be measurable, is that the issue?
David Edwards 2:23
Yeah, outcomes have to be measurable; outcomes tend to have to be sort of simple. And in the sort of global parlance, they have to be easily communicated. They have to be things that, you know, you can control for a lot of, those who are in favor of them say you can control for a lot of intervening variables and things like that. So, if it’s an outcome on, generally it is on learning. I mean, we also have health outcomes, right, we have outcomes on well-being. And I think we’ll get to that a little bit later. But the outcomes-based approach is saying, we’re no longer interested in, you know, how you make the cake, we’re no longer interested in the ingredients, we’re not interested in the process by which you do it. We’re only interested in one of a series of measures on the other end of whether or not your cake tastes good.
Will Brehm 3:16
What would be an outcome for education? I mean, is it just test scores? Are there other outcomes that these investors in education are looking for?
David Edwards 3:28
Well, you know, because of what’s going on around the Sustainable Development Goals, there are a lot of different outcomes and the Sustainable Development Goals themselves have, you know, sort of taken an outcomes-based approach. So, some of them are gender parity, the same amount of girls and boys is likely to be in school, enrolled in school. So that would be an outcome of any kind of policy. It’s generally very simplified, it tries to think about it in purely technical terms in something that is generally much more of a political issue, whether or not girls have access, whether or not women have the right to speak to participate, what it looks like in terms of labor laws, yada yada yada. But it is not interesting for folks that just want to focus on the outcome. And they always talk about a laser-like focus on outcomes.
Will Brehm 4:14
And so, what do they miss by focusing only on outcomes?
David Edwards 4:19
They miss huge issues around equity, they miss huge issues around opportunity. They miss huge issues around the different kinds of processes, that to them are inside the black box, and are because of the assumptions that are built into their modeling, right. This is an economic and econometrics approach. So, they make certain assumptions about human behavior, human motivation, what the purpose of education is, who the beneficiaries are, whether they’re individual beneficiaries, or social beneficiaries, they tend to see it primarily as the individual beneficiaries. So, one, they miss those wider, sort of social benefits that accrue to the society around having an educated population as educated citizenry. They miss the different types of ways that teachers actually teach, how they instruct, how they tailor instruction, how they make real time decisions with students based on their needs, their styles, information that they have from them, a whole variety of things that they don’t know. And basically, what they do is they want to connect $1 of investment with a number on the other end. And generally, that tends to be a test score. And for those of us who work in education, that becomes very frustrating because those test scores are just a snapshot of one thing. Many times, there’s cultural bias built into those, many times, the child maybe didn’t eat, maybe you are doing it at an age where most kids were pushed out of school, or there’s some sort of where there wasn’t a secondary education available to them. So, behind the whole thing, there is a premise that access is more or less been dealt with, everyone’s in school, or everyone has the opportunity to go to school. And that’s just not true. It’s completely false. And those of us, who sort of challenged that, count myself among a number of people who see the quality education is not just outcomes, but also the inputs and the processes, feel that when you’re trying to compare, you know, children that have access to the new technologies, all sorts of enrichment programs, they’ve had breakfast, they have parents that would read to them, all these kinds of things, but you don’t care about any of that, you only care about what happens on the other side. You stop attending to those things, and you stop dealing and making policy that works towards greater equity and greater equality of opportunities.
Will Brehm 6:51
So, you said that this outcomes-based approach is a fairly new policy approach. How did we actually get here? Like, how did it emerge to be, you know, pretty dominant in the international development world?
David Edwards 7:06
I think there’s a couple of streams that have sort of flowed into the delta, where we find ourselves now, I mean, one of them is new managerialism, which came out of sort of the Thatcher period in time, which is a way of managing and a way of producing results, that only mattered if it was something measurable. They’re smart goals, you know, simple, measurable, blah, blah, blah. And there was that part of it that was influencing how education ministries were being advised by policymakers, how also different political parties, the accountability, structures, and policies that were being put in place in terms of how you’re accountable for results. So, that was coming. And that’s part of new managerialism.
And then, it also has to do I think education has a sister sector, which is health. And in the global education, sort of development, education policy world, that some of us live in and work in many times we hear donors, these are donor agency, so governments and generally in OECD countries saying that, you know, we need to be able to say, just like, how many kids were vaccinated, right, in a health intervention, we should be able to say, how many kids are now literate, full stop, whatever literate means, right? They used to one point in time if you can sign your name, how many words you can read a minute, and we fight and discuss and debate what literacy is and what numeracy is.
And there’s this group of people, who are very well intentioned, who think that we can attract more money to education, if we get better at telling our story, if we get better at telling our case because, for example, bed nets, in health, right, it became a delivery issue. So, there was people sort of construct it or conceptualize the problem in education as a delivery issue. So, teachers are deliverers of content, students process the content, what comes out the other side, or outcomes. And so, they were saying to us, you need to find, you know, a bed net for education or a vaccine. That way, we can then say, if you put $1 in, you buy this vaccine for illiteracy or for ignorance, or for whatever problem you’ve got because we always come to the schools to solve all of our societal problems versus the other way around. And, you know, we want to see something that we can then go back to our citizens, our taxpayers, our investors, and say, look, we were able to increase for every dollar, we got a rate of return of, you know, two, three, whatever it was, in terms of the rates of return. And so that’s the world that we found ourselves in, it was new managerialism, it was sort of the health sector, it was the rise of the sort of big data, econometrics folks who came into education from the business sector and other sectors, and who are applying market-based principles and rationales to something that at one point in time, and those of us remember, do we had much more to do about democracy and inclusion, and socialization and transformation. And so that’s basically where we found ourselves.
Will Brehm 10:25
So, having focused on the delivery side to produce a particular outcome that, you know, would justify this investment? Is this approach partly culturally unaware because it assumes that you can basically do this same sort of delivery issue or, you know, if perfect delivery, it can be done anywhere, regardless of context, or culture or background?
David Edwards 10:57
That’s the assumption. That’s the fundamental assumption that’s built into the model. And that’s the one that we can test. Those of us, who actually work in schools at the grassroots level, that there is some sort of global approach that brain science or something else has given us to decoding and teaching literacy, you know like the four or five step process that Helen Abadzi at the World Bank, or somebody would say, it’s very easy. It’s not rocket science, you can teach someone to read, you do this, you do this, you do this. And then you measure, measure, measure, measure, and then la la, they can read! But the trick was, for that particular example, it was about fluency. It wasn’t about comprehension. And that’s where it starts to get messy, it gets messy in all sorts of places, but it’s easier to measure how many words a student can read over a given period of time, then did they really get, you know, the point of what they were reading, and were they able to extrapolate from that, synthesize that, were they able to sort of use higher order thinking in terms of coming up with new learnings and applying those. I mean that became the sort of the holy grail of what’s come to become sort of 21st century skills, or, you know, there’s a whole range of ways that people talk about this. But that’s hard to measure.
And generally, my feeling on it is that the people who are with them for 180 days a year, day in and day out, who know them, these children are sort of better placed, to give examples to put, quote unquote, evidence, data points, however you want to, you know, conceptualize it, but and then do this really radical thing, which I think is the difference it … when teachers do assessment, or teachers assess outcomes, or teachers assess results, or teachers assess student learning, the main purpose of it is to then feed it back into that system to improve. So, they didn’t get this. Let’s try it this way. But that’s not actually, I think, what’s behind the outcomes-based movement globally, it’s not about improving the experience, the learning opportunities, tailoring, it’s not about personalization, it’s really about control. It’s about having information on a dashboard, so that you can flip switches, and see what happens. And it’s fundamentally not about improvement because if it was about improvement, then the information would feed its way back into the hands of the people that are best positioned to make decisions to improve whether those are curriculum developers, teachers, parents, students themselves. And it’s really not happening through those types of mechanisms.
Will Brehm 13:52
So, what are some of the like underpinning drivers that have created this sort of approach? Where you’re saying it’s not about, you know, it’s not really about learning, there’s other interests at play? Like, is this an issue of, like privatization, like the business actors getting more involved in education? Is that one of the fundamental drivers creating this, sort of, you know, environment that we find ourselves in?
David Edwards 14:20
I think that’s a big part of it, I think you had the same people, who assess and say there is a crisis, right, tend to be the same people who show up afterwards with an off-the-shelf solution that you can buy from them to solve your crisis. And I find that to be fundamentally conflict of interest, fundamental corruption. But it doesn’t surprise me anymore. It really doesn’t. And I think public education, you know, the trillions of dollars that are there, had been openly spotted by private sector globally, and saying, so that’s the last frontier that we have left to commodify and to privatize. And the way you do that is by saying ‘the government is doing a really terrible job, the kids are not learning, it’s a massive crisis. And it’s wasteful, and it’s wasting. And we have very easy ways of, you know, cutting costs, and giving you these interventions or innovations or products that are guaranteed, you know, where your money back, that are guaranteed to get results.’ And so, they overpromise, and then they don’t get results, you know, which is also the long history, we can talk about, it’s just the road of failure, and but the over-reliance to keep coming back to them, like at some point, they’re going to get it, you know, it was, it’s completely flipped in terms of where the innovation should come from, who we should be listening to, and how we should be designing things, so that students themselves can be involved in sort of these more higher order learning endeavors, and applying them in a world that, let’s face it, is it’s pretty tricky, right now. It’s pretty tough, it’s complex. And, you know, helping students deal with that complexity and that ambiguity, and helping them come to their own conclusions through looking at multiple perspectives around different issues, develop the values and develop the skills and the understanding and the ability to communicate and work together and do all these things. Well, you know, the companies don’t deceive. And some of them say that they can do that, too.
But I think the main feature that’s new in this is that in the past, these companies were just trying to sell their goods and services to ministries. And because they embrace a certain worldview, they embrace a certain political ideology as well about what education is and how it should be best held, they’re actually made their way into policy spaces, where they’re advising, if not writing policies, that also benefit them. So, through their lobbying, through their positioning, they’re actually influencing governments. So, governments are just as much at fault for outsourcing their core responsibilities. But you also have these companies that are playing basically every side of a multi-sided fence in terms of trying to set the field so that, you know, the crisis gets announced, and income the consultants and income the companies and can say, you know, what your problem is, you lack data, you lack enough data points to make good policy decisions, you lack a policy GPS system, you want to get to why you’re here at x, we have looked at everything, we know exactly what the best intervention is, what the teacher should say, what the students should read, you know, what the tests, best tests of the best time, would be, and we can do all that for you. And, you know, you spend 80% of your … we should also say that you spend 80% of your recurrent expenditures on those teachers, and they just cause problems, and they don’t show up. And, you know, they push kids through, and they just care about seat time, and, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, we have a cheaper way. And that cheaper way won’t require qualified trained professionals. Now, those same people, if we look at the classes their kids are in, and the schools they’re sending the kids to, very different story. Now this is we’re very much have to be aware that we’re talking about other people’s kids, other people’s children, where there’s a whole different set of expectations that are available at a low-cost price for them.
Will Brehm 19:01
I want to turn to teachers because you work for Education International, which is the global federation of teacher unions. And, you know, you must have seen and heard from so many teachers that have experienced changes to their profession, have been impacted in different ways, as this approach has more or less gone global, and it is found in so many countries around the world. So, can you talk a little bit about, you know, what is the impact on teachers?
David Edwards 19:30
Sure. And it’s, you know, it varies by degrees from country to country. And I will say that coming out of the sort of Commonwealth Anglo world, there’s a certain type of reform that has negatively impacted teachers, that has been sort of borrowed, if you look at the policy borrowing literature, you can actually track where different policies get borrowed, to and from, and you can see how it plays out in others. But, you know, one of the more serious, and I would say, devastating things that have come as a result of this is what’s called value-added modeling, VAM, and value-added methodology. It’s basically this idea that by using test scores, you can basically predict what percentage, how much that teacher adds value to a student’s test score. So, if you go back to Coleman, who was a very famous educational economist, sociologist, and talked about the division between how much of education outcomes, education learning can be attributed to family, how much is it, you know, to the personal characteristics, the child, how much to the teachers, you know, in the back then it was, you know, 65% was outside of the school, and so folks we’re focusing on the 35%. The VAM took it a step further, and said, well, what we want to actually do is, say, looking at kids, what percentage of their learning can actually be directly attributable to teachers, and then let’s evaluate teachers based on that, let’s then pay them based on that, let’s make hiring and firing decisions based on that. And the main problem was methodologically, it’s completely unsound. It’s toxic. The National Academies of Sciences, the US, came out with a statement saying, you know, we do not advise it, it is a toxic measure, it should not be employed.
And, you know, it’s basically taking different kinds of assessments for different kinds of things and mixing them together. So, student assessment is looking at student’s learning, right, when it’s done really well and informative, and it will then and I’ve talked about how it should inform instruction, and all these kinds of things. Taking that and using that to evaluate teachers, or to evaluate schools, goes beyond what it was created to do. And so, it actually goes beyond that. And just to say, what it’s done around the world where those countries that have used it, you have teachers that were ‘Teachers of the Year,’ that were the toast of the town, were winning all these awards, in states in the United States at the sort of the peak of the VAM movement, that got a low VAM score, that they were for some reason ranked in the very very bottom, in terms of their VAM score, and let go, and, and fired. So, you have these award-winning teachers through their peers, their students, and people were outraged. They’re saying what is this, and ‘the Race to the Top’ was actually in the United States, Arne Duncan’s signature program actually put a lot of pressure on states to include VAM in the evaluations of teachers. And that also then traveled, it traveled all over the place. The Asian Development Bank now talks about it in terms of performance pay, where you can actually measure that. But we actually have a white paper, we’ve sort of done a literature review of all this sort of analysis. It’s up on our ‘education in crisis.net’ website. So, you can see sort of that but we’ve had teachers commit suicide over it. We have in the United States, because of the pressure on teachers and the way in which these sort of test scores, everything’s on teachers, right. So, every teacher is responsible for everything. We have the highest turnover rate in the history of teaching in the United States, and we’re seeing that in other countries too, people are not wanting to come into teaching, the mode is one year, in terms of retention for the United States, right. Now, we’re seeing in the UK, they’re having a major teacher shortage, too, hard to attract people into teaching.
I mean, imagine if you had a dentist, and you were going to pay the dentist on how many cavities there. The kids are the people that their patients had, right? That’s basically on you, that’s not on us, let’s we’re going to pay you on cavities. You know, it’s just fallacious thinking. But it comes from the same sectors, they’d say, you know, if a salesman brings in X percent more sales, they should get a bonus. Right? So, we should pay them based on, you know, the teachers that get, you know, nice bumps in test scores for kids, should get a bonus. But not all teachers teaching subjects that are tested. So, one of the things that we found out in this wacky world is that now if you’re a gym teacher, your VAM score is based on the math, how about on the math scores? Right? How much control do you have on that? Did you count all your push-ups? Wait, you went from seven to nine, you missed eight, oh, boy, I’m gonna get fired over this. You know, it’s ridiculous. Or when they had schools that weren’t actually doing assessments? They would, actually in Florida, there was this massive Supreme Court case where they were evaluating teachers from the VAM scores of the school down the road. Right. So that’s just one example. But we’re seeing that seep into a lot of different places.
Although I have to say that I am a little bit optimistic on this side because in the what’s called the international summits on the teaching profession, which is something that EI organizes annually with the OECD, where we bring together 25 to 30 ministers of education, and union leaders, teacher union leaders in different countries to take a look at evidence and debate different policies and approaches. And what are considered high-performing, high-equity countries, so the Finland and the whatever, they don’t use VAM, they don’t even talk about it. It was the third summit back couple years ago, you know, except for the UK, everybody else there was saying no, no, no, we would never do that. That doesn’t make sense, that you wouldn’t build professionalism, you don’t encourage teacher learning, we actually want a much more horizontal structure, we want teachers to take responsibility and accountability and be collaborating, we want to see a much deeper, more long-lasting professional view on this. And so, in OECD countries, one of the things I get frustrated with is I feel like we’ve almost jumped the shark on this, and we’re moving towards like the newest ISTP report that the OECD and EI did was talking about democratic professionalism, talking about collective autonomy, talking about professional capital and really moving the dial and countries moving in this way, making sure that but in the developing countries, in the non-OECD countries, what’s being prescribed is the stuff that, you know, we’re still going through in some countries, and some have already come through and some of sidestep completely like the high performers. They actually never did any of this, right. If you read Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley’s work or Pasi Sahlberg’s work, you know, there is this tiny little piece of information that’s kind of big in that the stuff that’s being prescribed, actually, no one that has a really good system ever tried, or would ever think to try, but this is exactly what developing countries are having pushed on them in a variety of different ways.
Will Brehm 27:34
It seems like one of the big issues is about quality. Because, you know, if you’re producing a widget, you can ensure quality in pretty concrete ways. But when it comes to education, the idea of quality just seems so messy, and you know, abstract, and varied. So, I mean, it seems like quality becomes a big issue.
David Edwards 27:59
Yeah, it does become a big issue. And, you know, for the longest time, there was a raging debate between about quality and learning, you know, we see quality as something that you actually can’t pull it apart from equity. Because if you’re not providing quality, so if you’re not providing a qualified, well-trained, well-supported teacher in an environment that is equally designed to sort of maximize the learning and support and the opportunities, giving them the tools that they need, the quality tools that they’ve been trained with, that they know how to use, they’ve asked for it, that they’ve, you know, that’s sort of a what we call a multi-dimensional view of quality. And, you know, what Gustavo Fischman calls the simplemetrified world of simplified metrics, you know, that version of quality, you know, to some people get eye rolls and they … “Oh, God, here we go, again, about quality is complex.” And, actually, it’s, can you measure it, quality is just what comes out the other side? It’s quality control. Are the math scores going up? Or they are going down? Or the real scores going up, or they are going down, nothing else matters, you know, and everybody else who says it does are making excuses for the fact that they can’t make the math scores go up indefinitely, which they act by the way can’t. But you know, who cares? Because we have to suspend disbelief in a lot of these debates.
So, quality itself has become a contested term. Inside of the Education International family, we see quality used as both a weapon and a tool, quality assurance, quality controls, and because we need really good quality, we will need to make sure that students are learning, the quality is improving. That’s why we need to get rid of teacher qualifications. What? We really need great quality; we really want the best learning. That’s why we need to get rid of … we need to reduce the teacher education. Hah? Because quality is so important, that’s why we’re going to pay teachers based on test scores. Hah? You know, and you just kind of go again and again, what are you talking about? I mean, and so in a way we used … quality actually became a way for us, that had a broader notion of what I should also say, as a human rights approach notion to equality, and equity as being inseparable that you can’t talk about one without talking about the other. It’s just became very frustrating. And we found that there was … folks were saying, okay, we’re not gonna talk about quality. We’re negotiating declaration. I do. We negotiate a lot of declarations. Okay, so you work with UNESCO, you work with UN agencies, you get a lot of statements, you have a lot of promises, and words matter in those. And the word’s free. It was one that was always been very hard, hardly fought versus affordable. Guess who was in favor of affordable? Yeah, private sector. But, you know, in terms of, there was a group that wanted quality taken out and just wanted it to tap the word learning …
Will Brehm 31:22
And so, in your mind, what’s the difference between learning and quality?
David Edwards 31:27
Well, if we learn anything about what we engaged in, as we’ve pursued greater quality, equity, equality, it’s that learning is deeply personal. Learning is deeply contextual. Learning you do for a purpose. Learning has to do with … You can say systems learn, that’s fine, and people learn. But learning in the policy term has come to symbolize this idea that there are a lot of children who are going through school that are not learning anything. So that means their scores aren’t at what where they should be. Now, I also have to say, from EI’s perspective, that the whole learning crisis, you know, you’ve heard about the 250, you know, million children that are not learning at grade level. This is not something new. And when it first through of happened, we the EI, and sort of the rights-based movement, well, duh, you’ve basically crowded all these kids into classrooms, you’ve given them volunteer teachers, you sometimes you haven’t paid the teachers. And now you’re saying we’ve got this huge problem because kids aren’t learning what they should be learning. We’ve been saying we have a problem with literacy. We’ve been saying we have a problem with numeracy. So welcome to the party. Welcome to trying to, and then you go. So, what are we going to do? You’re going to test them? No, no, no, we already know, we know, we need to fix the system, it is like no, we need better tests. We have a sick patient; we need more thermometers. What? And that’s the sort of frustrated conversations that we don’t want to be against learning. But I have worked in favor of learning, we’re the learning profession, right. But it’s been co-opted, and it’s become such a sliding signifier that you actually don’t know, when people say, you know, I’m in favor of trying to really improve and deepen learning, whether what they’re not really saying is, I’d really like to get some more tests, I’d really like to deploy a lot more assessments and tests, or is it really about thinking deeply, and, you know, and there’s a lot of people that are working on this and trying to push the paradigm on that front.
Again, I’m somewhat optimistic in some areas. But that’s usually in places, where the teaching profession is strong, where parents are well informed and push back on a lot of this testing stuff, where students are informed, where taxpayers and voters are informed and have the power to kind of push back … in those countries where they’re not quite there. And this is new. It particularly in some developing countries, a lot of the sort of corporate reformers who say they’re bringing greater learning, don’t have the sort of countervailing weight of civil society to kind of push back and say, Wait, wait, wait. Who’s learning? You’re defining that for us? What? You’re dangling this above my minister’s head, you’re saying my right to education depends on whether or not we had a cut score as a country, or what a donor wants. I mean, if I can jump, I think, just for a second. One of the things that the movement globally has felt frustration with … now, these are teachers and student’s unions, student’s movements, civil society movements, is what we were calling donor driven policymaking. That meant that the donors were setting conditions. For those of you weren’t familiar with the sort of structural adjustment period that many countries went through in the 80s, the World Bank put a lot of conditions on their loans that forced and the IMF did as well, in terms of wage cap bills, saying that you couldn’t raise wages, you know, you couldn’t hire this many teachers, you know, so there’s now a new form of conditionality, which is then tied to the sort of outcomes-based, results-based, performance-based paradigm. And they’re saying, okay, we’ll give you X amount of money. But if you get the test scores up for this particular group, then you’ll get the rest of the money. And in the donor driven world with, I think one of the main … there was lots of issues. Okay. But if I was to pick one that I think you can understand is, if you say them, you can game any system, right, so if someone, if the incentives are such that I need to hit a cut score, so you give me money, so my system operates, I’m going to pick the easiest cut score that I can find, I’m going to pick the least risky thing, guess who I’m not going to focus on the most marginalized, the girls, the rural, the indigenous speaker, you know, those folks I’m not going to worry about, I might even push them out or tell them to stay home on the day of the test, right, which we know is happened in a lot of countries because of the way in which the perverse incentives are built in. But even more than that, you get this sense that if we choose only the easiest thing in terms of to invest in as a developing country Minister of Education, and I serve on the board of the Global Partnership for Education, and we hear, and I interact with a lot of ministers of education from around the world. And they say, well, you know, if they’re going to give me money, and they want to see a bump in the math scores, or a bump in the reading scores. Sorry, sorry, Dave. But guess where we’re not putting the money, we’re not going to put it into teacher education. Because we’re not going to see those results because the donors want to see something within a year, two-three years of horizon. In education, anybody that does education research knows that’s ludicrous. But that’s where they want to see those quick wins, those quick games, and then they can sort of crowd in more resourcing and more funding to that thing. But what you end up doing is saying, well, where can I get a quick win? Well, here’s actually a teacher training program that goes on for three weeks, where we’ll give all teachers iPads, and we will tell you, what, eight-hour day where the kids will practice taking math tests, the teacher doesn’t even have to … I mean they should have a pulse. You know, a little more than that we’re not worried about, they should be able to at least read an iPad, the iPad will tell you minute one, you know erase the board, minute two walk around the class, minute three test question one, put in the answers, those get them shot up to wherever Cambridge or whoever is in control the software. And, you know, that ends up becoming the cheaper way of dealing with it. So, this is it, it’s a deep problem and was particularly when those companies that then produce that, then get in cahoots with … Cahoots, I used to work Cahoots, my grandfather would be proud, you know, are aligning themselves with donors who want to see ministries actually pick these off the shelf interventions versus the sort of more systemic, system strengthening investment in teacher education, that guess who’s doing – high performers. But that’s a little inconvenient fact. And, you know, we live in this sort of dual world where we have expectations for our kids and our kids’ rights and expectations for other kids and their rights.
Will Brehm 39:13
Well, David Edwards, thank you so much for joining FreshEd.
David Edwards 39:16
That has been my pleasure. Thanks very much, Will.