Approximately 60 attended a panel discussion on October 13 featuring noted education experts Dr. Harry Patrinos of the World Bank and Dr. Luis Crouch of RTI International. Hosted by the Global Reading Network at the Reading within Reach headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland, the program focused on “New Evidence on the Impacts of Reading/Literacy: A Discussion with the Members of the Global Reading Network Community of Practice.” Dr. Jean-Marc Bernard of the Global Partnership for Education moderated.
Both panelists examined the evidence on public and private returns to increasing and sustaining investments in reading/literacy skills, including productivity and growth benefits to business and the economy. Both emphasized the importance of effective early grade reading education.
“We have a challenge to make sure children get into school but an even greater challenge to make sure they are learning,” said Dr. Patrinos, Practice Manager for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank’s Education Global Practice. He outlined the key elements of effective EGR interventions and concluded by noting, “We need universal early reading to make public investments in post-basic education pay off.”
Dr. Crouch, Chief Technical Officer with RTI’s International Development Group, explained that investments in global education and literacy are important to the U.S. economy and national security because they affect countries’ potential as trade partners, their political and social stability, and their migration and labor relationships. “Education is all of a whole with trade, migration and stability,” he said. He noted the policy implications and concluded that the time to invest is now.
Following the presentations, Bernard addressed a few key points and opened the floor for a spirited and wide-ranging set of questions. To access materials from the presentations, click here. A video of the entire event is available on this YouTube page.