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DOWNLOAD · The Rebirth of Education ⚣ Despite Great Progress Around The World In Getting Kids Into Schools, Too Many Leave Without Even The Most Basic Skills In India S Rural Andhra Pradesh, For Instance, Only About One In Twenty Children In Fifth Grade Can Perform Basic ArithmeticThe Problem Is That Schooling Is Not The Same As Learning In The Rebirth Of Education, Lant Pritchett Uses Two Metaphors From Nature To Explain Why The First Draws On Ori Brafman And Rod Beckstrom S Book About The Difference Between Centralized And Decentralized Organizations, The Starfish And The Spider Schools Systems Tend Be Centralized And Suffer From The Limitations Inherent In Top Down Designs The Second Metaphor Is The Concept Of Isomorphic Mimicry Pritchett Argues That Many Developing Countries Superficially Imitate Systems That Were Successful In Other Nations Much As A Nonpoisonous Snake Mimics The Look Of A Poisonous One Pritchett Argues That The Solution Is To Allow Functional Systems To Evolve Locally Out Of An Environment Pressured For Success Such An Ecosystem Needs To Be Open To Variety And Experimentation, Locally Operated, And Flexibly Financed The Only Main Cost Is Ceding Control The Reward Would Be The Rebirth Of Education Suited For Today S World The premise of the book is to support decentralization of the education process without actually choosing which path to take charter, private, voucher, etc That s a much better answer than choosing a path, the author argues, because the actual path depends on the society that is building the educational system The argument is not only convincing, it s basically right You cannot argue that the same educational system will work in India, China, Nigeria France It s actually a bit laughable that I once thought you could export the charter system from the suburbs into an urban area it s kind of obvious that charter systems will have a much tougher time in densely packed areas The same principle goes for all the other specific systems.Pritchett spends most of the book going after the current centralized system, which allows him to loop in all of the current education systems around the world This abstraction is very important because if he can convince you that the principles of the abstraction the spider system are discordant with progress in education, then you have to call all of the current education systems garbage I already did that, so he was speaking to the choir with respect to that conclusion However, the abstraction codifies what I already felt Testing is useful, just not on its own To strike that balance is on the parent or guardian or community, not on the federal government Competition between schools isimportant than standardization you can make everyone stupid but you need competition to make everyone better than what they are now These kinds of principles are what Pritchett uses to strike down federal state mandates on education.A critical aspect of Pritchett s stance is the separation of schooling physical education mental This is a very important separation that can be applied to lots of other controversial topics diversity in terms of of jobs physical vs ability to succeed independent of race or creed mental , for example As a result, while every government can talk about improved schooling, very few can talk about improved education The most tedious part of the book is the constant examples of lack of improved education Pritchett throws a TON of studies at you to justify that schooling education empirically It makes sense as an argument, but apparently the empiricism is necessary to go after the naysayers.Overall, I liked the book and even though it s a bit of a tough read ugh economists , it s worth the time You can use the spider starfish argument to counter both the privatization people society needs to check and balance you and the socialists constant mediocrity does not provide innovation. I discovered great insights from the book This book opened my eyes that in order to ameliorate the quality of education, the whole system in the country needs to change This book made me feel a bit pessimistic about it, actually, but it s good to have a comprehensive understanding about the issue I recommend the book for those who s interested in education especially in developing countries and development Some of the great things Pritchett wrote in the book If your bicycle tire has a hole, pumping inair won t do much good The particular danger of isomorphic mimicry is that the mimics might look as good as, or better than, actual performers when both groups are assessed only on input and process This is not to say that inputs cannot affect learning in developing countries they do But replicating or augmenting the external trappings of good schools does not make a good school Without the animating drive that is at the heart of any functional school, addingof one or another input won t make much difference Appearances can be forced from outside, but performance is driven from within Perhapssurprising, even the rich in developing countries also lag For example, in Indonesia, the richest quintile has scores around 450 less than the 500 for the poorest quintile in Korea or the same as the poorest quintile in the UK So in poor countries, the richest are still getting mediocre education, and the poor cannot be said to be getting education at all. can get 80% with pritchett s econtalks interview and a couple of the academic papers, but its fun to read.three takeaways 1 The dramatic increase in schooling in the developing world has not been matched by increases in education, andinputs are unlikely to produce improved outcomes without improved systems the numbers here are really startling 2 Developing world education is driven by spider systems top down design, centralized , at the expense of starfish systems bottom up evolution, flexible While bad at educating kids, spider systems stick around because they are good at camouflage mimicking form without producing substance and indoctrination 3 Six principles open entry and exit, locally operated, performance pressured, professionally networked, technically supported and flexibly financed For what its worth, pritchett doesn t really think these principals are good for US schools.