RTI International, USAID partner with Jordanian Ministry of Education to improve reading, math learning outcomes

New program builds on successful RTI-led research intervention

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.— The United States Agency for International Development has named RTI International the lead implementer of its Early Grade Reading and Math Project (USAID RAMP) in Jordan. The initiative, which supports USAID's goal of improving reading skills for 100 million children in primary grades by 2015, builds on a successful RTI-led reading and math intervention during the 2013-2014 school year.

"The RAMP initiative is a game-changer that will brighten the education prospects of young children across Jordan," said Aarnout Brombacher, senior early grade reading and math specialist for RAMP. "RTI is very excited to continue working with USAID and Jordan's Ministry of Education to build on our recent successes in improving early grade reading and math learning outcomes in the country."

RAMP is a nationwide effort designed to improve the reading and math skills of children in Jordan in grades K-3. Specifically, the project will work with the Ministry of Education to:

•    Develop and distribute improved learning materials to every K-3 classroom in Jordan
•    Develop improved curricula
•    Train teachers, supervisors, counselors, and administrators to provide more effective instruction
•    Promote community participation in reading and math education
•    Support nationwide adoption of early grade reading and math policies, standards, curricula, and assessments

The project, which will be carried out over five years, expects to deliver improved reading and math instruction to all public school students in Jordan in grades K-3—about 400,000 children. 

While access to early grade schooling in Jordan is high, recent assessments have shown that learning outcomes are falling short. A USAID-funded national Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) conducted by RTI in 2012 found that only 17 percent of grades 2 and 3 students were able to read at grade level with comprehension. The corresponding Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA) demonstrated that children were experiencing difficulty understanding math concepts. 

In partnership with USAID and the Ministry of Education, RTI led a one-year research intervention during the 2013-14 school year that resulted in significantly improved outcomes. The number of children reading with comprehension in program schools increased from 13 percent to 24 percent, while the number of children doing math with understanding increased from 14 percent to 24 percent.  Lessons learned are now being applied nationwide through RAMP.

EGRA and EGMA are tools developed by RTI under USAID's Education Data for Decision Making initiative, which aims to improve the accuracy, timeliness, accessibility, and use of data for educational policy and program planning in countries worldwide.  To date, EGRA has been administered by more than 35 organizations in over 60 countries.