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The Early Grade Reading Assessment An introduction

During the 1990s, many low-income countries committed to the United Nations Education for All goals of ensuring universal access to primary education and students’ completion of all primary grades. Since that time, with support from donors, some countries have made impressive strides toward expanded access to schooling. Much of the progress has stemmed from additional inputs—such as classrooms, teachers, and textbooks. The assumption was that, with enough inputs, learning would naturally follow.

Improvements in enrollment rates, however, have not always translated into high-quality education—or even basic learning. To illustrate, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) tracks both enrollment and quality in its Education for All Development Index. These data show that Nicaragua, for instance, has a 97 percent enrollment rate but scores below 50 percent on the quality indicator. Similarly, Cambodia’s enrollment rate is 89 percent, but quality lags considerably at 62 percent (UNESCO, 2010).


Gove, A., & Wetterberg, A. (2011). The Early Grade Reading Assessment: An introduction. In A. Gove, & A. Wetterberg (Eds.), The Early Grade Reading Assessment: Applications and Interventions to Improve Basic Literacy (pp. 1-38). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press.