Duflo, E, Berry, J, Mukerji, S and Shotland, M, 2015. A wide angle view of learning: evaluation of the CCE and LEP Programs in Haryana, India, 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 22. New Delhi: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)
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Four hundred primary schools in the districts of Mahendragarh and Kurukshetra were assigned at random to receive one of four treatments during the 2012-13 academic year: (a) CCE alone, (b) LEP alone, (c) both programmes, and (d) neither programme. To evaluate the impact of CCE on older students, an additional one hundred upper primary schools were also included in the study, and were randomly assigned either to implement CCE or to act as a control group. Student achievement was measured using oral and written assessments conducted during 2011-12 school year (baseline) and at the end of the 2012-13 school year (endline).
The study finds that students in CCE schools did not perform significantly better at endline than students in control schools on either oral or written tests, whether in primary schools or in upper primary schools. On the other hand, the LEP programme had a large, positive, and statistically significant effect on students’ basic reading abilities: students in primary schools where LEP was implemented scored 0.152 standard deviations higher on oral tests of basic Hindi reading ability and 0.135 standard deviations higher on written tests of basic Hindi than corresponding students in control schools at endline. LEP did not, however, have a significant effect on math scores. Finally, combining CCE and LEP had no significant effect on student test scores relative to the LEP programme alone.
About this impact evaluation
One of the most important challenges to India’s continued development is the need to improve basic learning outcomes in early grades and provide a foundation for continued learning as children progress through school.
Historically, student evaluations in India have focused almost exclusively on academic topics, with tools of evaluation restricted to end-of-the-year examinations (NCERT 2005). With these “high-stakes” exams as the sole source of information about their students’ abilities, teachers may lack adequate information about students’ educational achievement to address their individual needs. To improve this evaluation system, the 2009 Right to Education (RTE) Act eliminated exams and introduced a system of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE). In the CCE framework, teachers are given rubrics and trained on how to evaluate students along a wide variety of academic and non-academic dimensions. The theory underlying CCE is that better tracking of children allows teachers to customise their teaching based on the current learning levels of individual students. Learning Enhancement Programme (LEP), developed by Pratham, a large non-governmental organisation focusing on basic literacy and numeracy equips teachers to grade students on their literacy and numeracy skills and restructure classes according to those levels for a segment of the day, during which each skill group is taught using a curriculum designed to address its particular skill deficit(s).
LEP’s methodology and curriculum are based on the Pratham’s Read India programme, which has been shown to be effective at improving basic skills when implemented both by Pratham staff and Pratham-trained volunteers in multiple contexts (Banerjee et al. 2010, Banerjee et al. 2011).
To address these knowledge gaps, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) partnered with the Government of Haryana, a state in northwest India, to conduct a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the impact of both CCE and LEP on student achievement. The evaluation sought to answer the following questions for primary school students:
1. Does the CCE programme improve student test scores relative to the status quo (without any specific training on the pedagogy of remedial education, or restructuring of classes)?
2. Does the LEP programme (with a one‐time assessment of learning at the beginning of the year, but without the continuous assessment found in CCE) improve student test scores?
3. Does a combination of the CCE and LEP improve student test scores, both relative to the status quo and relative to each programme individually?
4. Do these impacts depend on class or child characteristics?