Dr. Amber Gove spoke to GHD students specializing in education about the Early Grade Reading Assessment on Monday, April 10. Her lecture is part of a series organized by students Gayle Martin and Kelly Dale focusing on education-themed topics in international development.
In the more than quarter century since commitments were made under Education for All, low- and middle-income countries have made considerable progress in ensuring that more students are enrolled in and completing primary schooling. Despite promises to improve literacy and numeracy for all, however, UNESCO estimates that more than 250 million children (roughly 2 in 5) are not learning the basics. In many low- and middle income countries there is little information on how well students are learning to read and perform basic math, critical information for understanding how best to improve these outcomes. Dr. Gove's presentation describes the rationale behind (and impact of) one assessment that has expanded rapidly in low- and middle-income country contexts: the Early Grade Reading Assessment. The discussion explores how results can and should be used to inform policy and practice and what promises (and pitfalls) lie ahead under the Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. Amber Gove is Director of Research within RTI’s International Education Division. Much of her recent work has centered on the development of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), a system-level diagnostic for understanding students’ foundation skills in reading. To date EGRA has been used in more than 120 languages and 70 countries to inform policy and improve instruction. Dr. Gove has nearly two decades of experience collaborating with government education departments in project design and impact evaluation, research and data analysis, and policy dialogue. She is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese and has worked closely with government counterparts in more than a dozen countries to design and implement complex education projects and to develop plans to track project progress. Her research and policy interests include improvement and measurement of student learning; education finance; conditional cash transfer programs; and factors affecting achievement, enrollment, and attendance. As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Gove designed and conducted a study of more than 1,000 families to assess the impact of Brazil’s conditional cash transfer program (Bolsa Escola) on student attendance and achievement. Her publications include a 2011 edited volume entitled "The Early Grade Reading Assessment: Applications and Interventions to Improve Basic Literacy" and "Early Grade Reading: Igniting Education for All." Dr. Gove received her PhD in International Comparative Education and her MA in Economics from Stanford University and lives in Washington DC with her husband and two daughters.