Commentaries of International Experts on the Report Medium-Term Development of Education and Socialization in the Russian Federation

2012. No. 1. P. 59–73 [issue contents]

Michael Barber, Professor, Chief Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education on School Standards (1997–2001), chief education advisor at Pearson, leading Pearson’s worldwide programme of research into education policy and the impact of its products and services on learner outcomes, London, UK. Email: krdonnelly@pearson.com
Address: Institute for Public Policy Research, 4th Floor, 14 Buckingham Street, London WC2N 6DF, UK.

Martin Carnoy, Professor of education and economics at Stanford University. His areas of expertise also embrace international comparative studies. Director of Research and Development at the International Laboratory for Education Policy Analysis, Institute for Educational Studies, National Research University — Higher School of Economics (since 2011), Moscow, Russian Federation.

Alberto Rodriguez, Head of the Education Department of the World Bank in Europe and Central Asia. He deals with education reform and its effects on national competitiveness, has a great experience in researching education strategic development, management and financing. Manager of the World Bank’s educational projects implemented in Brazil, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and other countries.Former Deputy Minister of Education of Columbia.

Kao Jiaonan, coordinator of educational and training programs at the World Bank, former Head of Department in the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China.

Toby Linden, lead education specialistat the World Bank, manager of the World Bank’s educational program in India. As the head of the Roma Education Fund, he spent twelve years improving educational achievements of the poorest ethnic minority in Europe.

Andreas Schleicher, Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, one of the leading European statisticians and researchers in the field of education, developer and coordinator of the PISA studies.

David Hawker, Professor at the College of Teachers in London, Director General of the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills of the Welsh government (Great Britain), expert in evaluating the quality of education and children’s services and in system reformation. 

The authors assess efficiency of the scenarios for Russian education development proposed in the report. They recommend that further research should develop a clear strategic plan to implement the measures proposed, to perform a critical analysis of the existing resources required for successful transformations, to forecast political, social and financial consequences of each scenario. Evolution of the Russian educational system should be investigated and compared to international practices. Educational initiatives should be classified according to age groups. It is recommended to build education development strategies based on efficiency of different initiatives in pilot projects.

An analysis of academic performance among Russian school students has revealed a trend towards lower achievements. It is recommended to develop critical thinking and comprehension skills in school students. Academic progress of Russian school students differs dramatically depending on the socioeconomic status of their families, unlike in other countries. Therefore, special efforts should be made to increase academic performance of students from low income families in inefficient schools.

The paper presents some methods to eliminate disproportion in resource capacity of schools in different regions of Russia and to incentivize teachers of different age groups. We should observe how what school principals do affects the educational process in order to have a clear idea about the prerequisites for efficient development of the educational system. It is suggested to consider the international experience of applying the model of school autonomy and accountability. The authors also investigate how accessibility of preschool education influences the general education system.