The Education for All (EFA) goals initiated in 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand demonstrated a global commitment to meeting basic learning needs. This commitment was restated in 2000 in Dakar Framework for Action Goal 6: to “[improve] every aspect of the quality of education, and ensuring their excellence so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.”

Yet today there is growing evidence that millions of children and youth do not have the basic skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in school and life. In response, the Learning Metrics Task Force aims to shift the conversation in education from a heavy focus on access to access plus learning.

As EFA and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) sunset in 2015, and the UN Secretary-General prepares to launch a global education initiative, there is a window of opportunity for education actors to ensure that learning for all is a central component of the global development agenda. To achieve this, the education community must build consensus on a set of learning goals that can be measured and achieved globally.

In response to this need, UNESCO and the Center for Universal Education at Brookings have joined efforts to convene a Learning Metrics Task Force that will investigate the feasibility of identifying common learning competencies to improve learning opportunities and outcomes for children and youth.

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