Bridge International Academies pupils outperform their peers attending neighbouring schools. Download our working paper on the Bridge Effect here to read about our gains in detail.
At Bridge International Academies we use the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA) to evaluate our pupils’ performance. These exams test reading and math fluency and comprehension on both a concrete and conceptual level. These foundational skills are extraordinarily important as they are critical to the learning potential of every child. We conducted these exams across a sample of thousands of pupils from Bridge International Academies and neighbouring schools, using a third-party assessment firm that specialises in EGRA/EGMA.
In our latest study, we highlight the results from the 2013-2014 administrations of EGRA/EGMA, based on a nationally representative sample of more than 2,700 pupils first assessed in October 2013. Because we could not randomly assign pupils to schools, we collected detailed demographic, education, and home life information in order to control for these factors. Given these factors and the pupils’ incoming skill and ability levels, we find a Bridge effect of .31 standard deviations in English and .09 standard deviations in maths. This is equivalent to over 32% and 13% more schooling in one academic year for English and Maths, respectively.
This study, spanning 13 counties in Kenya and adopting quasi-experimental methods to assess the efficacy of Bridge, represents one of the most rigorous studies conducted by any practitioner educational or development organisation to date. The primary purpose of our testing is internal – to keep a check on ourselves and make sure we are being effective in producing learning outcomes for children. Our main aim in publishing the results is two-fold: to demonstrate our work to those interested in monitoring and evaluation within an organisation, and knowledge sharing with other education organisations, in the hope that we can learn from each other. At Bridge, we strongly believe that it is only by monitoring, evaluating and iterating our work that we can not only improve learning outcomes for our own students but also make a broader contribution to global education policy.
Because we know this study has limitations – for example, we serve a highly mobile population, and following up with pupils outside the school setting for a large sample was cost-prohibitive – over the next 5 years we will be participating in a randomised evaluation in Kenya conducted by a team of external researchers at leading institutions.