The Foundational Math Skills of Indian Children


We leverage data on learning for 101,084 public-school students in grades 4, 6, and 8 across 19 Indian states to diagnose their mathematic skills. These data allow us to diagnose their achievement on less frequently assessed skills. We use a novel approach to estimate the share of students who can meet fourth-grade standards. We find that the foundational skills of children are even lower than previously documented—52% mastered frequently assessed skills, but only 27% mastered typically unassessed skills. These children also make less progress than believed. Gender gaps in these skills emerge between grades 4 and 6 and persist.

Economics of Education Review