As the target year for the current Millennium Development Goal of universal completion of primary education approaches, three World Bank economists have proposed its replacement with a Millennium Learning Goal. This is part of a trend of increased privileging of learning outcomes. The proposal is assessed from the perspective of human rights-based and social justice conceptualisations of education quality. A Millennium Learning Goal may enhance information on inclusion, conceived as equal opportunity to achieve learning outcomes. However, there is a danger that it would be misused to generate high stakes tests that can be detrimental to the achievement of goals that are not readily measurable and hence to the relevance of education. It is argued that a process goal with qualitative targets for the assessment of learning, for the monitoring of educational processes and for the processes by which learning goals are determined would be more appropriate for the international level and more likely to improve education quality.
Comparative Education (2011) 47 (1) 119-133 [DOI: 10.1080/03050068.2011.541682]