While only 28 percent of counties have data for all three points in time, UNESCO estimates that over 600 million students are not minimally proficient.

More countries need to gather data (especially on foundational learning in the early grades) so they can create evidence-based strategies for solving the learning crisis.

Encouragingly, at least seven multicountry initiatives now measure literacy and numeracy in grades 2 and 3, including citizen-led assessments in sub-Saharan Africa and a regional assessment in West Africa.