What is the definition of “Minimum Proficiency Level” in reading and mathematics used to measure performance on indicator 4.1.1?

The Minimum Proficiency Level (MPL) is the benchmark of basic knowledge in a domain (mathematics, reading, etc.) measured through learning assessments.

The MPLs for reading and mathematics used to report on indicator 4.1.1 describe the basic knowledge and skills students must be able to demonstrate for specific grade levels. These benchmarks are based on an analysis of curriculum and assessment programs from around the world.

The table below summarizes the MPLs validated by the international community at a 2019 meeting of the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) , an institutional alliance that oversees the coordination of efforts to measure learning and the harmonization of standards for measuring learning.

More about Minimum Proficiency Levels

Minimum proficiency levels for reading and mathematics – Indicator 4.1.1

Education level Mathematics Reading
Grades 2/3 Students demonstrate skills in number sense and computation, reading simple data displays, shape recognition and spatial orientation. Students read aloud and comprehend many single written words, particularly familiar ones, and extract explicit information from sentences. They make simple inferences when longer texts are read aloud to them.
End of primary Students demonstrate skills in number sense, computation, real world problems, basic measurement, 2D shape recognition, and reading and interpreting simple data displays. Students independently and fluently read simple, short narrative and expository texts. They locate explicitly stated information, interpret and give some explanations about the key ideas in these texts. They provide simple, personal opinions or judgments about the information, events and characters in a text.
End of lower secondary Students demonstrate skills in computation, solving problems in measurement and geometry, interpreting and constructing a variety of data displays, and making use of algebraic representations. Students locate and connect multiple pieces of related information across sections of texts to understand key ideas. They make straightforward inferences when there is some competing information. They reflect and draw conclusions based on evidence, in a variety of text types.
Source: UIS: Minimum Proficiency Levels used to report for indicator 4.1.1

The Global Proficiency Framework, or GPF, describes the specific knowledge and skills that students in grades one to nine should be able to demonstrate in reading and mathematics at their respective grade levels. It differs from the MPLs in that it assigns student mastery a performance level  — Does not meet minimum proficiency, Partially meets minimum proficiency, Meets minimum proficiency, and Exceeds minimum proficiency.

The framework, adapted from the International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO)’s Global Content Framework was developed by a group of 80 researchers, curriculum experts, and psychometricians from across the globe, with support from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), and the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).

The GPF serves to guide progress towards and report results against SDG 4.1.1. And, as with the MPLs, it provides decision makers with a clear definition of what it means to meet minimum levels of performance in reading and mathematics.

More about the GPF for Reading and Mathematics.