Steve Klees

Steve Klees

Steven J. Klees (sklees@umd.edu) is the R. W. Benjamin Professor of International and Comparative Education at the University of Maryland. He did his Ph.D. at Stanford University and has taught at Cornell University, Stanford University, Florida State University, and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil.

Prof. Klees' work examines the political economy of education and development with specific research interests in globalization, neoliberalism, and education; the role of aid agencies; education, human rights, and social justice; the education of disadvantaged populations; the role of class, gender, and race in reproducing and challenging educational and social inequality; and alternative approaches to education and development.

 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Measurement Fetishism

  At my first university job, in the early 1970s, a professor whose expertise was statistics and research methods said, “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.”  I thought, then and now, that that statement is both extreme and absurd.  More recently, in a World Bank blog, Harry Patrinos quoted management guru Peter Drucker as saying, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”  While I am afraid that, to many, this statement sounds more reasonable than the first, ...

The gap between the rhetoric of the Education for All (EFA) goals and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for education, on the one hand, and the reality of access to and quality of basic education in developing countries, on the other hand, is huge.  Over 100 million school-age children are not in school, and over 200 million children who are in school are not learning basic skills.  It is therefore understandable that people, from parents to policy makers are desperately ...

As part of the broader 2015 landscape, various initiatives and processes are taking place. One of these initiatives, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, had the idea of carrying out cost-benefit analysis on the different targets that have been debated over the past year. One of these analyses was on education specifically and on which EI was asked to give feedback. Below is an adapted version of a response paper by Steve Klees in which he reflects on the education analysis carried ...

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Education as if People Mattered

Shanta Devarajan in known for his antipathy to public education, in general, and teachers, in particular.  His recent blog, Education as if Economics Mattered, on the World Bank website, should therefore come as no surprise.  In it, he argues that education, at all levels, is a “private good” and it is best to eliminate government funded schools and let the private sector provide, subject to some government regulation.  This argument reflects a poor understanding of economics.  A private good is, by ...

In Part I, I argued that neoliberalism's narrow focus on business and the market system has distorted education through:  blaming education for not meeting the needs of business; marketing entrepreneurship instead of creating good jobs; relying on a very limited human capital framework; and making an unrealistic connection between education and economic growth.  Part II further elaborates neoliberal distortions.   Direct Investment.  Business does not only influence educational discourses, as discussed previously.  Education itself has become big business.  It is estimated that ...

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Contributors

  • Jim Baker has held a number of positions in the US and international trade union movements over the last 40 years. His most recent responsibility was seven years of service as…

  • Fred van Leeuwen is the General Secretary of Education International. Education International represents organisations of teachers and other education employees across the globe.It is the world’s largest federation of unions, representing 30…

  • Tanvir Muntasim is the International Policy Manager, Education for ActionAid. His role entails monitoring and engaging with key education related global policy debates, platforms and networks. He previously worked for…

  • Raquel Gonzalez is Director of the ITUC Geneva Office and Secretary of the Workers' Group of the ILO Governing Body. She is responsible for the coordination of the political inputs…

  • Sylvain Aubry is an independent consultant on human rights based in Nairobi, Kenya, from where he works with various organisations. He is currently working with the Global Initiative for Economic,…

  • Mary Metcalfe has worked in education since 1974. She was elected as a member of the African National Congress in the first democratic elections in 1994 and was appointed as…

  • Bob Lingard is a Professor in the School of Education at The University of Queensland. His most recent books include Politics, Policies and Pedagogies in Education (Routledge,2014) and Globalizing Education…

  • Tore Bernt Sørensen currently is a PhD student at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. His PhD project concerns the reasons for andimplications of the increased attention directed…

  • Sam Sellar is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Education at the University of Queensland. He is co-author of Globalizing educational accountabilities (Routledge 2016) and co-editor of National…

  • Frances Vavrus is a Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota and Co-Director of the University's Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of…

  • Nina Bascia is Professor and Director of the Collaborative Program in Educational Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Toronto, Canada.  She has been researching about teacher…

  • Christopher Lubienski is Professor of education policy at the University of Illinois, and Sir Walter Murdoch Visiting Professor at Murdoch University in Western Australia. His research focuses on education policy,…

  • Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she is Faculty Director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Her research and policy…

  • Dion Burns is a research analyst at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE). His work focuses on international education and policy. He has previously worked in education…

  • Gita Steiner-Khamsi, Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York is a past president of the Comparative and International Education Society. She published several books on globalization, comparative policy…

  • CURTIS B. RIEP is currently a PhD student in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. His research interests involve the interdisciplinary study of global…

  • Devin K. Joshi is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University and on leave from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the…

  • D. Brent Edwards Jr. is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Educational Administration and International Education at Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. His work focuses on the political economy of education…

  • William C. Smith is a Senior Associate with RESULTS Educational Fund where he is developing the Right to Education Index (RTEI). Prior to this position he completed a dual title…

  • John Bangs is Chair of the OECD's Trade Union Advisory Committee's Working Group on Education, Training and Employment Policy and is also Senior Consultant to Education International for work in…