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

  • Vasileios Symeonidis is a research assistant in EI’s Research Unit. He completed his postgraduate studies in International and Comparative Education at Stockholm University in Sweden. His main research interests include…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Joanna Härmä joined the EFA Global Monitoring Report Team in November 2011 after two and a half years working on the UK Department for International Development’s Education Sector Support Programme…

  • Adrián Zancajo is a researcher at the Globalisation, Education and Social Policies (GEPS) research centre of Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).  He is currently undertaking a PhD in Education on education…

  • Antoni Verger is a Ramón y Cajal Researcher and a Marie Curie Fellow at the Department ofSociology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). He is a member of the…

  • Stephen Ball is a Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education at UCL, Institute of Education, London UK, an education policy researcher and author of several books on education policy including…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • María Luisa Sánchez Simón is an advisor on higher education for the Spanish teachers' federation, FECCOO. At the regional level in Galicia, she is a member of the executive board…

  • Purna Kumar Shrestha works as an Education Research and Advocacy Adviser at VSO, the world’s leading independent development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. Purna,…

  • 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…

  • Xavier Bonal is Special Professor in Education and International Development at the University of Amsterdam and Associate Professor in Sociology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). He is Director…

  • Jelmer Evers is a history teacher in a secondary school and is involved in classroom innovation. Jelmer gives advice, workshops and guest lectures on new forms of pedagogy and is involved…

  • Lee Nordstrum in an independent education research consultant specializing in education finance, demand for schooling and teacher issues in developing countries.  He has most recently conducted research and consulted for…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…