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

  • William H. Schmidt is a University Distinguished Professor of statistics and education at Michigan State University. He serves as director of the Education Policy Center and holds faculty appointments in…

  • Bob Peterson (bob.e.peterson@gmail.com) taught 5th grade for 30 years in the public schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA). He is writer, organizer and presenter and a founding editor of the Rethinking…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Dr. Frank Adamson is a Senior Policy and Research Analyst at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE).

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Khadija Abdous is currently a PhD student in the International Education Program at NYU where she also received a Fulbright scholarship for her Masters degree. She has been teaching English…

  • 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…

  • Gavin Moodie is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He has published…

  • Emma is a doctoral researcher, a secondary teacher of languages and English of 20 years in the UK maintained sector. She is currently leading an English department in North London…

  • 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…

  • Margarida Romero is professor of educational technology at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at Université Laval (Québec, Canada) and researcher at Laboratoire d'Innovation et Numérique pour l'Education (LINE) at Université…

  • Susan Hopgood is the President of Education International, the world’s largest federation of unions, representing 30 million education employees in about 400 organisations across the globe. She is the Federal…

  • Lois Weiner is a professor of education at New Jersey City University and a member of AFT Local  #1839. She co-edited with Mary Compton a collection of essays, the “The…

  • Sneh Aurora is a human rights advocate and consultant specialised in human rights education strategy and planning, advocacy, programme management, research, capacity building and workshop facilitation.Sneh recently led Amnesty International’s…

  • Deanna Pittman is a PhD student in International Education at New York University. She completed her master’s degree in History of International Relations at the London School of Economics. Her…

  • Alek Tarkowski is the director of Centrum Cyfrowe, a Polish think-and-do-tank building a digital civic society in Poland. His work focuses on advocacy and activism for open education and culture,…

  • Antonio is Reader in Education Policy at the University of Roehampton and Honorary Reader at the UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom. His research rests within the fields of education…