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

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Oren Pizmony-Levy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds a PhD in sociology and comparative and international education…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Iveta Silova is an Associate Professor and Director of Comparative and International Education program at the College of Education, Lehigh University. Her research and publications cover a range of issues…

  • Carolina Junemann is a researcher at the UCL Institute of Education, London where she carries out research on education policy. She is the co-author with Stephen Ball of "Networks, New…

  • Clara Fontdevila is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, with a thesis project on the post-2015 global education agenda. She has collaborated…

  • Mark Bray is UNESCO Chair Professor in Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong. Between 2006 and 2010, he was Director in Paris of UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational…

  • Graham is the National Environment Co-ordinator for the University and College Union (UCU) in the UK. He has attended UN Climate Conferences as a member of the ITUC delegation. He…

  • Susan Robertson is Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Bristol. Her research is concerned with the changing nature of education as a result of transformations in the…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • David works in the Faculty of Education at Monash University as a Senior Lecturer in the areas of Curriculum and Pedagogy. He was previously a teacher and school principal. His…

  • 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…

  • Mathias Urban, PhD, is Professor of Early Childhood, and Director of the Early Childhood Re-search Centre (ECRC) at the University of Roehampton, London, UK, and Chair of the inter-national DECET…

  • Dr. Burch, Associate Professor of Education at University of Southern California, studies the drivers and manifestations of private involvement (for profit and not for profit) in K-12 education and 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…