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

  • Aaron Benavot is the Director of the EFA Global Monitoring Report since June 2014. Previous to this post, he served as Professor in the School of Education at Albany-State University…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Francine Menashy is Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She researches aid to education and non-state sector engagement, including the policies of international organisations, companies and philanthropies. She has…

  • 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…

  • Carlyn Adamson is a teacher and instructional coach in the Oakland Unified School District in California.

  • 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…

  • Danaë Desplanques & Romain Chave work at the Education and Solidarity Network, an international organisation which aims at bringing together education, health and social protection players in order to promote…

  • Howard Stevenson is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Director of Research, in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. Prior to working in universities Howard…

  • 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…

  • David Archer is Head of Programme Development with ActionAid (www.actionaid.org), a board member of the Global Campaign for Education (www.campaignforeducation.org ) and is the elected representative for Northern civil society…

  • 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…

  • madeleine kennedy macfoy works for Education International; her work is mainly focused on the implementation of the EI gender equality action plan.

  • 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,…

  • Mamadou Dansokho is professor of economics at the University Cheikh Anta Diop (Dakar, Sénégal). He is the Head of the Rural Department of the Consortium for Economic and Social Research…

  • 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…

  • Nelly P. Stromquist is Professor at the University of Maryland. Her research covers a wide range of issues: gender and education; popular and non-formal education; social movements in education; global…