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

  • Faith Boninger is a research associate at the University of Colorado Boulder. She researches and writes about commercial activities in schools. For the past several years she has co-authored CERU’s…

  • 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…

  • Angelo Gavrielatos is the Project Director at Educational International (EI) responsible for leading EI's response to the growing commercialisation and privatisation of education.He was the Federal President of the Australian…

  • Damon A. Silvers is the Director of Policy and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, U.S.). He joined the AFL-CIO as Associate…

  • Jean-Luc Roger est un ancien professeur d'histoire-géographie et chercheur associé dans l’équipe psychologie du travail et clinique de l’activité (EPTCA) du conservatoire national des arts et métiers (CNAM).

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Alex Molnar is NEPC Publications Director, Director of the Commercialism in Education Research Unit (CERU), and Research Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. He has published numerous articles on…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • David Robinson is the executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, representing academic and general staff at colleges and universities across Canada.

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Gustavo E. Fischman is professor of educational policy and director of edXchange, the knowledge mobilization initiative at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. Dr. Fischman advocates for…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…