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…

  • Sam Sellar is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Education at the University of Queensland. He is co-author of Globalizing educational accountabilities (Routledge 2016) and co-editor of National…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

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

  • Antoni Verger is associate professor at the Department ofSociology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and a researcher of the 'Globalisation, Education and Social Policies' research centre. His main areas…

  • Frances Vavrus is a Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota and Co-Director of the University's Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of…

  • 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…

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

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • Christopher Lubienski is Professor of education policy at the University of Illinois, and Sir Walter Murdoch Visiting Professor at Murdoch University in Western Australia. His research focuses on education policy,…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…