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Education Week: Startups Seek to Master the Education Market


It has begun to happen big time–this flow of venture capital into education market. The private sector’s stake in public schools have always been there.  The textbook sector and school meals sectors, for example, which are also mentioned in this article. But flow of venture capital into education markets has only recently exploded. Less than […]

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‘Techno’ and ‘political’ spaces…


Words stick together differently in different contexts by means of an unseen glue, with same words often producing different meanings and different effects.  One teacher of rhetoric, Kenneth Burke, said this about about a word we hear most frequently, ‘yes’.  He wrote: “Let us suppose that I ask you: “What did the man say?” And […]

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A Highlight from “Multiple Perspectives on Mathematics Teaching and Learning (International Perspectives on Mathematics Education, V. 1)”


The seemingly contradictory discourse of competition, markets, and choice on the one hand and accountability, performance objectives, standards, national testing, and national curriculum have created such a din that it is hard to hear anything else. As I have shown in Cultural Politics and Education (Apple, 1996), these tendencies oddly reinforce each other and help […]

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Standards…?


Some thoughts on standards motivated by a blog on the website of The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC). I am interested in and concerned about the talk of standards-based reforms in the developing countries.  My sense is that the talk about standards ignores the contextual differences in standards-based reforms across different countries. Thus, a lot of […]

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Friends or competitors: Uneasy Relationship between Politics and Policy Sciences?


Following my last post, I had a fascinating exchange of emails with Lynn Fendler.  I am reproducing it below after some cleaning up of and additions to my own comments.  Lynn used the term ‘monetocracy’ to speak about the current shifting of balance from politics to markets.  This was enough of a prompt for me […]

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Education as a cure all?


Somewhere, perhaps in the 1970s, the idea of rates of return became the overarching mythology of the policy discourse about education. Interestingly, this has not always been the case. In fact the first notable use of production functions in education was in 1960s when James Samuel Coleman wrote the famous Coleman Report [But my research […]

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Education as a Political Issue? (2)


This post continues the conversation started in a previous post on the topic of education as a political issue. In the last post, I had referred to Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen who lamented the absence of education from the political domain–or let us say the public domain. This post is about the rhetoric of […]

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Public Demand for Education Reform | pakistanpolicyideas | Some Reflections


Another delightful article on education that I had the opportunity to read today, speaks of absence of enough pressure by citizenry for quality education in Pakistan, despite a strong demand for education revealed in the survey research.  Interesting and important problem to think about! As put by Dr. Faisal Bari: We know that the demand […]

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The other side of the coin | pakistanpolicyideas | Some Reflections


A couple of days ago, I wrote about some issues related to the use of standardised testing for accountability on this blog.  In an update to the same post, I mentioned a statement issued by a gathering of members of Pakistan’s academic, civil, and political society at the Harvard University.  This statement also mentioned the idea of minimum standards […]

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Midterm report: Tanzania’s educational revolution needs investment | Global development | guardian.co.uk


Enrolment at primary schools nationwide has leapt from 59% in 2000 to 95.4% today, putting the impoverished country well on course to achieve the second millennium development goal (MDG) of primary school education for all by 2015… The progress has come with a lesson in the law of unintended consequences. Enrolment has grown so fast […]

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