The College Puzzle Blog
Prior PostingsAbout
Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

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My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

College Completion Draws More Attention From EdWeek

The Quality Counts report from Education Week appears to get bigger and bigger every year. This year, the report includes sections on efforts to integrate preK16, early childhood education, and more.

I served as a technical adviser to the 2007 report from EdWeek. It discusses a complete conceptual overhaul and not an incremental extension of the versions used in the last ten years.

It moves away from just tracking and analysis of the K12 state standards movement. All states have K12 standards and related policies , so there was very little variation for EdWeek to work with by 2007.

So EdWeek decided to move to a cradle to career focus that features key transition points such as preschool to K5. The most interesting thing for this blog is that the transition from K12 to postsecondary education is a prominent part of the redesign, and will continue as such for many years.

This is a major change in EdWeek editorial polices, and will be a major force to reframe the education policy debate around an all one interconnected system perspective.

At the middle of the special issue is a section entitled Moving Beyond Grade 12. It includes educational attainment up to age thirty-five and the gap between college expectations and college completion.

College preparation is explored in depth by David Spence , the president of the Southern regional Education Board. He recommends that all of public postsecondary education in a state reach a consensus on a single set of academic readiness standards.

All states are ranked on fourteen indicators that include college costs, placement, time to degree, persistence, and college completion. This new focus by EdWeek will be a challenge to the Chronicle of Higher education which does not have as much of a education policy orientation.


Copyright 2006 My College Puzzle