The College Puzzle Blog
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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.

End of Course Exams Embody College Readiness

Texas will implement end of course exams in subjects like Biology and World History. But the lone star state is going way beyond facts and skills to include in these new tests college readiness attributes like probing why historians have competing views, and how to write research papers. The end of course tests are much more complex than the multiple choice tests they will replace. Texas is rare in that the tests were devised by both the k-12 state board and the coordinating board for higher education in a collborative manner. Texas is concerned about its high remediation rates and determined to use a k-20 approach to do something about it. They brought in college readiness guru David T. Conley to help them. The Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta is a proponent of end of course tests, and spreading the concept throughout the Southeast.

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