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.

AP Audit Finds Course Content Variation

College Board has completed an audit of high school courses and did not approve the content and syllabus for 33% of them. Moreover, 2,081 high schools did not even try to get apporved once they read the AP course standards. These high schools will not offer any AP courses. Defencies in textbooks and content inclusion were cited by College Board. For example, some comparative government courses did not include Islamic governments. Audit problems were much more prevelant in low income high schools.
This audit reinforces many studies that found it is what is in a course that matters for strong college preparation, not the label. But changing course quality is a long hard process of working with many high school teachers. The first step, however, is to find out what teachers intend to teach, and if the instructional materials have glaring omissions do something to rectify this. For more details go to

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