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.

NCLB Has No Strategy For College Preparation

NCLB was never designed to set standards or accountability for college success and completion. High Schools need only test once between grades 9 and 12. California uses a low level statewide exit exam with standards for 6-8th grade. NCLB is essentially a k-8 intervention, that has not considered college aspirations. Curriculum content issues are underdeveloped.
President Bush proposed changes to improve this, but Congress over the last four years has never seriously debated it. Now with NCLB reuthorization postponed until 2009, no federal stimulus for college preparation is likely soon. However, the increasing use by some states of college aligned end of course exams has potential to help college transition.

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