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.

Achieve Finds Convergence Among State College Standards: But What About Assessment?

Achieve,s new report, "One Among Many" www.achieve.org analyzed college ready k-12 standards in 12 states for English and !6 for math. The key finding is that A critical mass of states has arrived separately at a common core of standards for college as a byproduct of their alignment deliberations. We may not need national college prepardness standards if the states converge on their own. The report then details this standards convergence for each subject.
All this is encouraging but what about assessment agreement? Tests drive k-12 curriculum more than subject matter content standards, Here the news is bleak. Studies by AFT and Fordham Foundation find state tests are all over the map partly in order to comply with NCLB. Some states have challenging tests and performance standards, others are low level in order to avoid NCLB sanctions. Of course, what really determines whether college content is covered is what teachers teach every day. And states have scant assessments for grade 11 and 12 that matter if they exist at all. NCLB testing usually ends at grade 10.

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