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.

Education Groups Form New College Ready Multi- State Institute

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>
>Eight Leading States Selected to Develop Cutting
>Edge College- and Career-Ready Assessment and Accountability Policies
>
>
>WASHINGTON, D.C. - September 10, 2008 - Today
>Achieve, the Data Quality Campaign, the
>EducationCounsel, Jobs for the Future and the
>National Governors Association Center for Best
>Practices announced an unprecedented partnership
>to provide guidance, advice and support to
>states through the "College & Career-Ready
>Policy Institute" ("Institute"). The Institute
>is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
>
>The Institute is designed to help states put
>K-12 assessment and accountability systems in
>place that will ensure that all students
>graduate from high school college- and
>career-ready. In addition, the Institute will
>also assist states in developing strategies for
>building the capacity of districts and schools
>so that all students successfully reach higher
>standards. The support to states by the partners
>will include multi-state gatherings where state
>teams will participate in cross-state leadership
>sessions, the first of which begins today in
>Washington D.C., as well as in-state, customized technical assistance.
>
>The eight Institute states, all participants in
>Achieve's American Diploma Project Network, are
>Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana,
>Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee. The
>Institute states were chosen through a
>competitive selection process based on the
>states' strong leadership and commitment to a
>college- and career-readiness agenda as
>demonstrated by their success in raising
>academic standards and graduation requirements
>for all students. These states are now well
>positioned to tackle the difficult, but
>essential, task of ensuring that their
>assessment and accountability systems are
>likewise anchored in college- and
>career-readiness and that state education
>policies cohesively support this critical goal.
>
>Specifically, the Institute will assist states in:
> * Developing goals for improving high school
> graduation, college- and career-readiness and postsecondary attainment rates;
> * Putting in place a comprehensive state
> assessment system that is aligned with college-
> and career-ready standards and that measures student progress over time;
> * Establishing a coherent system of
> accountability that makes college- and
> career-readiness a central priority and that
> "incentivizes" proper actions, promotes
> accurate judgments, and drives effective supports and interventions;
> * Designing a statewide system of supports
> and interventions to assist low performing
> districts and schools and ensure continuous
> improvement for all schools and districts around the state; and
> * Providing educational options and supports
> to boost the achievement of low-income students
> and other groups at high-risk of not achieving
> college-ready standards and college success.
>In addition to assisting the eight states in
>developing and implementing a comprehensive
>college- and career-ready policy, it is hoped
>that the lessons learned from these Institute
>states can assist other states also committed to
>the college- and career-ready agenda, therefore
>boosting the academic prospects for even more U.S. students.

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