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.

Follow Up: Is P-16 a Field of Action and Study?

Last blog opened up the definition and conceptual boundaries of this emerging area of P-16. For now, I am avoiding the discussion of P-20 that includes preschool through graduate school. In order to be a "field" P-16 must develop several characteristics- shared identity, standards of practice, knowledge base, leadership and grassroots support, and funding. Right now there is some funding and a lot of players , but not much progress on the other dimensions.
Shared identity implies clarity around terminology and relationship to other education reforms. Shared identity also implies high alignment on goals and core practices and research targets.Right now these are lacking , and there is a low affilation with the field of k-16 by many people who adress these issues.
Knowledge base in k-16 is hampered by too few vehicles to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration. There is no annual meeting of activists or even subparts of large organizations like AERA or ASHE. Practicioners meet at separate k-12 and postsecondary metings.
Who will lead and organize this emerging field? There are no obvious candidates. There are 39 state P-16 councils and more on them in next blog.

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