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.

Class Rank Admissions Process Is Controversial

The University of Texas admits almost all students under the top 10% of the class for each high school criteria. UT is struggling with equity and quality issues in applying the top 10%, UT is considering eliminating grades in music, career education, and many electives from the class rank calculation, but faces resistance from these subject matter lobbies. Wealthy suburban schools claim their top 10% is much harder than the average school to attain, so UT should admit the top 15% from some schools.
UT does not know how to consider what content is in courses at different high schools and relies on similar course labels, But UT is carefully tracking the college success of students from various types of high schools.
Class rank admissions is a continual trade off among conflicting objectives, and no policy will satisfy everyone.

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