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.

New Studies Indicate College Spending Increases Not Related to College Success For Students

Change Magazine issue of November 2008 has an article by Peter T. Ewell that demonstrates there is no relationship between college spending in similar institutions and student performance. The key is how the money is spent If more money is spent on academic support for students- tutors, counselors, faculty development, teaching centers etc. then students in similar colleges do better than their peers. But most of the spending increases in recent years is for functions outside of instruction such as federal research, hospitals,public service , and auxiliary operations says Jane Wellman in another related article in Change. Why are expenditures that do not stress student instruction growing so fast? See for yourself at

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