MICHAEL KIRST: An Uncommon Biography by Richard K. Jung ABOUT THE BOOK Book Review By: Daniel McMahon* Dr. Richard K. Jung has provided 2 significant services in his fine biography of Mike Kirst, professor and policy maker, reformer and sage, optimist and realist. To know Kirst is to get a tour through educational policy at the…
In this installment, we distill the lessons from Mike’s life and his life’s work thus far. We hear why Mike is such an effective reformer — from Governor Brown, policy experts, journalists, and Mike himself.
This installment covers only the first three years of Mike’s self-declared “Octogenarian Era” before the book version of this biography goes to press later in 2022.
In this installment, we explore Mike’s research, publications, and policy-making activities that illustrate his influence during the years 2011-2019, a time Mike calls his “Jerry Brown Redux” Era as he served again as the President of the California State Board of Education for Governor Jerry Brown.
During this time, Mike expanded his academic interests, pursuits, writing, and influence in what he calls his “K-16” years. The K-16 years foster Mike’s passion for what he calls the “colleges for forgotten Americans” when he concludes, “I’m not going to wring my hands about who doesn’t get into Stanford or Vanderbilt or something.”
This installment brings to life the years 1982 to 2000 for Mike, starting with him co-founding the multi-university-based think-tank, Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE, using new and rarely seen recordings and a “follow-the-publication” path approach.
We focus on how these two leaders, Mike Kirst and Jerry Brown, forged their relationship over more than a half-century of policy advances, false starts, failures, and accomplishments.
Nine years after Mike had retired from serving as a professor at Stanford University and had transitioned to Emeritus status, Mike reflects on his nearly half-century-long professional career. From audio clips to a detailed account of his transition, you will learn about his move from Washington, DC to Stanford.