Indeed, internet searches have uncovered leads to aspects of Mike’s early years that have even intrigued him: “I keep finding out new things,” Mike Kirst wrote to me after the publication of the previous installment. This installment also draws on oral history interviews that Mike recorded for “The States’ Impact on Federal Education Policy Oral History Project” compiled in 2013 by the New York Archives.
We hear first-hand in this installment about the earliest influences on Mike Kirst’s personal development and his more than half-century-long contributions to reforming American education. We’ll first hear Mike talking about growing up in Reading, Pennsylvania and important personal insights about his family. We then find out about, often in Mike’s own words, about three important turning points during Mike’s high school and college years — with particular focus on the opportunities afforded by Dartmouth University for a young man who grew up in his own words “in the Anthracite Coal Region of Pennsylvania.”
This installment draws on a 2015 interview with Mike for highlights of “what Mike has…learned.” Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA) asked a handful of its top researchers to reflect on the most important conclusions, implications, or lessons from their bodies of work. By the time of the interview, Mike was serving his fourth term with Jerry Brown as President of the California State Board of Education.
We start this fourth installment of “Conversations With and About Mike” with him reflecting on his 50+ year career. In it, Mike gives us a roadmap for much of the content and trajectory of his career as well as direct evidence of his character and charm.
We start this third installment by listening to Jerry Brown again, in his final days as governor now responding to one of my final questions in that interview: “Is there anything you and Mike have done [in your recent education reform policy] that you would like to see being done in any other states?”
We turn again to Governor Brown’s reflections during his last Friday in office. After working side-by-side with Mike for four-and-a-half decades, he offers additional insights about their time together, their relationship, and some of their most notable challenges and accomplishments.
I’ve started this Mike Kirst Biography Multi-Media Project — not only for education policy researchers — but for all who work in or care about America’s public schools. The first installation includes recorded insights about Mike from an interview I had with Jerry Brown during his last Friday day in office on January 4, 2019.