Michael W. Kirst
President, California State Board of Education and Stanford Emeritus Professor of Education (and Business Administration by courtesy)
Affiliated Faculty, Political Science
Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University. In 2011, Kirst became the President of the California State Board Of Education for the second time. Professor Kirst was a member of the California State Board of Education (1975/1982) and its president from 1977 to 1981.
Dr. Kirst received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College, his M.P.A. in government and economics from Harvard University, and 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, and Director of Program Planning and Evaluation for the Bureau of Elementary and Secondary Education in the U.S. Office of Education (now the U.S. Department of Education). He was a Budget Examiner in the Federal office of Budget and Management, and Associate Director of the White House Fellows. He was a program analyst for the Title I ESEA Program at its inception in 1965.
Dr. Kirst is active in several professional organizations. He was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences. He has been a member of the National Academy of Education since 1979. He was Vice‑President of the American Educational Research Association and a commissioner of the Education Commission of the States. Kirst co-founded Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).
A prolific writer, Dr. Kirst has authored ten books, including The Political Dynamics of American Education (2005). As a policy generalist, Professor Kirst has published articles on school finance politics, curriculum politics, intergovernmental relations, as well as education reform policies.
His recent book, From High School to College (2004), concerns improving student preparation for success in postsecondary education.