This Biography Project is for education policy makers and for all who work in or care about America’s public schools.

Conversations With and About Mike

Education Policy and America's Public Schools

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Fifth Installment: Three Lessons from a Long Career

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.

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Fourth Installment: Best Years of a Career

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.

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Third Installment: Moving to Mike on Mike

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?”

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Jerry Brown Explains Local Control Funding Formula Reform

Second Installment: “The Interlocutor”

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.

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Book Collection of Stanford Professor Emeritus Mike Kirst Books Library of Congress

First Installment: “Conversations With and About Mike,” Starting with Governor Brown

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.

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Susan Schofield, Oral Historian at the Stanford Historical Society: Palo Alto, California

I’m enjoying all of these installments and learning a lot about Mike Kirst’s work and influence.

About the Project

The purpose of this biography project is to make a fascinating man’s life and accomplishments come alive. Dr. Michael W. Kirst, while recognized in influential academic and policy circles, is generally unknown to those most actively engaged in American education in the trenches of the nation’s classrooms and local boardrooms, including teachers, principals, and school district leaders.

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About the Author

Dick Jung first met Dr. Michael W. Kirst four decades ago. Mike, then Professor in the Schools of Education and Business, was completing his first year as President of California’s State Board of Education. During Jerry Brown’s first term as Governor, as Mike tacked between Palo Alto and Sacramento, Dick served as the Teaching Assistant for Mike’s Stanford “Politics of Education” course.

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About the Team

Dick is supported by a project team of content, digital research, and online experts that includes a senior education policy reviewer, a digital archives manager, and a website and multimedia design coordinator.

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