California’s Evolving Policy Context for Post-Secondary Learning in the 21st Century

Michael 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. 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). In this talk, Michael looks at these points…

1. California lacks the public postsecondary capacity to satisfy the current workforce and future need for 4 year college degrees, and the increasing number of K-12 students who meet entrance qualifications.
2. Data about the ecology of postsecondary entities providing lifelong learning is badly lacking. We found 350 providers in the San Francisco Bay Area, but only about a third were in federal data bases.
3. The California Master Plan For Higher Education, approved in 1960, is not designed to meet the current or future workforce needs of the state, and has no strategy to meet the needs of students 25-55 years old, or integrate a complex private postsecondary education sector.