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Stanford education scholar receives prestigious national awards

April 4, 2017
By Carrie Spector
Michael Kirst (Photo: Marc Franklin)
Michael Kirst, Stanford professor emeritus, wins national teaching award. (Photo: Marc Franklin)
GSE professor emeritus recognized for achievements in teaching and learning, and dedication to improving schools.

Eds note: This story has been updated to reflect another award recognizing Kirst's achievements.

Michael Kirst, professor emeritus at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education (GSE), has been named the 2017 recipient of the James A. Kelly Award for Advancing Accomplished Teaching by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The award recognizes visionary education leaders for their expertise and dedication to improving education. Past recipients include President Bill Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley, and Linda Darling-Hammond, professor emerita at Stanford GSE.

Kirst joined the Stanford faculty in 1969, where he taught education and business administration until becoming professor emeritus in 2007. Currently serving as president of the California State Board of Education for the second time, he is working with Gov. Jerry Brown to increase funds to California schools.

He has authored 10 books, including The Political Dynamics of American Education and From High School to College. His newest book, Higher Education and Silicon Valley, will be published later this year.

The James A. Kelly Award is named for the founding president and CEO of the National Board, who received a Ph.D. in education from Stanford in 1967.

“I am thrilled that the 2017 Kelly award will go to Mike Kirst,” Kelly said in an announcement from the National Board. “His career has been dedicated to improving schools and, in turn, making life better for their students.”

Also on April 19, the American Association of Educational Researchers (AERA) announced that Kirst was being honored with its 2017 Distinguished Public Service Award. This award is granted annually in recognition of an individual who has worked to enact or implement policies that are well grounded in education research, or who has been at the forefront of efforts to increase recognition and support for education research.