Michael W. Kirst to Receive Prestigious James A. Kelly Award

ARLINGTON, Va. — April 3, 2017 — Michael Kirst, President of the California State Board of Education and Stanford Emeritus Professor of Education and Business Administration, will receive the National Board’s James A. Kelly Award for Advancing Accomplished Teaching  on April 7, 2017, in Arlington, VA. The Kelly Award, named after James A. Kelly, Founding President and CEO of the National Board, recognizes and honors individuals who have contributed to the advancement of accomplished teaching.

In 2011, Kirst became the President of the California State Board Of Education for the second time. He was a member of the California State Board of Education from 1975-1982 and served as its president from 1977 to 1981. He is currently working with Governor Jerry Brown to increase funds to California schools.

“Michael has been and continues to be a powerful voice in education for a long time. His passionate commitment in support of America’s schoolchildren, teachers and schools will have an impact for years to come,” said Peggy Brookins, NBCT and the National Board’s president and CEO. “In the early days of the National Board, Mike was a valued senior consultant as we devised strategies to achieve significant state policy and financial support for National Board Certification and National Board Certified Teachers,” she added.

Kirst received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Dartmouth College in 1961. In 1963, he received his M.P.A. in Government and Economics from Harvard University and, later, his Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard. Dr. Kirst is the author of numerous books and articles focusing on school finance, curriculum politics, intergovernmental relations and education reform policies. The Political Dynamics of American Education, the book he co-authored with Frederick Wirth, is widely used in the politics of education.

“This award is intended to go to visionary education leaders who have exhibited commitment, expertise and dedication to improving education for teachers and students. I am thrilled that the 2017 Kelly award will go to Mike Kirst. His career has been dedicated to improving schools and, in turn, making life better for their students. I am honored to be able to present him with this award in acknowledgement of his many achievements,” said James A. Kelly.

Since its inception in 1999, the James A. Kelly Award has honored individuals who embody the following traits, reflecting the legacy of James A. Kelly:

  • A deep-seated belief in the inherent right of all children to a quality education;
  • A professional life dedicated to improving education for teachers and their students;
  • A passionate commitment to improving teaching and learning in America;
  • Unwavering dedication to the professional integrity and competence of teachers;
  • Visionary and boundless energy, eternal optimism, and expert leadership;
  • An innate capacity to inspire collaboration and mobilize support that enabled unparalleled achievements in the history of American education reform; and
  • A clear vision coupled with steadfast commitment and fierce determination which has led to historic milestones in American education and meaningful impact on teaching and learning.

Past recipients of this award include President Bill Clinton, the Honorable Richard Riley, the Honorable Arlen Specter; the Honorable James B. Hunt, Jr. the Honorable Roy Barnes, the Honorable Ted Strickland, Barbara Kelley, Edward Rust, Jr., Linda Darling-Hammond, and Ron Thorpe.

The Kelly Award will be presented to Dr. Kirst at a ceremony on April 7 at the Hyatt Centric in Arlington, Va.