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francishsu

Kalamazoo Promise reversing "white flight"?

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Interesting article from the Kalamazoo Gazette about the Kalamazoo Promise curbing "white flight". One of the goals of the promise was to do just that, and it appears to be working.

KPS' Promise may be curbing `white flight'

Among the scholarship program's goals is curbing the long-term trend of ``white flight'' from the district. KPS saw a rise in white enrollment from 4,177 students last fall to 4,426 this year, its first increase in white students since at least the 1980s.

For Kalamazoo, it's an estimated $3 million/year cost for the promise.

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thats because they are moving into new housing developments in Oshtemo twnship not the city necesarily, not good imo

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You mean that the Kalamazoo Public Schools covers more than just the city? Or, do you mean people outside of the city are putting their children into KPS?

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Part of Oshtemo is covered by KPS, so GR8scott certainly makes a valid point. However, I also believe that it will help keep families who currently live in Kalamazoo from leaving. And even if the part of Oshtemo in KPS experiences most of the growth, it'll mean more funding for the entire district.

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I read a story a few months back about this, and they interviewed quite a few families who reconsidered moving out of the city to the suburbs because of this. Hopefully, those families represent a significant number of potential movers. As I've said before, the Kalamazoo Promise is more a way retain than attract students, and even if it only retains that's really enough considering how badly most of our cities are doing in retaining residents. I wish there was a Michigan Promise, or at least something similar in the rest of Michigan's larger cities seeing continual population loss. Heck, if the private sector in Kazoo can do this, you better believe the private sector of Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint, Detroit, etc....could do this as well, as many of those cities have much larger philthopist communities than Kazoo.

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I think it includes most of Oshtemo township which is where the current area sprall growth is plus it includes all of Kalamazoo township and maybe parts of Texas township, I saw the district map not too long ago I just can't remember the details, but I was surprised to see how far west past the city limits it includes.

Kalamazoo central by the way is actually in Kalamazoo township NW of the city in somewhat of a rual area. Not very central actually

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by the way this would probably be a good place to recomend that Kalamazoo has its own sticky thread on the Michigan fourum page like Traverse City.

Its technically not part of "michigans west coast" and might get more attention out there though its not talked about enough to get its own page like Ann Arbor

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I'm not sure if there are enough forumers from Kazoo, or enough interest from others to keep it going, quite yet.

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well theres a thread in the main Grand Rapids section with 5 pages or so of things going on in the zoo so if you add this to it and bring it out by the TC thread I think it could become easier to find and a little more active

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well theres a thread in the main Grand Rapids section with 5 pages or so of things going on in the zoo

That's not enough to keep a Kalamazoo section going. The Ann Arbor section is on life support right now, and may be absorbed back into the Detroit metro section.

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That article is funny because it makes a lot of assumptions. Does the Kalamazoo Promise help the community, probably...

What about the recently renovated downtown and increase in downtown living? Or the complete rehabilitation of many older industrial buildings on the North Side into offices? There is so much that is going on in terms of redevelopment that was started well before the Promise that it is going to be difficult to isolate one factor and look at it

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That article is funny because it makes a lot of assumptions. Does the Kalamazoo Promise help the community, probably...

What about the recently renovated downtown and increase in downtown living? Or the complete rehabilitation of many older industrial buildings on the North Side into offices? There is so much that is going on in terms of redevelopment that was started well before the Promise that it is going to be difficult to isolate one factor and look at it

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... maybe parts of Texas township...

dontmesswithtexas.jpg

I've always wanted to decorate the Twp's "welcome to" signs...

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That article is funny because it makes a lot of assumptions. Does the Kalamazoo Promise help the community, probably...

What about the recently renovated downtown and increase in downtown living? Or the complete rehabilitation of many older industrial buildings on the North Side into offices? There is so much that is going on in terms of redevelopment that was started well before the Promise that it is going to be difficult to isolate one factor and look at it

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I read alot of comments like this and get left with a "wtf" feeling in my head. I mean, we're talking about FREE COLLEGE for a district of over 11,000 students. I highly doubt that can have anything but an overwhelmingly positive impact on that town.

I don't understand why I keep reading "yeah ...but...." emails about KPS/Kalamazoo. Are people afraid to see it succeed? Are they secretly hoping it doesn't?

I don't mean to pick on your post, and I'm certainly not asking this rhetorically. National news seems to treat the Promise as an entirely, incredibly wonderful thing. West Michigan seems to look at it with some disdain, or something (I cannot place my finger on it) but I hear and read it every day.

I think a lot of people are brought up to believe that "nothing is free", and that if you "work and apply yourself hard enough you can achieve your goals" (such as going to college). I think that underlying philosophy may be what you are seeing in the criticisms of this program. Whether that philosophy is legitimate in this case is arguable, but that would be my guess. To some, it may seem like a form of welfare or charity, just privately funded welfare or charity. Some view that type of program as building a dependency on someone else, instead of fostering a spirit of self-reliance.

I'm interested to see how it goes in the long run. Is the fact that many families (esp. white families) are choosing to take another look at KPS a good thing? Sure it is. Is it leading to increased population growth for the Kzoo area, not from what I have read. It's just people shifting from one area to another.

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I think a lot of people are brought up to believe that "nothing is free", and that if you "work and apply yourself hard enough you can achieve your goals" (such as going to college). I think that underlying philosophy may be what you are seeing in the criticisms of this program. Whether that philosophy is legitimate in this case is arguable, but that would be my guess. To some, it may seem like a form of welfare or charity, just privately funded welfare or charity. Some view that type of program as building a dependency on someone else, instead of fostering a spirit of self-reliance.

I'm interested to see how it goes in the long run. Is the fact that many families (esp. white families) are choosing to take another look at KPS a good thing? Sure it is. Is it leading to increased population growth for the Kzoo area, not from what I have read. It's just people shifting from one area to another.

it isnt free.... the students need to earn it, through good grades.

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I don't understand why I keep reading "yeah ...but...." emails about KPS/Kalamazoo. Are people afraid to see it succeed? Are they secretly hoping it doesn't?

West Michigan seems to look at it with some disdain, or something (I cannot place my finger on it) but I hear and read it every day.

I read a blog posting in agreement with you and listing some of the specific complaints:

Every time I come home, there's always someone beotching to the newspaper about the Kalamazoo Promise. These complaints range from

1. "Give it to Portage kids; Portage kids matter."

2. "Home-schooled Kalamazoo children should get it too. They are from Kalamazoo."

3. "Private-schooled Kalamazoo children should get it. We pay land taxes."

4. And so on and so forth.

It amazes me that an entire population set can completely miss what's going on here. It also amazes me how many people are enraged at something so genuinely positive.

I think there are a number of factors behind what resentment does exist. It's sort of like a large group of people winning the lottery. At first, I wasn't sure why the donors all wanted to remain anonymous. But after reading about some of this resentment, I think it was for the best.

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it isnt free.... the students need to earn it, through good grades.

Don't they just have to maintain a C average?

francishsu, the comments that you posted from those people are unbelievable. What a bunch of tripe!

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I too think its way to early to tell what effect the promise will have on the community from an economic viewpoint. I would assume it would be positive.

However, I'm a secondary ed. teacher, and from an educational standpoint, this is huge. I student taught in KPS back in 2001. I cannot tell you how many students didn't even try, knowing they couldn't afford college, or wouldn't be able to get in, or figured they couldn't pay back the financial aid. I now teach in suburbia, but I guarantee that if you were able to stand infront of my current classes, and tell them they can all go to college for free if they do the work required, and pass the class with a reasonable grade, it would make the job of motivating many students a whole heck of a lot easier. My students all plan on going to college as it is. I can only imagine the positive aspects this has on KPS secondary teachers.

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How do children not have to work for this? I'd rather them staying in school maintaing a 2.0 GPA which is the requirement, then them dropping out of school altogether which costs society MUCH more down the road. These kids aren't being given a few pass. The aims of the program are two-fold. One is to retain working to lower middle class families that may have been thinking of leaving the district. The other is to catch those at the very bottom, the most at risk students who'd otherwise. This is a huge boon to KPS, and I'd think this would be a huge benefit to quite a few other ailing urban school districts across this country. In a time when public schools have lost their monopoly on public primary education, this but one tool to help them stay competitive. I personally find it ridiculous that anyone would be complaining about this program/initiative, and not be more angry at the social injustices that plague our inner-cities. I find it morally reprehensible the amount of intolerance and inequity we continue to tolerate in this country.

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How do children not have to work for this? I'd rather them staying in school maintaing a 2.0 GPA which is the requirement, then them dropping out of school altogether which costs society MUCH more down the road. These kids aren't being given a few pass. The aims of the program are two-fold. One is to retain working to lower middle class families that may have been thinking of leaving the district. The other is to catch those at the very bottom, the most at risk students who'd otherwise. This is a huge boon to KPS, and I'd think this would be a huge benefit to quite a few other ailing urban school districts across this country. In a time when public schools have lost their monopoly on public primary education, this but one tool to help them stay competitive. I personally find it ridiculous that anyone would be complaining about this program/initiative, and not be more angry at the social injustices that plague our inner-cities. I find it morally reprehensible the amount of intolerance and inequity we continue to tolerate in this country.

If these students have to "work" to maintain a C average, it won't matter if they get free admittance to college. They're going to get slaughtered in the real world.

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It's admittedly setting the bar low, but I highly doubt the kids actually working towards college are just going to be shooting for the 2.0. I don't see why anyone would want to spin this as something unhealthy for the region.

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If these students have to "work" to maintain a C average, it won't matter if they get free admittance to college. They're going to get slaughtered in the real world.

I had a "C" average in high school (albiet at a private school, so slightly tougher grading scale). I went off to CC, then Western where I was in the mid 3's. Had a 4.0 in my Masters until my first A- last summer.

IMHO` It does matter that they get free admittance to college, because it gives them hope. For myself at least, college gen. ed's were just easier than my high school classes. Even if they have to work to get that C average, if they can learn the basic study skills, if they can learn some type of critical thinking, and if they can learn perseverance and to never, ever give up, then they can succeed in real life.

They will not get "slaughtered" in the "real" world. I do not, and have never really put much faith in grades, at least as far as prediciting future success. The world is full of those who performed miserably in high school, found their niche, and went on to success. And there are dozens at every highschool who are excellent at memorizing a textbook, and regurgitating it back on a test, only to forget it by the next semester. If we can encourage some KPS students enough to make it to college (although college is not for everyone) perhaps they will at least attempt higher education, and stay off the streets.

Those who get slaughtered in the real world are those who never mastered the skills to survive, not those who forgot the Pythagoren Theorom, the social and economic reasons for the Civil War, or the 5 Kingdoms of living organisms.

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If these students have to "work" to maintain a C average, it won't matter if they get free admittance to college. They're going to get slaughtered in the real world.

That's pretty Darwinistic... if a kid that's working hard and putting effort in and only makes a "C" -- it's not the kid I'm worried about. What kind of world do we live in?

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