Archive for February, 2010

Unsubstantiated hearsay

Posted on February 5, 2010. Filed under: Unsubstantiated hearsay |

This is the first entry in a new category of posts, interesting things I’ve heard about the Kalamazoo Promise but can’t attribute. 

I HEAR THAT… students are using their Kalamazoo Promise scholarship as leverage to seek financial aid from other, non-KP eligible schools. A KPS senior applying to the University of Chicago told the financial aid office there that she already had a full tuition scholarship at the University of Michigan and that, if they wanted her in the Windy City, they would need to match that. I don’t know what the response was, and I have heard that she will be staying in Michigan, but kudos for trying! The high-school students tell me that lots of kids are doing this.

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Kalamazoo Promise Usage by Race

Posted on February 5, 2010. Filed under: Kalamazoo Promise, socioeconomic school integration, What's new (since my book was published) | Tags: , , |

Another interesting bit of data from the Kalamazoo Promise administrator Bob Jorth. Eligible African-American graduates of KPS are using the Kalamazoo Promise at approximately the same rate as eligible Caucasian students:

  2006 2007 2008 2009
% eligible h.s. graduates who have used Promise 83 84 85 74
% of eligible African-Americans who have used Promise 83 81 85 73
% of eligible Caucasians who have used Promise 86 86 85 77

More complete demographic data is available on the website of the Upjohn Institute http://upjohn.org/promise/index.htm Later this year we will have our first data examining the proportion of students using the Kalamazoo Promise who were classified as economically disadvantaged (i.e., eligible for free or reduced-price school meals) during their time in KPS.

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Redistricting, part deux

Posted on February 5, 2010. Filed under: Kalamazoo Promise, socioeconomic school integration, What's new (since my book was published) | Tags: , |

So how did it work out? The table below compares the percentage of students receiving free and reduced-price lunches at KPS’s middle and high schools before and after the redistricting plan was implemented. The projections of the redistricting committee are also included. Keep in mind that students enrolled in middle or high-school when redistricting was introduced were “grandfathered” under the plan, allowing them to remain at their original school, so the full impact of redistricting will take several years to become apparent.

  2008-09 Projection 2009-10
Middle Schools      
– Hillside 52 65 67
– Linden Grove n.a. 72 69
– Maple Street 72 68 68
– Milwood 84 71 79
High Schools      
– Central 53 58 55
– Loy Norrix 64 60 65

Even in the first year of the program, with the grandfathering allowed, there was a clear shift in the direction of greater socioeconomic balance at the middle school level. There is no hard evidence about what this means (e.g., test scores, promotion, etc.), but I do want to share what I heard second-hand from a teacher at Milwood Middle School who claims that it is markedly easier to teach this year because of the greater diversity in her classroom and the presence of a sizeable minority of middle-income students.

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