Journalist Ted Fishman’s article on the Kalamazoo Promise (see previous blog post for description of the Promise) appears in the September 16 Sunday magazine of the New York Times. The article can be found here.
The article describes the many profound effects the Promise has had on the lives of many students and families in the Kalamazoo area. It also mentions many challenges that the Kalamazoo area faces in making sure all students in Kalamazoo have the skills they need to succeed in college using the Promise’s tuition subsidies.
One strategy the article mentions for building on the Promise is early childhood education. The article mentions my book Investing in Kids, and that many people in Kalamazoo are interested in using early childhood education as a key lever to help make the Promise more successful.
One addition I would make to the article is that this interest in early childhood education in Kalamazoo has gone beyond discussion. The non-profit organization KCReady4s, on whose Board I serve, has begun to operate at a pilot stage, providing support for pre-K services in 2012-2013 to over 130 students. The long-run intention is to expand KCReady4s sufficiently so that together with Head Start and Michigan’s state-funded pre-K program, Kalamazoo County will offer universal access to high-quality pre-K for all county 4-year-olds.
For those visitors to this blog who came here after reading Mr. Fishman’s article, welcome. For more information on the Upjohn Institute’s research on the Kalamazoo Promise, read my previous blog post, the Institute’s website section on the Promise, or my colleague Michelle Miller-Adams’s book on the Promise.
For those interested in this blog’s discussion of early childhood education, and how it can boost local economic development, most of my blog posts have dealt with this issue. A post that summarizes my case for why early childhood programs can boost local job creation is here. I’ve also discussed the role early childhood programs can play in reducing income inequality , and why universal pre-K programs have advantages over income targeted programs. The blog has also had posts discussing the limitations of business tax incentives as an economic development strategy. I’ve also had some blog posts discussing national job creation strategies.