Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Promise To Consider

Having grown up in Kalamazoo, I couldn't pass up this article. The program started about 2 years ago and is highly successful. Something for Sarasota to consider?

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—When economists and civic leaders discuss ways to revive this economically buffeted state, the talk quickly converges on the need to dramatically increase the number of high school students who continue their education and graduate from college.

Thanks to a group of anonymous donors, no place in Michigan, and perhaps no place in America, has achieved that goal as quickly and effectively as this mid-sized, post-industrial city. The donors' novel philanthropic fund pays up to 100 percent of the college tuition and fees for graduates of Kalamazoo’s three public high schools—as long as they attend a community college or university in Michigan.

Last June, in the first year of the program, known as the Kalamazoo Promise, 400 students graduated from the three schools and 80 percent took advantage of the offer.

Many other links are available. Wisconsin is also looking at a variation of this.

Providing education for everyone, all of our children, is a requirement for success. Providing a college education for all our children is a community asset that is unparalleled.


Anonymous said...

Are you aware of our two related state programs, Talented 20, and Bright Futures?

Talented 20 guarantees admission to a state university for any student who graduates in the top 20% of their class. This allows students in every school, whether privileged or not, the opportunity for admission on a playing field more equal than it otherwise might be.

Bright Futures goes further to provide scholarships to students meeting certain grade point average and SAT thresholds.

If 320 Kalamazoo children were benefited by that program, it would be nice to see how many Sarasota County students took advantage of the two described above.

SOS1 said...

I agree, it would be interesting to know how many Sarasota students took advantage of the scholarship program.

The Kazoo plan gives a full tuition scholarship (state public college/university) to every student that graduates - if the student has attended the Kazoo public schools at least from middle school on.

This does not guarantee acceptance at a college, but it does guarantee a paid tuition.