Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Grant

Title: Evaluation of the Kalamazoo Promise
Center: NCER Year: 2007
Principal Investigator: Miron, Gary Awardee: Western Michigan University
Program: Improving Education Systems      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years Award Amount: $348,136
Goal: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305A070381
Description:

Purpose: The Kalamazoo Promise is a scholarship program for students who have attended Kalamazoo Public Schools. Announced in November 2005, the Kalamazoo Promise provides four years of tuition and fees at any of Michigan's public colleges or universities. Funded by a group of anonymous donors, the program seeks to remove financial barriers to attending college for those students who have attended Kalamazoo public schools and have lived within its boundaries for at least four years. Because all Kalamazoo public school students are eligible regardless of financial means, the program also seeks to transform the school district by ensuring that all students are prepared for a postsecondary education. The purpose of this project is to conduct an initial evaluation of the potential efficacy of the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship program on student achievement and other education outcomes.

Project Activities: The evaluation of the Kalamazoo Promise is built on five separately defined but related data collection activities: survey of students and teachers, interviews with 60-75 key informants, survey of high school graduates, analysis of publicly available indicators, and analysis of student- and school-level data from the district.

Products: Products from this project include published reports of the potential efficacy of the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship program on student achievement.

Structured Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to conduct an initial evaluation of the potential efficacy of the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship program on student achievement and other education outcomes.

Setting: The setting is the Kalamazoo public school district in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a Midwestern urban community.

Population: There are more than 10,000 students attending the district's 21 schools and support programs. Nearly 60 percent of the students are minority students. A full 61 percent of the district's students are considered economically disadvantaged. The district's dropout rate is 11 percent. Approximately 500 students graduate from Kalamazoo public schools each year with 85 to 90 continuing on to college. Because it is understood that this intervention will have systemic effects on the district, the target population will be all K-12 students attending Kalamazoo public schools.

Intervention: The only program element defined in the model is the actual scholarship. Beginning with the class of 2006 and continuing indefinitely, any student graduating from the district's high schools who has been continuously enrolled in and resided in the district since kindergarten will receive a scholarship covering 100 percent of tuition and mandatory fees at any of Michigan's public colleges or universities. Graduates who have attended a public school and lived in the district for four years will receive a 65 percent scholarship, with a sliding scale for those in between. With current in-state tuition ranging from under $2,000 a year for a full-time student at the local community college to more than $9,000 a year at the University of Michigan, the benefit to families is worth as much as $36,000 per child. Students will be eligible for up to four years of funding to be accessed within 10 years of high school graduation.

Research Design and Methods: The initial evaluation of the Kalamazoo Promise is built on five separately defined but related data collection activities: survey of students and teachers, interviews with 60-75 key informants, survey of high school graduates, analysis of publicly available indicators, and analysis of student-level data from the district. Researchers will estimate the effects of the Kalamazoo Promise on several short-term and intermediate student outcomes such as student aspiration levels, increased enrollment in college preparatory classes, classroom performance, performance on standardized tests, promotion and graduate rates, and application rates to colleges and universities. At the school level, researchers will compare each Kalamazoo public school with a set of demographically and geographically similar schools from other counties. Researchers will also compare the outcomes of Kalamazoo Promise-eligible students to three different comparison groups: a) students who attended Kalamazoo public schools before the Promise was initiated; b) students from districts similar to Kalamazoo that do not have the financial opportunities offered by the Promise; and c) Kalamazoo students who are not eligible for the Promise (e.g. because they live in other counties or they have not lived in the district long enough to qualify).

Control Condition: Comparisons of district and school-level indicators will be made with demographically similar districts/schools in the state and with Kalamazoo students who are not eligible for the intervention.

Key Measures: Outcome measures include the following: community and district response in terms of programs to support and better prepare students for college; student attendance; student aspirations; teacher expectations for students; retention, promotion, and graduation; school climate; enrollment in college preparatory courses; performance on standardized tests (e.g., MEAP, ACT, SAT, Iowa Test); and rates of application to colleges and universities.

Data Analytic Strategy: Analytic strategies for survey and administrative data include descriptive and correlational analyses, parametric analyses, and multivariate analyses. Analyses of school and district-level data include residual gain score analyses, between and within subjects longitudinal multivariate analyses, and multiple regression analyses.

Project Website: http://www.wmich.edu/kpromise/

Publications

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Jones, J., Miron, G., and Kelaher-Young, A.J. (2012). The Kalamazoo Promise and Perceived Changes in Teacher Beliefs, Expectations, and Behaviors. Journal of Educational Research, 105 (1): 36–51.

Miron, G., Jones, J.N., and Kelaher-Young, A.J. (2011). The Kalamazoo Promise and Perceived Changes in School Climate. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 19 (17).

Working paper

Evergreen, S., and Miron, G. (2008). Response From Community Groups, Working Paper #2 . Kalamazoo, MI: The Western Michigan University Evaluation Center Working Paper.

Miron, G., and Cullen, A. (2008). Trends and Patterns in Student Enrollment for Kalamazoo Public Schools, Working Paper #4 . Kalamazoo, MI: The Western Michigan University Evaluation Center Working Paper.

Miron, G., and Evergreen, S. (2008). The Kalamazoo Promise as a Catalyst for Change in an Urban School District: A Theoretical Framework for the Evaluation of the Kalamazoo Promise, Working Paper 1 . Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University Working Paper.

Miron, G., Jones, J.N., and Kelaher Young, A.J. (2009). The Impact of the Kalamazoo Promise on Student Attitudes, Goals, and Aspirations, Working Paper #6 . Kalamazoo, MI: The Western Michigan University Evaluation Center Working Paper.

Miron, G., Spybrook, J., and Evergreen, S. (2008). Key Findings From the 2007 Survey of High School Students, Working Paper #3 . Kalamazoo, MI: The Western Michigan University Evaluation Center Working Paper.

Tornquist, E., Gallegos, K., and Miron, G. (2010). Latinos and the Kalamazoo Promise: An Exploratory Study of the Factors Related to Utilization of the Kalamazoo's Universal Scholarship Program (8). Kalamazoo, MI: Working Paper.

** This project was submitted to and funded under Education Policy, Finance, and Systems in FY 2007.


Back