To the Editor:
Two years into the “Kalamazoo Promise,” a scholarship program giving aid to every college-bound graduate of the Kalamazoo, Mich., schools, the city has seen its property values increase by between 7 percent and 10 percent (“Michigan Governor Pushing Scholarship Expansion,” Feb. 14, 2007). City revenues also have increased as a result. No doubt many of the people moving into Kalamazoo want their children to do well in school and attend college.
By way of contrast, Milwaukee and Cleveland have seen no such impact from their long-established voucher programs. And nowhere that Edison Schools Inc. or other education management organizations have been has there been an experience similar to Kalamazoo’s.
This is a strong indication that the concept of funding individual college accounts, whereby money is set aside at a child’s birth for his or her literacy training and/or postsecondary schooling, will work.
A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 2007 edition of Education Week as ‘Kalamazoo Promise’ Shows What Works