The Impact of the Kalamazoo Promise on the African American Community

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The Impact of the Kalamazoo Promise on the African American Community By J. Douglas Penn Table of Contents Executive Summary ……………………………………………………… 2 What the Literature Tells Us about African Americans and Education ……………………………………………………… 3 Findings from the Interviews with African American Parents and Students ……………………………………………… 5 Concluding Thoughts ……………………………………………… 6 Introduction and Background ……………………………………………… 7 A Brief Overview of African Americans In the United States ………………………………………………. 9 Broken Promises ………………………………………. 9 Cumulative Advantage and Social Capital ………………. 10 Inequality in U.S. Incarceration ………………………. 14 A Brief Overview of African Americans In Kalamazoo ………………………. 15 The Importance of Research on African Americans ………………………. 17 African Americans and Academic Preparedness ………………………. 18 Theoretical Perspectives ………………………………………………. 21 Critical Pedagogy ………………………………………………. 22 Concepts and Variables ………………………………………………. 23 Student and Family Aspirations ………………………………. 24 Methodology: Description of Parent and Student Interviews ………………. 26 Quantitative Analysis ………………………………………………. 29 Qualitative Analysis ………………………………………………. 30 Limitations to the Data ………………………………………. 30 Findings ………………………………………………………………. 31 Knowledge of the Kalamazoo Promise ………………………. 42 Discussion and Conclusion ………………………………………. 45 Ideas and Suggestions ………………………………………………. 46 Concluding Thoughts ………………………………………………………. 49 References ………………………………………………………………. 52 Executive Summary In this working paper we sought to answer the following questions: 1. How do African Americans currently perceive the Kalamazoo Promise? a. What value do individuals place on the Promise for themselves? b. What value do individuals place on the Promise for

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