Upjohn Author ORCID Identifier


Publication Date



Policy Paper No. 2013-016




This research brief addresses the question of whether the introduction of the Kalamazoo Promise in late 2005 brought about a shift in media coverage of Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS). It is part of an effort to examine the nonacademic effects of the Kalamazoo Promise—more specifically, if and how the Promise has changed the broader community. A review of educational content in the Kalamazoo Gazette and the Grand Rapids Press pre- and post-Promise announcement was analyzed to determine whether the introduction of the Kalamazoo Promise changed media coverage, thereby affecting community perceptions of KPS as compared to Grand Rapids Public Schools. Data from January–June 2005 and 2008–2010 were used as pre- and post-Promise time periods. Data were not collected from the end of 2005 through 2006 to avoid a skewed sample because of the announcement of the Kalamazoo Promise, nor were data collected from 2007 because of the superintendent search then under way at KPS. Articles from these time periods with substantive educational content were then coded as positive, negative, or neutral. The content analysis shows that the amount of coverage of KPS increased post-Promise and the percentage of positive coverage increased. There were no corresponding increases in either the volume or the nature of content in the Grand Rapids Press.

Issue Date

December 2013


Project #34046

Subject Areas

EDUCATION; Postsecondary education; Postsecondary access; Promise scholarships; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; Regional policy and planning; Michigan studies; Urban issues




Miller-Adams, Michelle and Jenna Fiore. 2013. "The Kalamazoo Promise and Changing Perceptions of the Kalamazoo Public Schools." Policy Paper No. 2013-016. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. https://doi.org/10.17848/pol2013-016