By John Worthen
For Between Editions
City leaders and education officials in Kalamazoo, Mich., are taking a fresh look at their “Promise” program. Since 2005, they’ve pledged to pay college tuition for every graduate of the local high school — it’s the very plan that inspired Murphy Oil executives to create The El Dorado Promise.
But, like anything that looks good on paper, reality is often quite a different thing, as the British magazine The Economist reports in a Feb. 7 article:
“…the goal of creating jobs remains distant. The programme may indeed attract new companies one day. But at present the weak job market may deter some families from making the move to Kalamazoo. The region’s energetic economic-development leader, Ron Kitchens, has a daunting mountain to climb.”
It seems as if El Dorado has its own mountain to climb. If you’ve been to district court lately and seen dozens of our local youths being brought before the judge in shackles, then you’ll know that drugs and crime are a serious problem in the city.
Many local youths are still falling through the cracks. There’s no doubt that the El Dorado Promise is indeed helping things somewhat, but there are other problems that must be addressed before it will work to its fullest potential.
El Dorado gets a brief mention in the piece. Click here for more.