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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Why does Kalamazoo Promise work for women but not men?

The Kalamazoo Promise, which guarantees college scholarships to all graduates of the Michigan city's schools, has increased college completion rates by 45 percent for female students since it launched in 2005, researchers found. For males, there's been "zero benefit."

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Most programs that help female students succeed in school, navigate college and launch careers don't work for men, writes Richard V. Reeves on National Affairs. His new book on the struggles of males is titled Of Boys and Men.

Other examples include "a student-mentoring scheme in Fort Worth, Texas; a school-choice program in Charlotte, North Carolina; an income boost to low-wage earners in New York City" and more, he writes.

"Young women are seizing opportunities with much greater zeal than young men," writes Reeves. Boys and men are a lot "harder to help."

Reeves talked to Tyreese, a young black man in community college in Kalamazoo.

He observes major differences between the women and men around him. The first is one of motivation: "The women are so driven," he notes. "They know they have to provide for their family." A second factor is independence: "They [the women] don't really need a relationship; they can do it on their own." The third is persistence: "When stuff gets hard, the guys tend to run away. The girls don't." The fourth is planning: "Women tend to live in the future," he says, while "men tend to live in the present."

In Tyreese's world, providing for the family is a woman's job -- not a man's. That's a big culture shift from the old days.

American men are losing their work ethic, writes Matt Welch on Reason. The number of working-age men who aren't working is way up.

Welch interviewed Nicholas Eberstadt, author of Men Without Work on The Fifth Column podcast. "For every [25–54-year-old] guy who is out of work and looking for a job…in 2022, there are four guys who are neither working nor looking for work," Eberstadt said.

Who's working? Immigrants, said Eberstadt. "That's true for Latinos, it's true for Asians, true for African-Americans, it's true for Anglos."

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