Lodi-Stockton area ranks low on web ed­u­ca­tion study

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Wes Bow­ers NEWS-SEN­TINEL STAFF WRITER

The Lodi-Stockton metropolit­an area is con­sid­ered one of the least­e­d­u­cated re­gions in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to a na­tional fi­nance en­tity.

Wal­letHub, a per­sonal fi­nance web­site based in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., re­leased a study Mon­day rank­ing the ed­u­ca­tion levels of the 150 largest metropolit­an ar­eas in the na­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the study, the Lodi-Stockton area is ranked at 144.

To rank cities, Wal­letHub com­pared the ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment and qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion of all 150 metropolit­an ar­eas.

The web­site looked at the qual­ity of the pub­lic school sys­tem in a city or re­gion; the per­cent­ages of adults with a high school diploma, as­so­ciate's de­gree, bach­e­lor's de­gree or pro­fes­sional de­gree.

Ac­cord­ing to the study, 78.5 per­cent of adults 25 and older have high school diplo­mas in the Lodi-Stockton metropolit­an area.

In ad­di­tion, 51.1 per­cent of adults 25 and older have had some col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence or at­tained an as­so­ciate's de­gree, while 18.1 per­cent of adults 25 and older have earned a bach­e­lor's de­gree, the re­port found.

Just 5.8 per­cent of adults 25 and older in the Lodi Stockton area have re­ceived a grad­u­ate or pro­fes­sional de­gree, ac­cord­ing to the study.

The qual­ity of the area's pub­lic schools sys­tem was ranked at 11.33 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Of­fi­cials at the Lodi Uni­fied School Dis­trict said teach­ers and staff are cur­r­netly work­ing to en­sure stu­dents have strong reading skills.

The dis­trict in re­cent years im­le­mented a goal to make sure all stu­dents are reading by the third grade, staff said, by pro­vid­ing in­struc­tional ma­te­ri­als that meet state in­struc­tional ex­pec­ta­tions; com­pre­hen­sive curriculum; and early lit­er­acy in­struc­tional soft­ware.

Dr. Cathy Ni­chols-Washer, LUSD su­per­in­ten­dent, said she has seen sim­i­lar re­ports about the area’s ed­u­ca­tion posted by other or­ga­ni­za­tions.

She said when a study shows an area is poorly ed­u­cated, it im­pacts the en­tire com­mu­nity.

“It makes our job as a dis­trict much more im­por­tant,” she said. “We do our best to ed­u­cate our chil­dren, and in an area that is ranked low in a study, we need to take a re­port like this very se­ri­ously.”

Zachary John­son, spokesman for the San Joaquin County Of­fice of Ed­u­ca­tion, said grad­u­a­tion rates have steadily in­creased in the past decade, but more can still be done to im­prove.

For adults who never ob­tained a high school diploma, the SJCOE’s Come Back Kids pro­gram pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for them to do so, John­son said.

“Schools can do their part to in­crease the num­ber of adults with ad­vanced de­grees by get­ting stu­dents ready to suc­ceed in col­lege when they are still chil­dren,” he said. “One of the driv­ing forces you'll find at schools and districts across San Joaquin County is a goal to pre­pare stu­dents for what­ever awaits them af­ter grad­u­a­tion. This means pre­par­ing stu­dents for col­lege and ca­reer, which is a top pri­or­ity for ed­u­ca­tors across the county.”

The cities of Sali­nas, Modesto and Bak­ers­field ranked lower than the LodiS­tock­ton area in the study, as did the McAllen-Ed­in­burg-Mis­sion and Brownsvill­e-Har­lin­gen metropolit­an ar­eas in Texas.

The Visalia-Porter­ville area in Cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia was ranked last.

The most ed­u­cated city in the coun­try is Ann Ar­bor, Mich., ac­cord­ing to Wal­letHub, with 54.54 per­cent of adults 25 and older hold­ing bach­e­lor's de­grees.

Just 13.9 per­cent of adults in the Visalia-Porter­ville area have earned a BA, ac­cord­ing to the study.

The high­est rank­ing metropolit­an area in Cal­i­for­nia is the San Jose-Sun­ny­valeSanta Clara area, which was sec­ond in the re­port.

To view the com­plete list of 150 cities and re­gions, visit

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