The low ranking that matters most

 

Stocktonian Charles K. Barnard's proposed logo for a CSU, Stockton

Stockton is one of the least educated big cities in the United States, a new study finds.

Wallet Hub ranked Stockton 143 out of 150 for educational attainment. In fact, five of the nation’s educational cellar dwellers — Modesto, Fresno, and Bakersfield and Visalia, too — are in the Central Valley.

Visalia ranked dead last at 150.  Which explains Congressman Devin Nunes.

This ignorance — for that’s what it is — is at the root of Stockton’s problems. It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the uneducated, unskilled, unwitting workforce and electorate, which translates to a culture of mediocrity and incompetence. Low-paying, dead-end jobs, charlatans on the City Council (see: former Mayor Anthony Silva) and a cohort of populists with their weird combination of cynicism toward elites and gullibility towards any checkered character from their community who claims they care.

Most such bad actors would be left behind if the city had a deep bench of educated leaders. And educated voters. We’d have better policy and smarter urbanism. Not to mention the better jobs. Not just high-wage employers moving in, but organic start-ups, entrepreneurialism, inventors winning new patents and making improvements to Ag technology and who knows what else.

More prosperity, less poverty, lower crime. Higher earnings and savvy also translating into  increased political muscle. And a city that refreshes itself with youth who stay and enliven the scene instead of seeking education and prospects elsewhere.

Support a California State University, Stockton. Or, if you prefer Assembly member Susan Eggman’s vision, a California Polytechnic University, Stockton. If the campaign takes years, make sure your children carry it on. It’s the way up.

 

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  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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