Letters to the Editor

Educational divide

I commend Cynthia Lambert for her recent article on San Luis Obispo County students’ state test scores (“SLO County exceeds test expectations,” Sept. 10). Lambert points out that while our students scored higher than California students statewide, the percentage of socioeconomically disadvantaged students in this county is 44 percent (compared with the statewide average of 58 percent), and this growing problem needs to be addressed.

Our local school trustees, administrators and school counselors, along with classroom teachers and other school staff members, have made every effort to tackle this problem, and I applaud them for their labor as our economically disadvantaged students’ test scores and grades have improved. However, as community members, we can’t sit back and depend on our schools to solve this problem.

In the past 40 years, college completion rates for low-income students have not changed, and wealthy students’ graduation rates have skyrocketed. In 2013, one study found 77 percent of adults from wealthy families had earned a degree, compared with only 9 percent of adults from low-income families. Find more information and numbers at http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov.

This educational attainment between rich and poor will have long-lasting economic repercussions for our state, as well as San Luis Obispo County. Education levels the playing field in this country, and it’s one way a child can break free from living a life in poverty.