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An Average Story About Education in Marin

Degrees Track with IncomeThe Marin Independent Journal ran its top story on February 19, 2013 with what looked like a promising headline: DEGREES TRACK WITH INCOME.

The census data the reporter sited was the 54% bachelor degree attainment rate of the county — the best in the state. Bravo Marin! Unfortunately the author only gave a cursory acknowledgement to the huge disparity in our county, and buried it at the end without sharing any relevant data. “The picture is rosy for some and a lot less rosy for others,” said an instructor of humanities at Dominican University. There was no mention of the fact that Blacks and Latinos have rates at 22% and 20%. Or that Ross and Belvedere hover close to 80% with college degrees — almost as good as 10,000 Degree’s own 84% track record for our four-year college grads.

Marin is a phenomenally dynamic community and 10,000 Degrees would like to acknowledge those of us at the margins of the data. To those students in West Marin, Marin City, San Rafael and Novato neighborhoods who are hitting the books to improve test scores and completing their essays and financial aid applications (DUE MARCH 2), thank you for committing to Marin’s future. And to our supporters in more affluent neighborhoods, thank you for understanding that Marin is much more complex than our averages.

We are certainly happy to see the local paper covering an issue so close to our hearts (and we are proud to be an advertiser) but we’d like to suggest that next time, all the data is included, because ALL students matter. We can handle the whole story.

If you’d like to know more about Marin County’s educational attainment rates, we suggest reading last year’s A Portrait of Marin by the Marin Community Foundation.