What is the California Dream? That was the question posed at the CA FWD Young Leaders Advisory Council Fireside Chat at the 2020 California Economic Summit last week. The answer from the panel was the California Dream depends on your family’s experience and the educational opportunities available to you.
On this week’s PolicyWise Podcast (Episode 8), hosts Demitria Wack and Michael Wiafe devoted the show to the Fireside Chat, which included moderator Candice Mays, project manager for Voice Media Ventures and members of the Young Leaders Advisory Council, including SDSU alum Stephanie Estrada, Dougherty Valley High School student Mehek Kandru and UCLA students Julia Paccone and Ashley Anderson.
“The educational system sets certain kinds of people up for success and it conditions people to stay within a certain box that is labeled as success,” said Kandru. “And that box changes depending on what school you’re attending or the resources that you have.”
“We should have an equal learning opportunity curriculum across California,” added Anderson, who started school in an underserved community, moved to a school district with more resources and became the first person in her family to attend a four-year university. “There should be no scenario where a student has to move district to district and feel left behind because different districts are learning different things.”
The discussion also touched on the issues of funding disparities, tracking students for college at an early age, and bias in school punishment that perpetuates the school-to-prison pipeline.