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The Future of Education in the Golden State

The modern American Dream rests on the idea that education is the doorway to equal opportunity and social mobility. However, many have come to question this idea as researchers have found glaring inequities in academic achievement, college access and attainment, and life-long outcomes based on students’ socioeconomic backgrounds, race and ethnicity, and geographic location. State and federal lawmakers have acknowledged these gaps and have attempted to ‘level the playing field’ by injecting new and targeted resources and designing intervention policies to help students reach broader economic and democratic goals.

While many recent policy efforts have attempted to address student equity, they have also attempted to meet the demands of a changing economy. Advanced technological changes are beginning to take root across a range of industries in the U.S. that will require students to acquire 21st century skills for a transforming labor market. As the birthplace and incubator of innovations in automation and artificial intelligence, California must meet the challenges of this pivotal and historic moment to create a skilled workforce capable of developing and implementing this new infrastructure. 

Scenarios for the future

The following are presented as four possible scenarios for California’s arts, culture, and entertainment future.