Is the “California dream” out of reach in Kern County?

Is the “California dream” out of reach in Kern County?

This question was on the collective mind of approximately 100 educators, administrators, leaders and community members, January 16, as the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs of CSU Los Angeles, in partnership with California State University, Bakersfield, held a forum for members of the community. The workshop was held at CSUB with support from campus staff and administration.  The PBI project in the San Joaquin Valley is funded by The California Endowment.

The event, held in the Walter Stiern Library’s Reading Room, included a panel discussion as well as a break-out session in which audience members were afforded the opportunity to share their views.

The evening’s dynamic discussion included several notable topics, including:

– The mismatch between job opportunities and the education provided

– School discipline measure and how they contribute, both positively and negatively to educational opportunity

-Whether or not all students should attend a four year college

Panelists included: Mr. Daniel Binsfeld, Graphic Design Instructor at the Kern High Regional Occupation Center; Dr. Julio Blanco, Dean of CSUB’s School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering; Dr. Christopher Meyers, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics at CSUB and Ms. Sanda Serrano, Chancellor of Kern Community College District. Dr. Kathleen Knutzen, Dean of CSUB’s School of Social Sciences & Education, also gave a presentation, setting the stage with educational and demographic information. Dr. Meyers served as the moderator for the evening. Both CSUB President, Dr. Horrace Mitchell, and PBI Executive Director, Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, offered opening and closing remarks.

This California Agenda Public and Health Policy forum is the second public policy forum hosted by the Pat Brown Institute as a part of its larger San Joaquin Valley Project. The next will be held in Fresno. CSU Bakersfield will provide logistical support.

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