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Spring 2004
Diversity, Economics and Education
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"What we've got now is a terrible waste of resources and of potential," says Allen. "We need a societal sense of education as generating long-term profits, not short term."

Some people see those changes happening and, despite the difficulties, are optimistic about the future of education, even in cash-strapped California.

Oakes is one. "We're so caught up in some traditions and beliefs, and with some very erroneous stereotypes about families that don't care, that we feel hopeless," she says.

"We need to reframe the problem to help us not feel hopeless, pull out the can-do ingenuity, say to ourselves that we created the greatest public-education system in the world and we can make it work."

Freelance writer Eric Stone's last article for UCLA Magazine explored the university's impact on the local, regional and state economies.

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