By Nadine Sebai

California Governor-elect Gavin Newsom praised his “cradle-to-career” education plan throughout his campaign. One of his goals is to establish a data system that tracks kids from early childhood through college and into the workforce.

It's been a topic of conversation for more than a decade, yet a system still doesn't exist. California is one of only eight states without a data system that can help answer questions about how policy affects students in the long-run.

Hans Johnson, director of the Higher Education Center at the Public Policy Institute of California, moderated a panel last week on the issue. He says right now there’s no way to know how many University of California eligible students don’t go to those universities, or even how many don’t apply at all.