My K-12 education was in public schools right here in the Bay Area. During high school, I took several classes at community colleges, and I can readily attest that they are a high-quality source of education. Afterward, I had the opportunity to attend the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. I know the potential of our public school system because I am a proud product of it.
I worked on the issue of tuition-free community college for the Obama White House. I fully support making community college accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay. I also support partnerships with private industry for vocational training and apprenticeship programs, which can be an excellent pathway toward a fulfilling career that is in high demand right now.
I will support policies mandating the disclosure of the salary distribution of a university's graduates five years out, broken down by major. The Obama White House attempted to implement this requirement nationwide but was stymied by deep-pocketed special interests. What couldn't be done at the federal level should be pioneered by our state.
But we also need to look at what happens before college. Those who attend private schools and affluent public schools often have an advantage because these institutions offer advanced and honors courses that sparkle on a college admissions application. To level the playing field, I will support policies to create a state-supported nonprofit institute called California Virtual that will offer high-quality online courses and supplemental material for K-12 students, tailored to the Common Core State Standards. California Virtual will also offer two dozen virtual advanced placement (AP) courses for college credit.
Students who attend a school that doesn't offer certain courses will have access to them online. And if their school does offer such courses, they can still use California Virtual as a supplement to help them better understand the material. California Virtual is not meant to be a replacement for in-classroom instruction. Instead, teachers will find it useful to assign specific segments of online lectures from the platform as a high-quality supplement for students.