Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CALPADS Background/History

Provides a background/history of the establishment of CALPADS.


The California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) was created to enable California to meet federal requirements delineated in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, which increases accountability for student achievement. CALPADS has been operational since 2009. Since its beginning, CALPADS has enabled the migration of numerous methods of aggregate data collection to CALPADS, creating a central, cohesive system that maintains quality student-level data, as well as providing a vehicle that tracks individual student enrollment history and achievement data which thus provides reliable longitudinal information.

CALPADS is the foundation of California’s K–12 education data system, comprising student demographic, program participation, grade level, enrollment, course enrollment and completion, and discipline data. The student-level, longitudinal data in CALPADS enables the facilitation of program evaluation, the assessment of student achievement over time, the calculation of more accurate dropout and graduation rates, the efficient creation of reports to meet state and federal reporting requirements, and the ability to create ad hoc reports and responses to relevant questions. CALPADS provides local educational agencies (LEAs) with access to longitudinal data and reports on their own students, and it gives LEAs immediate access to information on new students, enabling the LEAs to place students appropriately and to determine whether any assessments are necessary.

For the purposes of administering the requirements of SB 1453 (Chapter 1002, Statutes of 2002) and NCLB, the California Department of Education (CDE) shall treat independently-reporting charter schools (that act as their own LEAs) as LEAs. A charter school electing to report CALPADS data independent of its authorizing LEA shall be accountable for meeting all of the reporting requirements of an individual LEA.

In order to meet the requirements of California Education Code Section 60900, LEAs shall retain and report to CALPADS individual pupil and staff records, including:

  • Statewide Student Identifier (SSID) data
  • Student enrollment and exit data
  • All necessary data to produce required graduation and dropout rates
  • Demographic data
  • Data necessary to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
  • Other data elements deemed necessary by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, with approval of the State Board of Education, to comply with the federal reporting requirements delineated in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107– 110), and after review and comment by the convened advisory board

LEA maintenance of individual SSIDs includes the accurate and timely reporting of demographic, program, local student enrollment and exit data to CALPADS, and the timely resolution of SSID anomalies with other LEAs.

Failure of LEAs to comply with state law by not meeting CALPADS reporting requirements may result in zero enrollment counts on official state and federal reports as well as on official, publicly-accessible Web sites. In addition, zero enrollment counts will result in the loss of any funding based on official enrollment.

In accordance with student data reporting requirements by state law, the district office (or charter school office) maintains and submits student data to CALPADS. All CALPADS data are maintained in compliance with state and federal privacy laws, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Each LEA or independently-reporting charter school has a designated LEA CALPADS administrator who is responsible for controlling local access to CALPADS.

Consistent with California Education Code Section 49069, parents and legal guardians have the right to access any and all pupil records related to their children that are maintained by school districts. The CDE makes student data in CALPADS available for parental or legal guardian inspection through the LEA or the independently-reporting charter school in which the student is enrolled. Parents or legal guardians should contact the appropriate district office or charter school office to initiate this procedure.

Questions:   CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office | | 916-324-6738
Last Reviewed: Friday, February 2, 2024
Recently Posted in School Performance
  • Flash 272 (added 23-May-2024)
    Adding Flash 272 - Importance of the Initial US School Enrollment Date for English Learners
  • New Flash #270 (added 14-May-2024)
    New Flash #270 - 2023−24 End-of-Year 4, Special Education Revised Guidance, and Other Updates
  • New Flash #271 (added 14-May-2024)
    New Flash #271- New Education Data Collection System to collect data for ASVAB and SSCE
  • 2023−24 End-of-Year Submissions (added 07-May-2024)
    Letters sent to superintendents on April 29, 2024.
  • California College Guidance Initiative (added 06-May-2024)
    Letter sent April 22, 2024 to superintendents and charter school administrators.