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About CDE's Educational Data

Information about accessing data collected by the California Department of Education (CDE), including publicly available data, data-related communications, submitting research data requests, and data retention.

Information about Education Data

Working with Educational Data
Publicly Available Data
Data-Related Communications
Data Requests
Data Retention Policy


Working with Educational Data

The California Department of Education (CDE) collects educational data on students, teachers, schools, and districts. Some of the data collected by the CDE includes student enrollment and demographic data, information about English learners, graduation and dropout counts and rates, and statewide assessment results. More information about the CDE’s Data Collections is available on the CDE Data Collections web page.

While these data are used to meet state and federal reporting requirements, they are also a valuable asset to the CDE and the California education community. Educational data collected by the CDE are used to determine school funding, generate school and district accountability metrics, administer statewide assessments, calculate high school graduation rates, determine local and statewide staffing needs, and used for compliance and monitoring purposes. Furthermore, these data represent an indispensable resource for data-driven decision-making within the CDE as well as by policy-makers and the educational research community.

Publicly Available Data

Much of the educational data collected by the CDE are made publicly available to educators, researchers, the media, and parents through DataQuest the CDE’s web-based data reporting system for publicly reporting information about California students, teachers, and schools. DataQuest provides meaningful data and statistics about California's K-12 public educational system that supports a wide variety of informational, research, and policy needs. Summary and detailed data reports are available for multiple subject areas and years at the school, district, county, and state levels.

Follow these steps to generate a report in DataQuest:

  • Open the DataQuest Homepage
    • Select the desired Level (State, County, District, or School)
    • Select the Subject (e.g. Annual Enrollment Data) and select "Submit"
  • Select Year and select "Submit"
  • Select desired Report from the menu and select "Submit"

Some of the reports include a Report Description, Report Glossary, and various Report Options and Filters.

Data Reports and Files

Access to several data reports by topic and supporting downloadable data files are available through the following pages:

Data Reports by Topic
Data reports about California's students, teachers, and schools by topic area, including enrollment, assessment and accountability, English learners, foster youth, free or reduced-price meal, graduates and dropouts, and staff and course data.

Downloadable Data Files
Aggregate data reports and downloadable data files from various CDE data collections, assessments, and accountability tools that are available to educators, researchers, the media, and the public.

Other Data Resources

California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System External link opens in new window or tab.
California's statewide student assessment system. The CAASPP includes the Smarter Balanced assessment system for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics, the California Science Test (CAST), the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) for ELA, mathematics, and science, and the optional California Spanish Assessment (CSA).

California School Dashboard External link opens in new window or tab.
The Dashboard provides parents and educators with meaningful information on school and district progress so they can participate in decisions to improve student learning. The Dashboard goes beyond test scores alone to provide a more complete picture of how schools and districts are meeting the needs of all students.

English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) External link opens in new window or tab.
California’s statewide test for English language proficiency. The ELPAC includes the Initial ELPAC and Summative ELPAC. The Initial ELPAC is to identify students as being either an English learner or fluent English proficient. The Summative ELPAC measures how well English learners are progressing toward English language proficiency.

School Accountability Report Card (SARC)
The SARC provides information to the community about public & nonpublic, nonsectarian schools and allow public comparison of schools for student achievement, environment, resources, and demographics.

Due to changes in laws, educational policy, or funding priorities, the focus of CDE’s responsibility has changed. The CDE Programs No Longer Administered page contains information about programs and initiatives that were previously administered by the CDE.

Much of the data submitted for federal reporting are made publicly available by the National Center for Educational Statistics External link opens in new window or tab.. Additional information about federal educational data resources can be found on the CDE Federal Data Resources page.

Data-Related Communications

The CDE provides a several of data-related communications on a variety of topics. Information is communicated through newsletter updates, social media posts, and via data-related listservs. Detailed information regarding these communications can be found on the CDE Data-Related Communications page.

For those who are interested, the CDE operates a DataQuest listserv to provide information via e-mail regarding DataQuest updates, including new data releases (e.g., reports and downloadable files), new report options and functionality, data release schedules, reporting documentation, and periodic data analysis summary, overview, and findings. Information about subscribing to this listserv is available on the CDE DataQuest Listserv web page.

Data Requests

For data that are not available through these public resources, the CDE maintains a system for submitting customized research data requests for qualified researchers, while ensuring compliance with state and federal data privacy and security laws. These data requests are reviewed by the CDE and approved requests are processed for a fee. To submit a customized research data request, please visit the CDE Data Requests web page.

Members of the press or other media outlets requesting data from the CDE must contact the CDE Communications Office for assistance by e-mail at communications@cde.ca.gov or by phone at 916-319-0818.

Data Retention Policy

The CDE has established a data retention policy for downloadable data files that are maintained on our website. In general, downloadable data files will be publicly posted on the CDE web site for up to 10 years. The exception to this policy will be the Enrollment downloadable data files. Downloadable files older than 10 years have been removed from the CDE’s web site. The CDE will be implementing a similar retention policy for reports available through DataQuest.

Questions: Data Reporting Office | dro@cde.ca.gov | 916-327-0219 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 29, 2021
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