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Information about the Stability Rate Report

High-level overview of the School Stability Rate data sources, DataQuest reports, downloadable data files, definitions, and business rules helpful to understanding the data reports and downloadable data files.


In response to requests from educators, policy makers, and stakeholders across the state, the California Department of Education (CDE) has developed a Stability Rate measure to identify the number and percent of students who receive a “full year” of learning in the same school. This measure was developed after an extensive review of what other state educational agencies have done to measure stability in schools, an evaluation of the data the CDE collects, and in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.

California's Stability Rate measure is not an accountability measure. This report is intended to serve as a tool to help educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders across the state to better understand the complex needs of students and schools. The stability data are disaggregated for comparison across race/ethnicity and other student groups, different grade levels, across counties, districts, and schools, and for charter schools and alternative schools. Among other things, these data serve to inform important conversations and policy decisions around the social-emotional and academic needs of students in schools. For example, this measure serves to answer questions about school stability for homeless and foster youth whose statutory education rights entitle them to remain in their school of origin (California Education Code Section 48850External link opens in new window or tab. & California Education Code Section 45583.5External link opens in new window or tab. ). These data also show the differences in stability for traditional schools and alternative schools, which is consistent with the mission and students served by alternative schools. This report is designed to be used in conjunction with other reports the CDE publishes, including measures on the California School Dashboard as well as the Chronic Absenteeism and Absenteeism by Reason reports on DataQuest.

Defining and Calculating Stability

The Stability Rate is defined as the percentage of all California public school students enrolled during the academic year (July 1 – June 30) who completed a "full year" of learning in one school. With respect to calculating stability metrics, there is no standard or commonly accepted definition for a “full year” of learning in one school. Nevertheless, while states that calculate student stability metrics utilize different definitions, they are all trying to measure the same thing: Whether or not students remained enrolled in the same educational setting for all or a significant portion of the academic year and the differential variances across student groups.

Some states count students as being stable if they are enrolled in the same school during their official Fall and Spring Census enrollment counts, which amounts to about four to five months of a traditional 9-month school year. Other states utilize a different length of time, while still only evaluating stability for those students enrolled on the Fall Census Day. Still, other states are able to determine which students are enrolled on the first and last days of school, which is the truest measure of a “full year” of learning at the same school. Lastly, some stability metrics allow for small breaks in enrollment at the same school, provided the enrollment gap is not significant, usually 10 days or less.

The CDE evaluated each of the above approaches when considering the definition of stability. In doing so, the CDE tried to leverage the desire to capture as much of a "full year" of learning as possible against the reality of varying school start and end dates across the state and varying track calendars within the same schools. Rather than calculating stability against a static date for all schools (e.g., Census Day), the CDE arrived at a fixed number of calendar days that would subsume the requisite 180 instructional days for the academic year and applied a factor of (0.9) to allow for variances in school calendar, vacations, and weekends to capture approximately 90 percent of the approximate 270 calendar days associated with a “full year” of learning. Doing so allowed for the equal treatment of each student enrollment record regardless of when a school or track started or ended during the academic year. Based on this evaluation, and with input and feedback from stakeholder groups, 245 calendar days was determined to be the length of a stable enrollment within a school.

Stability versus Mobility

Stability measures an aspect of student mobility, specifically the lack of mobility; however, stability is not the inverse of mobility. Mobility metrics measures student movement during the school year, including the incidence and frequency of movement. Stability metrics, on the other hand, measure if a student completed a “full year” of learning at one school. Although not very likely, it is possible that a student could be considered “stable” in a school and still move within a year; however, it is not possible for a student to be stable in two schools within the same school year. The CDE is currently evaluating the calculation of various mobility metrics for possible future reporting.

The Stability Rate data is publicly available in reports on DataQuest, the CDE’s public data reporting website. Stability Rate downloadable data files are also publicly available on the CDE’s Downloadable Data Files website.

Stability Rate Data Source

The CDE has developed Stability Rate reports and supporting downloadable data files using student-level cumulative enrollment data submitted by local educational agencies (LEAs) and charter schools to the CDE as part of the annual End-of-Year 3 (EOY 3) data submission in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS).

Stability Rate DataQuest Reports

The following state-wide Stability Rate reports are publicly available on DataQuest for multiple academic years:

These DataQuest Stability Rate reports are also available at the county-, district-, and school-levels.

Using the Stability Rate Reports

Similar to other DataQuest reports, the Stability Rate reports include expandable (+) Report Description, (+) Report Glossary, and (+) Report Options and Filters sections at the top of each report. Within the expandable (+) Report Options and Filters sections, users will find the following sub-sections that include a number of useful report options and data filters:

  • Report Selection: Within this area, users can select different Stability Rate reports, select a county, district, or school, and change the report year

  • Data Type Options: Within this area, users can select how the data are viewed within the report; either by Race/Ethnicity, Student Group, or Academic Year (Multi-Year). The default report configuration is by Race/Ethnicity. Within this area, users can also select reports that show data for all counties in the state, all districts in a county, or all schools in a district.

  • Report Filters: Within this area, users can apply a variety of school type filters (i.e., charter/non-charter and alternative/regular schools), demographic and student group filters, gender filters, and filters for English Learner status, special education status, and grade spans. Additionally, users can apply one or more filters simultaneously to view data for various student groups. Applied filters are viewable in the "Filtered Enabled" section above each report where the filters can also be reset.

Charter School Filters

Charter school data are removed by default from all district-level DataQuest Stability Rate reports. To include charter school data in district-level reports, select the "Reset Filters" button on district-level reports to show data for “All Schools” OR select the desired School Type filter (i.e., All Schools, Charter Schools, or Non-Charter Schools) from within the expandable Report Options and Filters menu on the DataQuest Stability Rate report. Results produced using the School Type report filter on the DataQuest Stability Rate reports is based on the charter school status during the year of high school completion.

Note: The "Non-Charter" default filter view is ONLY applicable to district-level reports and is NOT applicable to "Report Totals" on state-, county-, or school-level reports.

Alternative School Filters

Results produced using the Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) report filter on the DataQuest Stability Rate are intended to facilitate comparisons of the Stability Rate for traditional charter and non-charter schools by allowing for the removal of alternative schools, which generally serve "high-risk" student populations. For more information regarding the current DASS school accountability can be found at Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS).

New Report Feature

DataQuest reports provide the capability to customize the view of data within the expandable (+) Report Options and Filters section. When any of the available report options or filters are selected by a user, the data in the report are refreshed to display according to the desired parameters selected by the user; however, to date, the selected report parameters have not been incorporated into the report URL or web page address, rendering it impossible to share a link to a "filtered" report. In response to numerous requests from the field, the CDE has incorporated a report "parameterization" feature into the Stability Rate report, which will allow users to share a link to a filtered report.

Stability Rate Downloadable Data Files

The following Stability Rate downloadable data file is publicly available on the CDE website for multiple academic years:

These files include state-, county-, district-, and school-level Stability Rate data disaggregated by race/ethnicity, student group, gender, and academic year. Information about the data elements included in these files and how the data are structured is included in the Stability Rate File Layout web page. For detailed examples on how to properly use these data, please refer to the "Using Stability Rate Data File" information provided on the file layout web page.

Overview of Stability Rate Definitions and Rules

In addition to the DataQuest Stability Rate report description and glossary, the following definitions and rules provide important information to help users understand how the Stability Rate data were processed and how the CDE calculated the counts, rates for stable and non-stable students.

Adjusted Cumulative Enrollment

Adjusted cumulative enrollment is the total number of unduplicated primary and short-term enrollments at a selected entity with an enrollment start date that falls within the academic year (July 1 to June 30). If a student enrollment starts in one academic year but ends in the following academic year, the enrollment is included in the Stability Rate for the academic year in which the enrollment started and not the academic year in which the student enrollment ended.

Continuous Enrollment

A student enrollment record that that is a minimum of 245 consecutive calendar days at the same school. Any student enrollment exited with a mid-year enrollment update (CALPADS Exit Code: E150) and with a subsequent enrollment at the same school is treated as a Continuous Enrollment at that school. For a complete list of CALPADS Student Exit Category codes, refer to the CALPADS Code Sets available on the CALPADS System Documentation web page.

Disqualifying Exit

Any student that is exited from a school with one of the following CALPADS Student Exit Category codes is considered a non-stable student at that school:

  • E140: Truant, no subsequent enrollment
  • E300: Expelled, no subsequent enrollment
  • E400: Unknown, no subsequent enrollment

Stable and Non-Stable Students

Stable and non-stable students are calculated using the adjusted cumulative enrollment for each academic year. A student is determined to be stable or non-stable at each school the student attended within the academic year. A student is considered stable at a school when the student is continuously enrolled for a minimum of 245 days and without a disqualifying exit. A student is considered non-stable at a school when the student is continuously enrolled for less than 245 days or when they exit the school with a disqualifying exit.

Stability is calculated at each reporting level. Therefore, a student could be stable in one school (they were continuously enrolled for at least 245 days and without an unstable departure) and non-stable in another. A student cannot be stable at more than one school in an academic year. If a student is stable in one school and non-stable in another school in the same district, the student is considered stable for the district

Stability and Non-Stability Rates

The Stability Rate is the total number of students in the Stability Count divided by the total Adjusted Cumulative Enrollment at a selected entity, while the Non-Stability Rate is the total number of students in the Non-Stability Count divided by the total Adjusted Cumulative Enrollment at a selected entity.

Demographic and Student Group Statuses

Demographic and student group status determinations for the Stability Rate report we made as follows:

  • Race/Ethnicity and Gender Status: Information about student race/ethnicity and gender is determined based on the most recent data available in CALPADS at the selected entity.

  • Student Group Status: Information about student group statuses (i.e., English Learner, students with disabilities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, migrant, foster, and homeless statuses) is based on data available in CALPADS and is used to make a determination for each student indicating that they belonged to the student group at the selected entity during that academic year.

Data Suppression and Privacy

Data may be suppressed (*) to protect student privacy (Data Suppression). Data are unduplicated at each reporting level (school/district/county/state). As a result, data at one level (e.g., school) are not summative to a higher level (e.g., district). Also, data displayed in the Student Group report view (located in the Report Options and Filters under the Data Type Options) are not mutually exclusive and therefore not summative to the report total.

Questions: Data Reporting Office | | 916-327-0219 
Last Reviewed: Friday, December 15, 2023
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