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Cradle-to-Career Data System

This page provides information about the California Cradle-to-Career Data System (California Data System) that will connect data from early education, K-12 education, financial aid, higher education, workforce, and health and human services.

The 2019-2020 State Budget External link opens in new window or tab. provided $10 million in one-time funding to plan for and develop a longitudinal data system, also known as the California Data System. This initiative seeks to connect data from early education providers, K–12 schools, higher education institutions, employers, other workforce entities, and health and human services agencies. Three representatives from the California Department of Education (CDE) with expertise in early learning activities and K–12 educational data reporting serve on the California Data System Workgroup.

Information about the California Data System advisory groups, subcommittees, public meeting calendar, agendas, and material are available on  the California Data System  External link opens in new window or tab. web site.


Information regarding CDE’s participation in the Cradle-to-Career Data System Workgroup activities, including updates and decisions, will be communicated via the DataQuest listserv. To subscribe to this listserv, please submit a blank email to:

The California Data System Workgroup also maintains a listserv to provide updates, meeting notifications, and announcements about the California Data System. Information about subscribing to this listserv is available on the California Data System Listserv External link opens in new window or tab. webpage.

CDE’s Ongoing Contributions

The CDE collects data on over 6.1 million public K–12 students who are enrolled in over 1,000 districts and 10,000 schools, including more than 1,300 charter schools. The CDE also collects data on over 365,000 certificated staff, including data on over 300,00 teachers. Once the California Data System is complete, the CDE will be the largest contributor of data to this system, providing a critical linkage between early education experiences and postsecondary and employment outcomes.

The CDE engages in several activities that provide ongoing support for the development of the California Data System in the following areas:

California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System
The California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) operated by the CDE collects and maintains individual-level student and staff data that are submitted local educational agencies (LEAs), including student enrollment, demographics, course enrollments, discipline data, chronic absenteeism data, graduate and dropout data, staff assignment information and other data for state and federal reporting.

Data Requests
The CDE enters into data sharing agreements with public and private institutions of higher education as well as non-profit researchers for student-level data consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) External link opens in new window or tab.. Specifically, since the spring of 2015 through 2020, the CDE has fulfilled 190 data requests from 142 unique entities, including 40 requests for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data. A summary of the requests submitted through the CDE Data Request process are available on the Archived Data Requests tab.

Early Education
The CDE helps manage several child care and development programs in California. These programs are for children from birth to age twelve. They offer early learning and after-school services to babies, toddlers, children in preschool, and children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Some programs assist children with disabilities and children of migrant farm workers. Many of the programs were set up to help parents with child care while they work.

California School Dashboard
The California School Dashboard (Dashboard) contains reports that display the performance of LEAs, schools, and student groups on a set of state and local measures to assist in identifying strengths, challenges, and areas in need of improvement. One of the state indicators provided in the Dashboard is the College/Career Indicator (CCI). The CCI provides information about the percentage of high school graduates who met the state’s determination for being “prepared” for college and career activities.

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 at the school, district, county, and state levels. In 2019, the CDE released new College-Going Rate reports on DataQuest that show the percentage of California public high school students who completed high school in a given year and subsequently enrolled in any public or private postsecondary institution (in-state or out-of-state) in the United States within 12 or 16 months of completing high school.

Questions:   Analysis, Measurement, and Accountability Reporting Division | 916-319-8069
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 22, 2020
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