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Topics include: Upcoming release of previously masked cohort outcome data for alternative schools; adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) updates.

To:            Local Educational Agency Representatives

From:       California Department of Education – CALPADS Team

Date:        April 6, 2017

SubjectCALPADS Update FLASH #126

Upcoming Release Of Previously Masked Cohort Outcome Data For Alternative Schools

 The California Department of Education (CDE) first used student-level CALPADS data to produce a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) for the graduating class of 2009–10. The ACGR is defined as: The number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. For any given cohort, students who enter 9th grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently “adjusted” by adding students who transfer into the cohort later during the next three years and subtracting students who transfer out, emigrate to another country, or die during that same period. The ACGR, and associated counts, are reported to the U.S. Department of Education (ED), used for state and federal accountability purposes, and publicly posted on CDE’s DataQuest (

Previous Data Release Policy for the ACGR of Alternative Schools

Due to the small and transient nature of the student population of county offices of education and alternative schools, since the initial release of the ACGR, the CDE has masked the counts and rates for certain types of schools. Specifically, the CDE has utilized the following specialized business rules:

  • County offices of education (COEs) received the applicable county-wide ACGR counts and rates.
  • Schools run by COEs that are not also direct-funded charter (DFC) schools received the applicable county-wide ACGR counts and rates.
  • State special schools received the applicable county-wide ACGR counts and rates.
  • Schools participating in the Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM) that are not also DFCs received the applicable district-wide ACGR counts and rates.

NOTE: Detailed information about the current ACGR data processing business rules can be found posted on all cohort outcome reports in the CDE Four-Year-Adjusted Cohort Outcome Data Processing document (published by the CDE’s Analysis, Measurement & Accountability Reporting Division [AMARD]) posted in PDF format here:

While actual CALPADS student-level data have been used in the production of all school, district, county, and statewide rates, the above entities either received the applicable county-wide or district-wide counts and rates, which were used for state and federal accountability purposes in lieu of the actual counts and rates.

Change in Data Release Policy for the ACGR of Alternative Schools

Representing a departure from prior data release policies, with the upcoming public release of the 2015–16 Cohort Outcome Data and ACGR, the CDE will produce and publicly post on DataQuest the actual cohort counts and rates for COEs, county-operated schools, and ASAM schools. At the same time, the CDE will release the actual cohort outcome counts and rates for these entities for all prior years dating back to 2009–10.

The CDE is currently collaborating with stakeholders to develop a new accountability system for alternative schools slated for release in 2018. While the ACGR will not be used in the new alternative school accountability model, it is important information that will help districts and schools prepare for the new accountability model. It should also be noted that these data will not be included in the traditional school accountability model nor will they be included in the California School Dashboard. 

Reclassified Data on DataQuest versus the California School Dashboard

The CDE has received many questions regarding differences between the reclassified fluent English proficient (RFEP) counts posted on DataQuest compared to those RFEP counts posted on the California School Dashboard. The DataQuest report, Number and Percent of Students Redesignated to FEP, reflects counts from the CALPADS snapshot data reviewed and certified by local educational agencies (LEAs) in CALPADS on the 2.12 - English Language Acquisition Status – ELs Reclassified RFEP (Fall 1) certification report. These data represent the number of students reclassified since the previous Census Day through the current Census Day. In contrast, the California School Dashboard reflects RFEP counts extracted from the CALPADS Operational Data Store (ODS) for students who were reclassified during the academic year (July 1 – June 30). As such, the two counts have different data sources and time frames.

Definitions and business rules used in the DataQuest RFEP report can be found in the report glossary in CDE’s DataQuest at

Definitions and business rules used for the California School Dashboard RFEP report can be found in the Technical Guide for New Accountability System posted on the CDE  California Accountability Model & School Dashboard Web page at

The CDE is discussing aligning the two RFEP definitions.

Should you have any questions or should you require more information, please contact the CDE Data Reporting Office by email at


Data Reporting Office |
CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office | | 916-324-6738

Last Reviewed: Friday, April 7, 2017
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