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Web Standards

Web standards for the California Department of Education (CDE) are based upon industry best practices, mandates (such as California Government Code Section 7405 and federal sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973), and styles and practices specific to the CDE. These standards have been adopted by the CDE and there is an expectation that CDE staff, its contractors, and anyone else doing work on behalf of the CDE will comply with them.

Web Standards

The following standards will be enforced for new and updated content as of January 18, 2018.

  1. Accessibility
  2. Draft MS Word
  3. Draft MS Excel
  4. Draft MS PowerPoint
  5. Draft PDF
  6. Draft Web Page and Website

CDE's other web standards are currently under review. Draft standards for web pages, web applications, multimedia, and social media will be posted as they are available. If a new standard is not yet available for a given type of content, use the legacy standards until the new standard is available.

Legacy Web Standards

The following standards apply to content posted prior to January 18, 2018.

General Standards

  1. Web Accessibility Standards
  2. Style Manual
  3. Maintenance, Upkeep, & Quality Assurance Standards

Approval Standards

  1. Web Content Approval, Department of Education Administrative Manual (DEAM), Section 3900
    (PDF; 68KB; 11pp.)
  2. Intranet Content Approval Standards (CDE Intranet)

Internet and Intranet Standards

  1. Design Standards for the CDE Internet and Intranet Web sites

Web Applications and External Web Sites

  1. Security Standards for Web Applications
  2. Application Development Standards
  3. External Web Page and Application Design Standards

Video & Other Multimedia Standards

  1. Video & Other Multimedia Standards

Which Standards Apply to You?

The following table indicates standards that will apply dependent upon the creating entity, the posting location, and the type of Web product. Once you have identified the table cell(s) that apply to your situation, follow the links to the standards that apply.


Web Page or Document

Web Site

Web Application

CDE Developed for the CDE Internet

CDE Developed for the Intranet

CDE Developed for any Non-CDE Web site

Contractor Developed for the CDE Internet

Contractor Developed for the CDE Intranet

Contractor Developed for any Non-CDE Web site

Enforcement of Web Standards

Compliance with the CDE Web Standards is enforced in different ways, depending on the type and location of the posting.

Web Pages Posted to the CDE Internet or Intranet Web Sites

All Web pages posted by CDE staff to the CDE Internet or Intranet Web sites will be reviewed by the CDE Web Services Office for compliance with the Web Standards. Pages that do not meet the standards are returned to the Web Page Creator for revision.

Web Applications, Non-CDE Web Sites, and Pages Posted to Non-CDE Web Sites

The Web Application Review Team (WebART) performs reviews of the following Web products:

  • Web Applications (developed by the CDE or contractor, posted anywhere)
  • Non-CDE Web sites (usually developed by a contractor as a product of a written agreement)
  • Web pages posted to non-CDE Web sites

WebART is a cross-functional group from the CDE Technology Services Division. WebART performs reviews and meets on a weekly basis. As a result of a WebART review, a written report is issued. Required items on the WebART written report must be fixed according to the following time frames:

  • For existing Web applications and sites: 90 days from the date of the WebART review
  • For new Web applications and sites: prior to launch

IMPORTANT NOTE: if a Web document does not meet a Web Standard and is inadvertently approved and posted, when the matter is discovered whether through the modification process or during the Technology Services Division (TSD) Web review, you will be required to correct the issue.

Please refer to the WebART Web page for more details on the WebART team and review process.

Changes to These Web Standards

Our understanding of accessibility and usability will grow and technology will continue to evolve, so the CDE Web standards will also change from time to time. Please visit the Web Standards Change Log for a complete list of changes that have been made since these standards were first posted to the CDE Web site.

Questions:   Web Services Unit |
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 9, 2018
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