The California Department of Education provides the public with masses of data and other resources about the state's schools through its websites.
The DataQuest website is the
gateway to the latest demographic, achievement, and staffing data for all
levels of education agencies across the state.
The CDE website also provides data on the state's schools and districts—including
research files—as well as extensive information on the policies and operations
of public education in California.
The California Department of Education's DataQuest website offers a quick and simple way to access a wealth of data on California schools. This website gives the public access to the most up-to-date demographic and assessment data available, based on user-defined criteria. It also has links at the top of the homepage to the sections of the CDE website that contain research files, FAQs, and other information about state education data.
To look up data on DataQuest:
- First, select the level of data: state, county, district, school, other choices, or SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area, for Special Education information only). Selecting "other choices" allows you to build a larger report that shows multiple agencies; for example, you could request data on all elementary schools in Riverside County.
- Next, select the subject-anything from STAR test scores to dropouts to school technology-and click "submit."
- The following two screens ask for a bit more detail about the year, agency, specific type of data, and other relevant features of the request. Once that information is submitted, a table or chart appears with the requested data.
For example, let's say you want to know how many students graduated from high school in Mendocino County in 2006–07. First, you'd select the level: county. Then, the subject: graduates. Click "submit." The next screen asks for the year (2006–07) and the county (Mendocino). Click "submit." The final screen displays the different reports available on graduates:
- Graduation Rates Based on NCES Definition by County
- Graduation Rates Based on NCES Definition by County (with district data)
- Grade 12 Enrollment and Graduates
- Grade 12 Enrollment and Graduates (with district data)
- # of Grads and Grads with UC/CSU Required Courses
- # of Grads and Grads with UC/CSU Req. Courses (with district data)
Each of these reports includes the number of graduates in the entire county along with the different types of related data. Select the desired report, click "submit," and the data table appears.
Some types of data are also available in a downloadable format. STAR reports on DataQuest, for example, offer a "Download Research File" link that allows you to download large, detailed data files containing test results for individual grades and subgroups within schools. More basic files can be found by selecting the "other choices" level of data. From there, you can create and download (in Microsoft Excel) more detailed reports on enrollment, expulsions, dropouts, staffing, course enrollments, or English learners. For example, you could generate a file showing the enrollment by grade in each district in Fresno County.
California Department of Education Website
The CDE also makes a wealth of information-including research files-available to the public on its website, http://www.cde.ca.gov/. Much of the data that can be found on the CDE website is more quickly and easily accessible through DataQuest. However, the CDE website is an excellent resource for background information to put data into context.
The site is organized into sections, each of which is identified by a two-letter abbreviation in its URL:
- Curriculum & Instruction (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/)
- Testing & Accountability (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/)
- Professional Development (http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/)
- Finance & Grants (http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/)
- Data & Statistics (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/)
- Learning Support (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/)
- Specialized Programs (http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/)
The Curriculum & Instruction section has a great deal of information concerning content standards, curriculum frameworks, and instructional materials. It also provides educators with a wide range of resources to support classroom instruction. The information is organized by subject area and grade spans, where applicable.
The Testing & Accountability section contains information on accountability measures, such as the Academic Performance Index ( ) and Adequate Yearly Progress ( ), state testing programs, and state intervention programs for schools and districts, including those identified for under No Child Left Behind ( ). It also describes state recognition programs. Some data-rich subsections include:
- The Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) webpage contains general information, reports, and data files on API and AYP for specific schools, districts, counties, and the state as a whole. This includes information on agencies in program improvement.
- The Standardized Testing and Reporting ( ) program webpage contains a variety of resources about the California Standards Tests ( ), the California Alternate Performance Assessment ( ) and the California Modified Assessment. Test results can be accessed from the STAR reporting page as well as DataQuest.
- The California High School Exit Exam ( ) webpage has numerous documents pertaining to the exam, including the independent evaluations of the program. It also links to the CAHSEE reporting site, which contains achievement results.
The Professional Development section contains information on teacher and administrator training, including professional standards and educational opportunities. It also includes information for people interested in entering the teaching profession.
The Finance & Grants section contains a wealth of funding and grants information, including webpages on different categorical programs, financial reporting, and accounting guidelines. The Allocations and Apportionments webpage has links to funding profiles, results, and/or other resources on individual categorical programs, lottery apportionments, Special Education, and much more. The Search Funding section is a database for looking up specific programs. Various sections also provide updates on the state budget and regulations related to fiscal oversight and school district audits.
The Data & Statistics section provides data submission requirements, background information, and downloadable files covering a wide variety of data types. Its sections (and examples of their data) follow:
- The Financial page contains full data files providing past years' annual financial data, such as annual SACS unaudited actuals.
- The School Identification page provides a way to look up all schools and local education agencies in California as well as charter schools, private schools, and Regional Occupational Centers and Programs ( ). It also links to the Public Schools Database, a data file listing all schools and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in the state.
- The School Performance page includes links to information on API and AYP, the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), and results for indicators of postsecondary preparation like the SAT and the ACT college admissions tests.
- The School Staffing page includes demographic and staffing data on administrators and teachers as well as data on English learners and the staff who serve them from the Language Census.
- The Student Demographics page contains many reports on student characteristics as well as information on English learners from the Language Census and California School Information Services, or CSIS.
- The Student Health & Support page includes information on student participation in nutrition programs, including free and reduced-price meals.
- The Subject Area/Courses page links to reports that include select data on courses taught, class-size averages, and related information.
- The Technology page includes descriptions of California's longitudinal education data systems as well as reports that include data on computer and Internet access in schools.
The Learning Support section has a wide variety of information regarding specific K–12 programs and services, such as before- and after- school programs, nutrition, transportation, and facilities. It also has a Parents/Family & Community section with a wealth of resources. The Clearinghouse for Multilingual Documents is a secure database for educators to use to get translations of parental notification documents.
The Specialized Programs section contains descriptions of and background information on a wide array of programs designed to serve the needs of specific groups of students in California, such as special-needs students and English learners. It also provides information related to specific kinds of schools such as charters and private schools.