California Cradle-to-Career Data System

In 2019, the California State Legislature passed the California Cradle-to-Career Data System Act, which sets out requirements for the development of a statewide data infrastructure. This data system will ensure that educational, workforce, financial aid, and social service information is fully leveraged to address disparities in opportunities and improve outcomes for all students from cradle to career.

Over the course of 2020, the California Governor’s Office, with support from WestEd, will lead a process to design the first phase of the California Cradle-to-Career Data System. The recommended process will be documented in a report to the Department of Finance and the Legislature in December 2020. In July 2021, a second report will provide additional implementation specifications.

What types of information will the data system provide?

The data system will provide information that helps more students attain their educational, career, and life goals. The system will be designed with privacy and security of state data as the top priority. By securely connecting data that schools, colleges, social service agencies, financial aid providers, and employers already collect, it will be easier to:

  • Identify the types of supports that help more students learn, stay in school, prepare for college, graduate, and secure a job
  • Provide information that teachers, advisors, parents, and students can use to identify opportunities and make decisions
  • Help agencies plan for and improve educational, workforce, and health and human services programs
  • Support research on improving policies from birth through career

Summaries of the types of information that will be available to the public and prioritized for research studies are available here.

For an example of how data is critical to student success, view how linked information could support a student's journey here.

How will the data system be designed?

The legislation specifies decisions that need to be made to ensure the system serves students and families, enables information to be shared in a manner that promotes data privacy and security, minimizes the need for new infrastructure, and can be adapted to meet future needs.

During 2020, three types of committees will develop recommendations to inform these decisions.

  • Workgroup: The Workgroup is made up of partner entities (principally, state agencies) that will provide information to the data system. This group will provide recommendations to the Governor’s Office about data system development.
  • Advisory Groups: The advisory groups include a broad range of perspectives and provide a means for the public to offer recommendations to the Workgroup about the data system.
  • Subcommittees: To address highly technical considerations related to data system development, partner entities designated individuals that are serving on Subcommittees. The Subcommittees will develop recommendations for the Workgroup and create work products necessary to start building the data system.

Learn more about the Request for Information for a Master Data Management Solution hereNote that all questions should be directed to the California Department of Technology.

Find out more about the design process here. Learn about what will be discussed in each meeting here.

How can I stay informed about the design of the data system?

All meetings of the committees are open to the public, online through Zoom. This website provides meeting dates, topics, and agendas. Information is included on each agenda. Copies of documents referenced at the meetings, PowerPoint presentations, and meeting notes will also be posted on this website. Please join our listserv to receive updates and meeting notices.

How can I share my thoughts about the data system?

Throughout the design process, members of the public can submit their input in three ways: by communicating with members of the Workgroup, the Policy & Analytics Advisory Group, and the Practice & Operations Advisory Groups, signing up for the California Data System listserv, and/or filling out an online form.