California’s Cradle-to-Career Data System Achieves Early Milestones, Announces Multi-Agency Data Sharing Agreement

Transformative data system would be a neutral source of high-quality information on student achievement and how to improve outcomes and professional development

SACRAMENTO — The Office of Cradle-to-Career Data has signed landmark legal agreements with 15 education, social service, and workforce entities that allow for the creation of data sets on student progress from pre-K through college and employment, one of several important early milestones that were announced at the May 11 Governing Board meeting. These milestones make progress toward creating a transformative statewide data system that will link together existing data on education, workforce, financial aid, and social services to create tools for use by students, families, policy makers, researchers and the public.

With these legal agreements in place, it will now be possible to compile information using strict security standards, while still making data available through easy-to-use tools designed for a variety of users. The tools will roll out in phases over the next five years.

“Thanks to the unprecedented collaboration and leadership of more than a dozen California agencies, departments, and organizations, we are now poised to build out a landmark data system,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Bringing this information together will enable a greater understanding of barriers students face and empower Californians to build more equitable futures.”

The following entities have signed legal agreements: Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities; Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education; California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office on behalf of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors; California Department of Education; California Health and Human Services Agency; California State University Board of Trustees; California School Information Services; California Student Aid Commission; California Labor and Workforce Development Agency; Division of Apprenticeship Standards of the Department of Industrial Relations; Commission on Teacher Credentialing; Department of Health Care Services; Department of Social Services; Employment Development Department; Office of Cradle-to-Career Data; and the University of California.

The Office of Cradle-to-Career Data is currently working to procure the technology platform that will securely house the data set. On May 10, the state released a call for proposals that takes an iterative, cloud-first approach, with a goal of selecting a vendor by late summer 2022.

“The data we will receive under these agreements will form the foundation for better understanding the relationship between education, workforce training, social services, and employment,” said Mary Ann Bates, Executive Director of the Office of Cradle-to-Career Data. “It follows an 18-month process where more than a dozen agencies and more than 200 community representatives worked together across 100 public working meetings to define and scope out the best data system for California.”

The first product of the linked data set will be a dashboard on the teacher training pipeline and employment outcomes for those who receive teaching credentials. This public resource will provide information relevant to teacher training and retention efforts and can help to inform effective implementation of the recent $2.9 billion in investments in educator preparation, retention, and training.

The data system, which is a national model for an inclusive design process, took another important action on May 11, when the Cradle-to-Career Governing Board appointed 32 highly respected researchers, advocates, and educators to two new advisory boards. These advisory boards will focus on bringing important ideas and input to the Governing Board to ensure that data tools provide actionable information and that there are strong feedback loops for communities to support decision making, analysis and equitable access to information.

On June 8, the Office of Cradle-to-Career Data will hold the first of a series of Community Conversations, where members of the public can learn more about new developments and provide their input.

With the goal of closing opportunity gaps for students as they navigate the college planning and application process, the state is increasing its investment in, making the full suite of college, career and financial aid planning tools available for free to students in all K-12 school districts. Eliminating the cost barrier has led to an uptick in interest among school districts, and the tools are slated for use by an additional 200,000 students in Fall 2022.

“With these successes, we are well on the way toward delivering on the uniquely inclusive vision of building the nation’s most ambitious system to bring together information to empower Californians to build more equitable futures,” said Governing Board Chair Amy Fong. “These achievements could not have happened without all of the dedication and hard work of all the data providers, educational community, advocates, and researchers who worked to bring this transformative effort to life. We look forward in the coming months to announcing more achievements along this groundbreaking path.”

To move this work forward, the Office of Cradle-to-Career Data is hiring members of its senior leadership team, across data infrastructure and programs, communications and engagement, and operations.


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