Data set on California students’ progress through life in works

Families won’t be the only ones tracking California students’ progress in life from preK through college and employment anymore. Soon, that data will be collected and distributed at the state level to inform new research and policies.

In a May 12 press release, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the Office of Cradle-to-Career Data had signed a deal with 15 education, social service and workforce-related entities to create the data set.

The ultimate goal is to create a “transformative statewide data system” to connect data on education, workforce, financial aid and social services. The information will be compiled in conjunction with strict security standards and be available to view via user-friendly tools phased in over the next five years.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

According to the release, the data set’s first product will be a teacher training pipeline dashboard that features employment outcomes for individuals who earn a teaching credential. “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 release states.

The office is looking to find a technology platform to house the data set and the state recently released a call for proposals “that takes an iterative, cloud-first approach, with a goal of selecting a vendor by late summer 2022.”

“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,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “Bringing this information together will enable a greater understanding of barriers students face and empower Californians to build more equitable futures.”

Other advancements

Thirty-two researchers, advocates and educators were appointed to two new advisory boards by the Cradle-to-Career Governing Board on May 11.

“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,” according to the release.

The office will host its first of many upcoming Community Conversations events on June 8 where attendees can gain insight on related developments and provide input.