Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Questions About Data

Last updated August 04, 2014

    About the data on this site:

    Recent changes to California’s school finance, accountability, and student data systems have significantly affected the way K-12 public school data is reported and collected. This, in turn, affects the data available on Ed-Data. 

    Most of the information reported on Ed-Data, with the exception of financial reports and bond/parcel tax data, now comes from the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). The switch to CALPADS affected the time and manner in which data are collected, so data collected through CALPADS may not be comparable to data collected previously. (For example, in the case of enrollment data, the race/ethnicity subgroups changed in 2009-10; and in 2012-13, the data for free/reduced-priced meals (FRPM) eligibility on Ed-Data reflect K-12 enrollment rather than the enrollment of students aged 5-17 that was reported previously.) During and after the transition to CALPADS, data are not available for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that failed to certify their data submissions. In the event that an LEA did not certify its data, you will see a message noting that in the reports.

    Changes to California’s testing and accountability systems also means that accountability data, such as the Academic Performance Index (API) and results from the California Standards Tests (CSTs), will not be available on Ed-Data beginning with the 2013-14 year. 

    For more information about these changes, please see: Changes to California's K-12 Education System​​.

    Changes to the Ed-Data release schedule:

    Ed-Data's Profile Reports, usually released in the fall, consist primarily of demographic and staffing data. In the past two years, delays in the availability of staffing data have delayed our release of the Profile reports by several months. In an effort to provide more timely information on the Ed-Data website, we are releasing enrollment and student demographic information earlier than usual. Because this information was presented together with staffing data in the Profiles, several of the tables do not yet have data. We will update these tables as the data become available. 

    With the release of the enrollment data, the Compare Schools and Compare Districts functionality is also enabled for the 2013-14 school year. However, the comparisons, too, will be limited to the data currently loaded on the site, but will expand as more data becomes available.

    Data collection issues during CALPADS transition:

    In 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 some data were either not collected or not reported by the California Department of Education (see details below).

    In addition, some districts and independently reporting charter schools did not certify their data, resulting in missing or incomplete data for their schools and districts. This also affects totals at the state and county levels in Ed-Data reports, including in Trends and Pop Trends charts.

    For example:

    Teaching credential and teaching assignment data for 2011-12 are delayed. Some districts and independently reporting charters did not certify their Fall 2 certificated and staff counts data.
    The 2010-11 state-level English Learners enrollment trends chart appears to show a sharp decline in the number of English Learners, but that total does not count 405,018 students in the 413 districts and charters that did not certify their Spring 2011 data.
    The 2009-10 statewide total enrollment does not include some 38,000 students who were enrolled in the districts and charters that did not certify 2009-10 data.

    Wherever possible, these issues have been flagged on the Ed-Data tables and reports.


    Data not collected or only partially available in 2010-11 include: Average Class Size (not available for self-contained classrooms), Teacher by Type of Assignment, and Teaching Credentials. Information on Alternative Education programs is also limited. Data on class size for self-contained classrooms were collected but not reported for this year.

    In addition, districts and charters that did not certify data for one of the CALPADS collection periods may show partial or no data and may be missing from school and district comparisons.

    For more information on which districts and independently reporting charters did not certify data, please see the following CDE pages:

    2010-11 Enrollment (CALPADS Fall 1)

    Data not collected in 2009-10 include: Average Class Size, Teacher by Type of Assignment, and Teaching Credentials. Information on Alternative Education programs is also limited for 2009-10.

    The 2009-10 school and district comparisons for LEAs missing enrollment data were also affected as those schools and districts will not show up in comparisons based on enrollment.

    The CDE estimates that statewide enrollment totals for 2009-10 will be lower by approximately 38,000 students or about less than 1% below the actual total. For more information, see the list of districts, schools, and charter schools that did not certify their 2009-10 enrollment.

    Where Do We Get the Data?

    The California Department of Education (CDE) collects, analyzes, and publishes fiscal, demographic, and student performance data from schools, districts, and county offices of education. That's where most of the data on Ed-Data come from. The Ed-Data Partnership does not modify the data received from the CDE.

    Academic Performance Index - API (school, district, state): API data are distributed by CDE's Policy and Evaluation Division. "Base" API data are generally released in May, while growth API scores are available in late August or early September as part of the APR. The online source at CDE for these data is
    Accountability Progress Reporting - APR: The CDE combines Growth API, AYP, and PI data into the APR, which are released in late August or early September. The online source at CDE for these data is
    Adequate Yearly Progress - AYP: This federally required report is based on test scores for schools, districts, counties, and the state. It is part of the APR released in late August or early September. The online source at CDE for these data is
    Bond and Parcel Tax Elections (district): Results from the two major elections (spring and fall) are usually posted to Ed-Data within a few weeks of the election. The time lag ensures that the data posted reflect final rather than preliminary voting results. While school districts usually hold their elections in conjunction with other entities, elections can happen at any time because school districts may also schedule their own dates. Bond and Parcel Tax Election data are collected and prepared by our Ed-Data partner EdSource.
    Comparisons (school and district): The updates to school and district comparison reports depend on the profile and financial reports. In general, when new profile or financial data are posted on Ed-Data, the corresponding comparison reports are updated as well.
    Education Issues and Background: Articles on this page are updated as new information becomes available and time permits. They are prepared by our Ed-Data partner EdSource.
    Financial Statements (district and county office of education): The Ed-Data financial reports enable you to access unaudited financial information for school districts and county offices of education in a variety of ways. Beginning with 2003-04, these entities reported their financial information in a standard format called the Standardized Account Code Structure, or SACS. The instructions for SACS are in the California School Accounting Manual. The year-end unaudited data are collected by CDE's Financial Accountability and Information Services Unit and are generally available by March. The online source at CDE for these data is
    Profiles (school, district, county, and state) and Comparisons: Ed-Data profile reports rely on data from several CDE sources. Most of them come from the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) and the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, (CALPADS). Ed-Data publishes portions of the profile data as they become available. The online source at CDE for these data is In addition, most demographic data can be seen in individual subject reports on the CDE's DataQuest site at
    Program Improvement - PI : Schools that receive federal Title I funds go into the intervention program if they do not make AYP for two years in a row on the same indicator. The list of PI schools is part of the APR released in late August or early September. The online source at CDE for these data is
    STAR (school, district, county and state): The Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) was discontinued in 2013. Ed-Data has STAR test results from 2008-09 through 2012-13. The California Department of Education website has full details of the California Standards Tests for every school, district, county and the state at That site also has breakdowns by categories, such as ethnicity, language, gender, income, and more.
    Teacher Salaries: Salary and benefit information in the Ed-Data teacher salary reports come from the J-90. However, districts are not required to file this report. About 20% (covering about 1% of the state's Average Daily Attendence (ADA)) do not file and therefore will have no data in the Teacher Salary, Teacher Benefit, or Supplemental Salary tables. The actual teacher salary schedules, health and welfare benefit amounts, and other selected statistics for each responding agency are available for download from the Internet at the CDE at
    Data Issues and Corrections

    Schools, districts, and county offices of education submit different data collections to CDE throughout the year. Every effort is made to catch errors or misinterpretations of the data. However, information is not changed after it has been certified and released by the CDE. Here are some things you can watch for or do when you spot a data problem:

    Make note of the fiscal year. Because data are reported by fiscal year, what may appear as incorrect information may simply be data from an older period that will be correct once the newer year's reports are posted. For instance, if a school changed its name, address, or became a charter school in August 2008, the new information will not show in the Ed-Data reports until the 2008-09 profiles are posted in the Fall.
    The majority of data problems noted are address and telephone number changes. Because addresses and telephone numbers come from official data files at the CDE, it may be that the school or district has not informed the CDE of the new information.
    To report changes The most current addresses and telephone numbers on file with the CDE are available on the county-district-school (CDS) web page at This is also the page that school or district staff should use to report changes to their CDS information.
    Why some percentages don't make sense. Sometimes our tables draw on data collected at different times, such as enrollment (collected in October) and the number of English Learner (EL) students (collected in February), which can skew the resulting percentages, particularly in very small schools. This problem also occurs with percentage calculations for Free and reduced-price meals, special programs, and others. For more information see this related explanation.
    Source Files/Downloading Data

    With the exception of school and district comparison reports, which include a "download" button for an Excel file, downloads of the Ed-Data databases are not provided. However, researchers can find most of the original data files on the following CDE web sites:

    Demographic data including enrollment, staffing, number of schools, etc. —
    Financial data for school districts and county offices of education —
    Academic Performance Index —
    Standardized Testing and Reporting —
    Contact Us
    Where Can I Find Out About . . .
    Data questions not answered by the above may be directed to Ed-Data using our Feedback page or by sending an e-mail to Please contact the district of interest directly if you have questions about its budget.
    All contents copyright © 2015, Education Data Partnership. All rights reserved.

    Ed-Data is a partnership of the California Department of Education, EdSource and the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) designed to offer educators, policy makers, the legislature, parents, and the public quick access to timely and comprehensive data about K-12 education in California.