The Cradle-to-Career Data System is a statewide longitudinal data system that aims to link existing education, workforce, financial aid, and social service information to equip policymakers, educators, and the public to address disparities and improve outcomes throughout the state. 
The 2021-2022 California budget has invested funding to build the data system, but our work is not done.  Stay engaged throughout implementation.

Latest News

  • Nov. 12, 2021 –  Gov. Newsom has made four appointments to serve on the Cradle-to-Career Data System Governing Board. Congratulations to Lande Ajose, Catalina Cifuentes, Gavin Payne & Robert Tagorda! We look forward to collaboration as California develops and implements its first longitudinal data system.  Check out the Governor’s press release to learn more about the appointees. 

  • November 9, 2021 – First Governing Board Meeting: The first Cradle-to-Career Data System Governing Board meeting will be held on November 30, 2021, via Zoom and in-person in downtown Sacramento. Stay tuned for more information once it becomes available.

  • October 6, 2021 – GovOps has launched a practical guide to the in-process data system with a user-friendly website. The website includes background on the system’s development, plus information on how it will work and tools that students and families and stakeholders can use now. We hope this site helps bring the data system into focus, with practical, clear information, and ways it can be useful even today.

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The Cutting EDGE

CA Executive Director Zima Creason interview with Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin about the Cradle-to-Career Data System

Cradle-to-Career Data System

Final Report to the Legislature – June 2021


California lacks timely data on which high schoolers go to college. This might fix that. – Mikhail Zinshteyn and Charlotte West – July 15, 2021

Information and Reports

This page is sorted into four sections – information for individuals and families, business/labor, education, and policy makers/advocates 

Individuals and Families

Children Now – California’s Cradle-to-Career Data System

This brief largely focuses on the multitude of education stakeholders and their key responsibilities which data could support. It also provides an overview of the state’s approach to the design of the CCDS, as well as principles that should guide that work in the months to come.

Data Quality Campaign – Grace’s Path to Success

Students’ pathways to success are increasingly varied. But no matter the path, students must make choices that shape their future options and opportunities and they shouldn’t have to make these decisions in the dark. Students and their families deserve information that can point them down the right pathway to get them where they want to go.

Business and Labor

CA EDGE Coalition and CA Competes – Education-to-Employment Webinar

Webinar featuring Zima Creason, Su Jin Jez, Kathy Booth, David Rattray, Bianca Bloomquist, and John Brauer.

WestEd – Workforce Effects of Graduating from High School and Postsecondary Education

This brief supports the ongoing efforts of the Research Agenda Subcommittee by describing how other states and researchers have utilized linked data systems to examine the sixth of the six priority areas outlined in the Act: the workforce effect of graduation from high school, community college, and four-year postsecondary education institutions.

The California Association of School Business Officials – California’s Economy, the Future of Work and Cradle-to Career Alignment: A Conversation with Lenny Mendonca (Podcast)

Economic development and public policy trailblazer Lenny Mendonca — who most recently served as Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Chief Economic and Business Advisor —  takes us inside the administration’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) and shares insights on a range of vital topics, including: the shape of California’s economic recovery, the future of work, K-12 and higher education alignment, and school funding.


Data Quality Campaign – Why Education Data?

All students deserve a great education, one that affords every opportunity for them to grow into knowledgeable and successful adults. But every student has a unique background, unique strengths, and a unique path to college and a career. Everyone who has a stake in education—especially families and educators—needs the right data in the right format at the right time to serve our students along their unique journeys.

CalMatters -Data System will help chart a pathway to educational success

Continued funding for a Cradle-to-Career Data System would empower communities and educators to demand better from schools.

California Competes – Out of the Dark: Bringing California’s Education Data into the 21st Century

Higher education continues to be the linchpin for economic prosperity in California, serving as both an antidote and vaccine to income inequality. To significantly increase the number of Californians with a postsecondary credential or degree, our state needs a stronger grasp on not only students’ experiences in the higher education system, but also their experiences with the systems that precede and follow. To improve higher education outcomes, California needs a clearer understanding of students’ pathways from K-12 to postsecondary education, to the workforce—an understanding that is based on data.

Policy and Advocacy

The Institute for College Access and Success – California’s Cradle to Career: The Power to Inform Policy

TICAS webinar, California’s Cradle-to-Career Data System: The Power of Data to Inform Policy, focused on California’s current efforts to create the Cradle-to-Career Data System and how other states have utilized their data systems to inform relevant policy efforts. 

For California’s Educational Data System, Public Support Will Be Key

California has committed to building a statewide data system that connects existing educational, social service, and workforce data sources. The 2021-22 budget includes funding for the creation of the system. The first stop holds much promise, but sustained public and financial support will be key to success of the system.

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