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.

With a new election cycle approaching and an increased public focus on data, the policy window is opening for California to catch up with the progress that most other states have made in integrating data to better serve students, policymakers, and the public.

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