Who Makes Up the CBEDS?

Barbara Jean Sims
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The California State Department of Education is developing a multipurpose data system on California education that contains basic information on staff, enrollment, finance, facilities, curriculum, and community demography related to public elementary and secondary schools. The California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS), part of the larger multipurpose data system, collects information on staff members and students at the county, school district, and classroom levels. These data are collected once a year in October on "Information Day," then converted to file form. Subsequently, the data are used by the California State Education Department both for compilation of federal and state reports required by law and for response to state legislative requests for information, planning, and management. Certain CBEDS data are also made available to other state agencies, educators, and educational administrators for research and planning; to authorized professional organizations; and to universities and research organiza­tions. Available data are released in aggregate or partial form only to authorized agencies or persons demonstrating a bona fide need for the information. Further, the California Information Practices Act of 1977 restricts disclosure of certain CBEDS data. The act prohibits disclosure of personal information except for clearly defined official uses or for research when the individual to which it pertains is not identified. As with all management information systems (MIS), CBEDS has inherent problems. The problem of error control is the most pervasive.

This article was originally published in Education & Urban Society by SAGE Publications.

Suggested citationSims, B. J. (1986, May). Who makes up the CBEDS? [Article]. Policy Analysis for California Education.