State & Federal Programs

School Accountability Report Cards

All public schools are required to issue an annual School Accountability Report Card (SARC). A SARC is also mandated for charter schools and non-public schools, although the requirements are less comprehensive. More information about SARC requirements is available at the CDE website. Local schools have several options for preparing SARCs, as described below.

State Template
The California Department of Education has announced a new template and application to help schools prepare their School Accountability Report Card (SARC), starting with the 2012-13 school year. Please see the informational letter below for the links and instructions.

Commercial Vendors
There are several commercial vendors that prepare SARCs. When using an outside vendor, please make sure that the product meets both state and federal requirements and includes a full SARC, not just the executive summary. Prices vary significantly from vendor to vendor. Selected vendors include:

Other Information

February 1 is the deadline for completing SARCs for the previous school year.

Translation into home languages
SARCs must be translated into students’ home language if 15% or more of the school’s students speak a single primary language other than English.

Posting SARCs online
Schools are required to post their SARC on the Internet so that it is easily accessible to parents. To fulfill the posting requirement, complete your SARC using CDE’s SARC application or provide a link to your SARC via the SARC website (login required).


Why do some tables show different years?
The years covered on SARC tables are based on the availability of data and state law. Although the SARC is for the previous school year, three tables provide information on the current year, while the financial tables use data from two years ago. This is not an error!

How accurate is the data?
The SARC data comes from CDE and is based on information submitted by schools/districts. For information about what the data includes, see CDE’s Data Element Definitions.

What is included in the CAHSEE data?
CAHSEE calculations include grade ten students only. Grade 11-12 students are not counted.

Why are some test scores missing?
Scores are not shown when the number of students tested is ten or less. These scores are deleted to protect student privacy and because they are too small for statistical accuracy.

How is the CST data calculated?
CDE uses an algorithm of combined scores for CST data and other test scores.