Computer Science in California Schools: An Analysis of Access, Enrollment and Equity

This report examines current and trend data on course access, enrollment, and equity in computer science education across California.

Key findings from this report include:

*Just 39% of high schools in California offer computer science courses, and only 14% offer Advanced Placement Computer Science A.
*Low-income schools are 4x less likely to offer AP CS A than high-income schools and high-URM schools are 3x less likely to offer AP CS A than low-URM schools
*Rural schools are significantly less likely to offer CS courses than urban schools
*Just 3% of the 1.9 million high school students in California took a CS course in 2017
*Black, Latinx, and Native American/Alaskan Native students comprise 60% of California’s high school population but just 16% of AP CS A test-takers (n=1,907).
*Just 1% of AP CS test-takers in California are Black (n=479 students).
*71% of students taking introductory CS courses are male, and 29% are female
*7 in 10 students who take AP CS exams receive passing scores, but there are significant racial equity gaps in passage rates: Only 4 in 10 Black and Latinx students receive passing scores.

The data indicate that systemic statewide education reform is needed to ensure all students in California have access to rigorous computer science education to prepare them for the workforce of the future. The report concludes with a set of 8 recommendations for policymakers, educators, tech industry leaders, and the philanthropic community to increase access, participation, and equity in computer science education in California.

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