When the COVID-19 pandemic forced teachers nationwide to transition hastily to emergency distance learning environments, concerns about educational equity and access emerged. The Kapor Center and the Computer Science Teachers Association surveyed nearly 3,700 K-12 computer science teachers, to understand how the transition to virtual learning has impacted K-12 computing education.
Key findings include:
While only 18% of all teachers reported temporarily suspending computer science instruction, higher rates were reported for schools serving rural, low-income, and URM (Black, Latinx, Indigenous) students:
24% of teachers in high-poverty schools had to suspend instruction (vs. 14% in low-poverty schools).
Teachers in rural schools had to suspend instruction at a rate over twice as high (34%) as those in urban schools (17%).
21% of teachers at high-URM schools had to suspend instruction (vs. 17% in low-URM schools).
42% of all teachers identified distance learning as a “major” challenge to instruction, with teachers of rural, low-income, and URM students more likely to face these challenges:
54% of teachers at high-URM schools indicated distance learning is a major challenge (vs. 38% in low-URM schools).
52% of teachers in high-poverty schools indicated distance learning is a major challenge (vs. 36% in low-poverty schools).
48% of teachers in rural schools indicated distance learning is a major challenge (vs. 42% in urban schools).
The disruption caused by emergency distance learning poses a risk to equitable computer science education for students of color, low- income students, and rural communities. The report concludes with a set of 4 recommendations for policymakers, educators, industry leaders, and school districts to support high-quality computer science instructional efforts in the current crisis and to ensure we emerge as a more equitable nation.