New report shows slow progress for diversity in California computer programs

OAKLAND, California, September 28, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Today, the Kapor Center, the nonprofit organization focused on expanding access to STEM education and enhancing diversity in the tech industry, and computing for California (CSforCA) released its 2021 California Computer Science Access report, a summary of the state of computer science (CS) education for K-12 students in California.

The report examines access to computer education by demographics, including race, gender, income, and geographic region. Among its main findings, the report reveals:

  • Only 42% of California high schools offered a computer course during the 2018-19 school year; this is an increase of three percentage points from 2016, but lagging behind the national average (47%)
  • Alone 5% of the 1.93M high school students California were enrolled in any type of computer course in 2018-19
  • Equity gaps in access to computer education remain stubbornly persistent. Low-income and rural schools are 2x less likely offer computer courses than their urban and high-income counterparts
  • Only 13% of California high schools offered Advanced Placement CS courses, and of those schools, just 561 black students took AP CS out of a total of 29,047 AP CS students
  • Girls just wear makeup 30% of students enrolled in computer science courses, although they represent 49% of California high school population

The tech industry is an economic powerhouse in California, where 1.88 million professionals are employed in the sector and 520 billion dollars is generated as an output. Yet the technology sector in California is not representative of the state’s demographics and continues to largely exclude the talents and perspectives of Black, Latin and Indigenous communities.

“It is imperative that we prioritize local and state level investment in the equitable expansion of computer education,” said the CEO of the Kapor Center, Allison scott, Ph.D. “The introduction of computer skills is essential to prepare all students to participate in a technology-driven economy and is essential to the development of a future diverse technology workforce for the state.”

According to Julie flapan, director of the UCLA Computer Equity Project, “California is going in the right direction to expand access to these basic learning opportunities, but we can’t just stay the course. We must redouble our efforts to prioritize the needs of the most under-represented communities girls, low-income students, students of color and rural areas. She adds, “We have an urgent need to supply and diversify our teaching workforce while strengthening the capacity of all educators to engage our students in high quality computer science that will help prepare them for college.” , careers and democratic participation. “

The report concludes with a series of policy recommendations, including calls to invest in training a diverse workforce of computer science teachers, developing improved incentive structures for computer educators, and prioritizing learning goals. computer science in K-12 content areas and as a requirement for graduation. To read the full 2021 California Computer Science Access report, please visit kaporcenter.org/our-work/research.

About the Kapor Center
The Kapor Center is a recognized leader in the movement to improve diversity and inclusion in the tech and entrepreneurship ecosystem by increasing access to technology education and STEM programs, conducting research on IT access and opportunities, investing in empowering community organizations and social enterprises. , and increasing access to capital among various entrepreneurs. For more information visit www.kaporcenter.org.

About CSforCA
IT for California (CSforCA) is a coalition of educators, industry leaders, nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions advocating for high quality computer education and learning opportunities in schools. kindergarten to grade 12 public schools so that every California the student has access, regardless of postcode, race, gender or economic origin.

Contact:
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SOURCE Kapor Center

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