Over Half of California’s High Schools Don’t Offer a Computer Course

Technology is the lifeblood of the future. So it’s a little surprising to learn that 61% of high schools in California don’t have computer science classes as part of their curriculum.

According to a Kapor Center study, just 3% of high school students were enrolled in a computer science course during the 2016-17 academic year. Only 1% were enrolled in an Advanced Placement computer class last year. Schools that offer adequate computer science training tend to be in higher income neighborhoods with majority white or Asian students.

Schools are moving in the right direction. In 2014, the figures were even lower. Then, just 24% of high schools offered computer science courses.

“We have made progress in the state, but overall we have a lot of work to do to ensure that all kids in California have access to computer science,” said the Kapor Center’s Chief Research Officer Allison Scott, as quoted by EdSource. “It’s a critical moment.”

That progress is owed in part to several statewide initiatives aimed at boosting computer literacy in public schools. These include a new set of computer science standards approved by the State Board of Education last year, a new California Computer Science Strategic Plan approved in May, and $7.5 million in funding for online STEM and computer science courses at six state universities.


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