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New Report Shows Disparities in Access to Computer Science Education Persist, Except in States Where Coursework is Required for Graduation
[September 21, 2022]

New Report Shows Disparities in Access to Computer Science Education Persist, Except in States Where Coursework is Required for Graduation, CSTA and ECEP Issue Annual Snapshot of the State of Computer Science Education, Urges Additional States to Adopt Policies to Ensure Equitable Access for All Students

SEATTLE, Sept. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- While the percentage of U.S. high schools offering foundational computer science coursework has increased year-over-year and over time, there remain significant gaps in access, particularly among historically underrepresented and underserved students, according to a report released today by, the Computer Science Teachers Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance. However, states with a graduation requirement for computer science see stronger participation from groups historically underrepresented in computer science.

The annual report, the 2022 State of Computer Science Report commends the states that have adopted policies to ensure equitable access to computer science for all students and urges other states to follow suit. It puts forward nine policy recommendations, one of which is to allow a computer science credit to satisfy a core graduation requirement, to guide state leaders forward.

"Computer science is a foundational subject that is critical to the nation's economic and security health. Yet many students still do not have access to this foundational subject, and even when it is offered in schools, the enrollment is not reflective of the broader student population," said CEO Hadi Partovi. "We are beginning to see the positive results of states adopting policies to ensure equitable access for all students, and we must continue to build on the groundswell of support from students, teachers, business leaders, and governors."

Among the key findings, the annual report shows:

  • 53% of U.S. igh schools offer foundational computer science, an increase from 51% last year and 35% in 2018, but disparities in access persist. Rural schools, urban schools, and schools with high percentages of economically disadvantaged students continue to be less likely to offer foundational computer science. Black/African American students, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx students, and Native American/Alaskan students are less likely to attend a school that offers foundational computer science.
  • Five states require students to take a computer science course to graduate high school. Nebraska and Tennessee are the latest states to enact this requirement. These states join Arkansas, Nevada and South Carolina.
  • 27 states now require schools to offer computer science coursework. Tennessee, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas are the latest to enact this requirement.
  • Across 36 states, 5.6% of high school students are enrolled in a foundational computer science course, but disparities in participation persist. Nationally, Black/African American, Native American/Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students are represented in foundational computer science courses at similar rates as their overall population. But Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx high school students are 1.5 times less likely than their white and Asian peers to enroll in foundational computer science, even when they attend a school that offers it. English language learners, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students are also underrepresented in foundational computer science compared to their overall population.

"South Carolina has seen firsthand the powerful results of policy making when it comes to computer science. Since the state began requiring computer science coursework to graduate high school, we've seen a culture shift around computer science education and many positive results for students," said South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.

The release of the annual report builds on a national effort by business, education and government leaders to emphasize the importance of computer science education. In recent months, more than 800 CEOs, nonprofit leaders, and educators issued a call to action encouraging states to make computer science part of the K-12 curriculum, and 50 governors of U.S. states and territories signed the Governor's Compact for Computer Science, committing to expanding computer science education in their states.

View the full report findings here.

About the Advocacy Coalition

Bringing together more than 70 industry, non-profit, and advocacy organizations, the Advocacy Coalition is growing the movement to make computer science a fundamental part of K–12 education.

About the CSTA

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science. CSTA provides opportunities for K–12 teachers and their students to better understand computer science and to more successfully prepare themselves to teach and learn.

About the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance

The Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance is an NSF-funded Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance (NSF-CNS-1822011). ECEP seeks to increase the number and diversity of students in computing and computing-intensive degrees by promoting state-level computer science education reform. Working with the collective impact model, ECEP supports an alliance of 22 states and Puerto Rico to identify and develop effective educational interventions and expand state-level infrastructure to drive educational policy change.


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