"These skills strengthen local community, national innovation, and opportunities for youth. Computer Science-not computer literacy-underlies most innovation today, from biotechnology to cinema-tography to national security. Yet, the majority of U.S. schools require only that students use computers. Seldom do schools prepare students to innovate and create the new technologies that drive local and national economies. This ability to innovate with technology is also important for students' future success and ability to make a difference in a global society." (NCWIT.org)
Computer Science is more than just computer programming. It is computational thinking, logical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem solving. These are tools our students need to be successful in the world they are now living in and the future that is to come.
Currently in Nevada, there are 2,434 open computing jobs (4.2 times the average demand rate in Nevada. Only 27 schools in Nevada (24% of NV schools with AP programs) offered an AP Computer Science course in 2016-2017 (15% offered AP CS A and 18% offered AP CSP), which is 18 more than the previous year. There are fewer AP exams taken in computer science than in any other STEM subject area. (1) 489 exams were taken in AP Computer Science by high school students in Nevada in 2017. Only 26% were female compared to their 49% representation of Nevada students as a whole; only 25% of exams were taken by Hispanic or Latino students who make up 43% of Nevada’s students; only 3.6% of exams were taken by Black students who make up 11% of our student population; only 3 exams were taken by American Indian or Alaska Native students; and only 1 exam was taken by native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students.(2) And finally, Universities in Nevada did not graduate a single new teacher prepared to teach computer science in 2016. As disheartening as these statistics may seem right now, Nevada is showing gradual improvement. Take a look at our July 19, 2018 Nevada Department of Education Computer Science Status Report to see how far we have come in one year. Let’s keep up the momentum to offer Computer Science education statewide and to provide equitable and diverse access to ALL of our students.
Here is what Nevada is doing to expand Computer Science education:
– (1) The Conference Board, National Center for Education Statistics, and the College Board - https://code.org/promote/nv
- (2) The College Board and Nevada Computer Science Summit 2018 keynote speech by Deputy Superintendent Brett Barley