By Liana Heitin
Computer science courses are often inaccessible for black, Hispanic, Native American, and low-income high school students in California, according to a new study.
The report, released yesterday by the nonprofit Level Playing Field Institute, confirms other recent research on computer science and underrepresented students. For instance, last year not a single black student took the Advanced Placement computer science exam in 12 states, and no Hispanic students took it in six states.
The authors of Path Not Found: Disparities in Computer Science Course Access in California High Schools point out that California public school students’ enrollment in computer science courses is lackluster overall. Sixty-five percent of public high schools in the state offer no computer science courses. Just 13 percent offer the AP computer science course.
And 10 of the state’s largest 20 districts do not offer computer science at all.
But the numbers are most dismal at low-income and majority-minority schools, the study found, using data from the California education department.