More Equity Needed In Access, Enrollment, Success In Computer Science Education

Bay City News Service | SF Gate

Computer science jobs pay well yet access to, enrollment and success in computer science courses in California schools varies by gender, race/ethnicity, income and geography, a new report said.

“Computer Science in California Schools: An Analysis of Access, Enrollment and Equity” was released Monday by the Computer Science for California coalition, the Sacramento County Office of Education and Oakland’s Kapor Center, which advocates for diversity.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2018 for jobs in computer and information technology ranged from $53,470 for computer support specialists to $118,370 for computer and information research scientists. Median pay for U.S. workers was $38,640 in May 2018.

But in 2017, just 3 percent of California’s 1.9 million high school students took a computer science class, according to the new report. Almost two-thirds of the state’s schools offer no computer science courses at all, the report said.

Brown appoints 15 to new K-12 computer science panel

Carolyn Jones, EdSource

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed 15 technology and education experts Friday to a newly created panel charged with making recommendations on the implementation of K-12 computer science standards in California.

The panel, called the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel, was created by Assembly Bill 99. Its members will draw up plans to make sure teachers are prepared, schools have enough resources and the state’s new computer science standards are implemented fairly and effectively. The Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Legislature will also appoint members.

The panel’s recommendations will go to the Legislature, California Department of Education and State Board of Education by Jan. 15, 2019. The Department of Education will then turn those recommendations into a specific implementation plan, which the State Board of Education will vote on by July 15, 2019. The Legislature will approve a final plan.

The new panel members are:

  • Gayle Nicholls-Ali, 61, of Altadena. Nicholls-Ali has been a curriculum writer and team lead at CTE Online since 2013, an adjunct professor at Pacific Oaks College since 2012 and a career tech education teacher at La Cañada High School since 2007;
  • Jenny Chien, 32, of Carlsbad. Chien has been a teacher at the Casita Center for Technology, Science and Mathematics in the Vista Unified School District since 2007;
  • Andrea M. Deveau, 42, of Sacramento. Deveau has been vice president for state policy and politics at TechNet since 2016, where she was executive director for California and Southwest Regions from 2014 to 2016;
  • Shirley H. Diaz, 58, of Chico. Diaz has been assistant superintendent of educational services for the Glenn County Office of Education since 2007;
  • Julie Flapan, 49, of Los Angeles. Flapan has been executive director at the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools and director of the Computer Science Project at the UCLA Center X;
  • Jose L. Gonzalez, 44, of Atwater. Gonzalez has been superintendent of the Planada Elementary School District since 2010;
  • Janell M. Miller, 40, of Clovis. Miller has been a teacher at the Washington Academic Middle School in the Sanger Unified School District since 2015, where she was a teacher for Jackson Elementary School from 2003 to 2015;
  • Sathya Narayanan, 46, of San Jose. Narayanan has been a professor of computer science at California State University, Monterey Bay since 2017, where he has held several positions since 2007, including director, associate professor and assistant professor;
  • Agodi E. Onyeador, 17, of Pittsburg. Onyeador has been a student at Oakland Technical High School since 2014, where she has been a consulting representative for Supporting People of Color Now since 2015. She was a summer math and science honors academy scholar for the Level Playing Field Institute from 2015 to 2017 and was a mentee at the Intel Computer Science Academy from 2016 to 2017;
  • Michael J. Pazzani, 59, of Riverside. Pazzani has served as a vice chancellor of research and economic development and professor for computer science and engineering at UC Riverside since 2012;
  • Dean M. Reese, 38, of Tracy. Reese has been an international baccalaureate coordinator for the Tracy Unified School District since 2017, where he has been a science teacher at Tracy High School since 2002, and has been a faculty scholar at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 2007;
  • Solomon Russell, 39, of Los Angeles. Russell has been an assistant professor at El Camino College since 2015. He was a lecturer of computer science at UCLA in 2017 and an online moderator at from 2014 to 2015;
  • Mehran Sahami, 47, of Palo Alto. Sahami has been a professor of computer science at Stanford University since 2013, where he has held several positions since 2001, including associate professor, lecturer and visiting lecturer and was a teaching fellow from 1992 to 1998. He was a consulting senior research scientist at Google Inc. from 2002 to 2007;
  • Claire K.L. Shorall, 31, of San Francisco. Shorall has been an investor at Neo and a part-time advance placement computer science principles teacher for the Life Academy High School of Health and Bioscience since 2017. She served in several positions for the Oakland Unified School District from 2010 to 2017, including computer science manager, site-based instructional coach and teacher;
  • Vandana Sikka, 45, of Los Altos Hills. Sikka has been founder and chief executive officer at Learnee Inc. since 2015. She was chairwoman at Infosys Foundation USA from 2014 to 2017 and vice president at Mitrix from 2008 to 2010.


Obama’s budget gives $4 billion to K-12 computer science programs

President Obama’s $4.1 trillion federal budget released Tuesday would give a major boost to computer science programs in K-12 school districts in California and across the nation, science advocates said.

As a prelude to his budget announcement, Obama sent his chief technology officer, Megan Smith, to Oakland’s Skyline High School on Monday to announce a $4 billion science initiative, known as Computer Science for All. Smith chose the Oakland district as the first district to visit because of its emphasis on computer science.

The goal of the effort is to provide students from all backgrounds the opportunity to work toward careers in computer science, with salaries that are 50 percent higher than the national average salary of about $55,000, according to 2014 U.S. Census figures.

Read the article…

Why computer science matters

Leadership Magazine
By Gary Page and Julie Flapan

From the arts and entertainment to agriculture, healthcare or finance, computer science is driving innovation across all fields. Computer science education provides an opportunity for schools to focus on the deeper learning and problem solving that the discipline of computer science requires. High paying jobs abound for students who have computer science knowledge and skills, preparing them to create the new technologies that drive California’s economy.

Over the last 20 years, states and school districts have worked hard to bridge the “digital divide” by increasing access to technology in schools and communities. But mere access to technology and its existing tools (such as smartboards and iPads) isn’t sufficient. Students need to know how to use technology, and they need engaged computer science learning opportunities to build creative thinking, logical reasoning and problem solving skills that involve computing.

However, computer science learning opportunities are not equally accessible across California’s schools.

Read the full article…

Mere access to technology won’t
bridge the digital divide. Students
need engaged computer science
learning opportunities to build creative
thinking, reasoning and problem-solving
skills that involve computing.

Policy Roundtable – Beyond Coding: Advancing K-12 Computer Science Education in California

Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 1:00-3:00 pm
California State Capitol, Room 125, Sacramento

Jobs in the field of computer science are growing rapidly throughout California, with some projections estimating nearly half of all new job growth will be in computer
occupations. Further, a foundational understanding of computer science is increasingly essential for all aspects of modern life. Yet it is estimated that only 10% of California students in grades 7-12 have taken a computer science course. Women, Latino and African-American students also continue to be severely underrepresented
in computer science classrooms and jobs.

Please join us to learn what California schools, business and community partners are doing to tackle this problem, how state and local policies are supporting change, and what else needs to be done to increase access and equity in computer science education for all California students.

Pre-registration Required, Please RVSP at

Beyond Coding Event Flyer

(Additional Speakers to be Announced)

1:00-1:10 Welcome
Suzanne Goldstein, Chief of Policy & Development, CSLNet
Andrea Deveau, California Executive Director, TechNet

1:10-1:25 Opening Remarks
Legislators are invited to make opening comments.

1:25-1:55 Today’s Landscape: Computer Science Education, Equity & Workforce Needs
The status of computer science education in California, equity challenges and the growing gap with workforce needs. Includes a preview of new data from Google on
the computer science education landscape, including California.
Chris Roe, CEO & President, CSLNet
Jennifer Wang, Program Manager, Google
Julie Flapan, Executive Director, ACCESS

1:55-2:25 A Closer Look: Computer Science Education in Action
A look at model school and district programs, how they’re overcoming barriers to expand access and equity and what challenges remain.
Panel of educators, students and business partners TBA

2:15-2:35 Next Steps: Crafting Solutions to Address Education and Workforce Needs inComputer Science
Overview of legislative efforts in California and nationally and discussion of opportunities for action.
Andrea Deveau, California Executive Director, TechNet
Amy Hirotaka, Advocacy & Policy Manager,

2:35-2:50 Closing Observations
Legislators are invited to make closing comments.

2:50-3:00 Wrap Up & Next Steps
Andrea Deveau, TechNet & Suzanne Goldstein, CSLNet

3:15-4:15 (Optional) Continue the Discussion over Refreshments at TechNet
Join us for snacks, refreshments and more time to ask questions, brainstorm solutions and find opportunities to collaborate with other attendees.
TechNet is located one block from the Capitol at 1001 K Street, 6th floor