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The California Computer Science Access Report

Because technology fuels California’s economy, computer science (CS) education has become foundational to the success of its future workforce. With California’s leading role in the tech sector, it must also lead the way in preparing the next generation of students to succeed in this future state of the world. Yet, this report indicates that while some progress has been made to ensure its current student body is equipped to participate and thrive in the new digital future, much work remains to increase equity in access and enrollment, particularly among Black, Indigenous, Latinx students as well as girls.

Key findings include:
Who has access to computer science education in California?

  • 42% of California’s high schools offered a CS course in 2018-19; a three percentage point increase from 2016.
  • California lags behind the national average and behind 34 other states in the percentage of high schools offering at least one CS course.
  • 66% of Santa Clara county high schools offered at least one CS course, leading the computing education efforts across the state.
  • While 34% of schools across the state offered a core CS course, only 14% offered a specialized course and 13% offered an Advanced Placement course.
  • Schools serving low-income communities were 3x less likely to offer core CS courses and
    over 2x less likely to offer Advanced Placement courses than schools serving high-income
  • Rural schools were 2x less likely to offer CS courses than urban schools.
  • 34% of schools serving high proportions of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Pacific Islander
    students offered CS courses in comparison to 52% of schools serving a greater proportion of
    white and Asian students.
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