CS in CA

The State of CS in CA

California is the global leader in technology, and computer science affects every industry, person, and global problem in the 21st century. But access to computer science education and those who work in the tech sector do not reflect the demographic diversity of our state. We believe that every student deserves to be equipped with the knowledge, tools, and resources to successfully participate and thrive in modern society. 

Computer science education can help solve problems in our world, including:

Building Momentum for Computer Science

Since 2012, CSforCA has worked to ensure equitable access to high-quality computer science teaching and learning opportunities across California.

Before CSforCA, access to and participation in computer science education in California was severely lacking.

• In the 2008-2009 school year, fewer than 10% of students in grades 7 through 12 had taken a computing course.

• Across the state, only 35% of high schools offered CS courses in 2008-2009. Two-thirds of high schools offered no computer science courses.

• In 2010, only 2,793 California students took the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science exam.

• In 2010, 230 of the students who took AP Computer Science were self-identified as Latinx, and just 33 were Black.

Since then, we’ve made meaningful progress. As of 2022: 

• 42% of California’s high schools offer computer science courses.

• 34% of schools across the state offer a core CS course, only 14% offer a specialized course and 13% offer an Advanced Placement course. 

• Nearly 30,000 students participated in an Advanced Placement CS course.

But there’s still a lot of work to be done to achieve equity in CS education: 

• Of the students who took AP CS courses in 2019, just 561 were Black and 44 were Indigenous.

• Schools serving low-income communities are 3x less likely to offer core CS courses and over 2x less likely to offer Advanced Placement courses than schools serving high-income communities. 

• Rural schools are 2x less likely to offer CS courses than urban schools.

• While girls comprise 49% of the population in California high schools, just 30% of students taking CS courses are girls.

History of CSforCA

Since our Coalition’s founding in 2012, CSforCA has led the charge toward computer science equity in California. Click below to view a timeline of our history and accomplishments:

The Future of CS in CA

CSforCA is working for a future where all students have access to high-quality computer science education —to both equip students with the critical thinking skills they need to thrive, and prepare students for a 21st century, digitized world. 

We will achieve this by:

1. Expanding access to professional development, so that more educators are prepared to teach CS. 

2. Continuing to partner with Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to pilot equity-focused programs that bring CS education to minority communities.

3. Working with policy-makers to increase funding for computer science education.

4. Advocating for an equitable computer science curriculum to be implemented across California.