48% of NY high school students attend a school that offers CS, but only 3.4% of students are enrolled in a foundational CS course
Black/African American students are 1.3 times less likely than their white and Asian peers to attend a school that offers CS
Only 31.2% of students enrolled in computer science courses are female
Only 46% of schools in rural areas and 39% of schools in urban areas offer computer science, compared to 69% in suburban areas.
Just 48% of NY high schools offer foundational CS compared to 60% or more in ME and NJ and 76% or more in CT, RI, NH, VT, and PA
Only 561 schools in NY (40% of NY schools with AP programs) offered an AP Computer Science course in 2019-2020
Computer science can be defined as “the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software design, their applications, and their impact on society.” In other words, computer science is the study of why and how computers work. Computer science emphasizes problem solving and pushes students to be active creators – rather than passive consumers – of computer technologies. Programming, or coding, is one aspect of the computer science field of study, but is not the sole focus.
Computer science is a rapidly growing field that develops essential knowledge and skills for today’s world. Whether a student goes into tech or healthcare, agriculture or the arts, nearly every industry relies on the foundational skills of computer science. Computation integration is increasing in the job market, in both STEM and non-STEM fields.
To achieve equity in computer science we need the participation of greater numbers of students who have traditionally been underrepresented in computer science--Black, Latinx, Native American, girls, rural students, and low-income students, in the field. The diversity in the state and the country’s population should be reflected those who participate in computer science education. To achieve equity, we must focus at multiple levels: access to CS courses, access to high-quality teaching, enrollment in CS courses, success in CS courses, and matriculation into post-secondary computing majors and careers at representative levels.
The New York State Board of Regents approved the K–12 Learning Standards for Computer Science and Digital Literacy in December 2020. The introduction to the standards describes how to address digital equity, English language learners, and students with disabilities, and standards within each grade band address concepts of equity, such as bias, accessible technology, and inclusivity.
The K-12 CS & DF standards are expected to be implemented by September 2024.
A 9503/S 7503 (FY 2021), A 2003/S 1503 (FY 2020), and S 7504/A 9504 (FY 2019) allocated $6M annually (for an eventual total of $30M) to expand computer science education via the Smart Start program. The grantees should incorporate strategies for increasing participation in computer science by traditionally underrepresented groups, such as female students, students with differing abilities, English language learners/Multilingual learners, and/or Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx, or Native American/Alaskan students.
In New York, teachers with or without existing licensure can obtain a K-12 CS certification by completing one of the following: approved state teacher preparation program pathway, academic coursework, or industry experience and pedagogical coursework. Any licensed teacher who teaches computer science before September 2024 will be eligible to continue teaching computer science in the same district for ten years by applying for the Statement of Continued Eligibility (SoCE) through TEACH (check here for availability updates).
The New York State Education Department has approved teacher preparation programs leading to certification in computer science and lists these programs publicly. Several of these programs have funding for eligible teachers. Visit our certification page for the full list of programs, links, and contact information.
New York passed a permissive and encouraging policy to allow computer science to count as either a mathematics or science credit for graduation, but it is a district decision.
New York appointed a Computer Science Associate in the CTE Department to cover all computer science education related matters. The Computer Science and Digital Fluency standards will still live with the Office of Standards and Instruction at NYSED.
New York State has made incremental progress on increasing access to computer science education over the past 5 years, but large access disparities and structural deficiencies remain that threaten to delay CS implementation without statewide coordination. The CSForNY State Summit in Fall 2023 is a great opportunity to learn about some of these potential next steps and how to prepare for them.
The Code.org Advocacy Coalition recommends additional policies beyond the measures listed above to increase equity and access to computer science education in New York State:
Until then, please refer to these resources for more detailed recommendations, guides, and examples: