More Data and Talking Points for Advocacy
Do you need to create a slide deck or one-pager to advocate for computer science in your state or city? The blog posts and links below contain resources and statistics that you can use to make your own custom materials!
Code.org Policy Resources
- See state-by-state data on our 9 model policies for computer science education.
- Code.org partnered with CSTA and ECEP to create the annual State of Computer Science Education report on state-level policies that support equitable K-12 computer science education and an analysis of implementation and participation data. You can download the reports from 2017-2020. The 2020 report found that states who adopt more state computer science policies show greater gender diversity in AP computer science exam-taking.
Computer science and ESSA: Read our recommendations for how states can add computer science to their state ESSA plans.
- Download a master slide deck that you can use to create your own presentations.
Why study computer science?
Six different studies show that studying computer science helps students outperform in school and college. Details on each of the studies follow.
Code.org blog posts
The importance of computer science
Diversity in computer science
- The K-12 Computer Science Framework provides a vision for computer science education for all students, including concepts and practices by grade band.
- See what is happening in K-12 computer science education internationally at this Brookings report.
- The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) recently released guidelines regarding the integration of computational thinking across disciplines.
- Access to computer science matters! A longitudinal study described in this article and this summary report that the three best predictors of student persistence in computing-related majors were taking programming in high school, taking a computer science AP exam, and participating in the Aspirations awards program.
- The Kapor Center's report Teacher Perspectives on COVID-19's Impact on K-12 Computer Science Instruction found that 18% of teachers temporarily suspended CS instruction, with higher rates from schools serving underrepresented students.
- The Pre-College Computer Science Education: A Survey of the Field report from Google reviews the current state of the research into computer science education.
Arkansas has seen a major boost in computer science enrollment and diversity. Arkansas passed a law requiring (and funding) every high school to teach computer science. Months later, Arkansas saw a 260% increase in total CS enrollment, a 300% increase among female students, and a 600% increase among Black and African American female students. This shows the massive impact of state policy on CS, and helps our advocacy efforts in other states.
Low-income or students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups are less likely than other demographic groups to attend a school that offers computer science.
- The National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education included a focus on computer science in 2018. Although only 44% of high school computer science teachers have a certification in computer science, 64% attended a computer science-focused professional development in the past year.
- Data from the International Computer and Information Literacy Study found that students in high socioeconomic groups scored significantly higher on computational thinking than students in lower socioeconomic groups (in all countries).
- 74% of women working in computing were exposed to computing in junior high.
- The Computational Thinking for a Computational World report from Digital Promise describes the role of computational thinking and provides recommendations for expanding it in K-12.
- The Closing the STEM Gap report from Microsoft explores why girls and women lose interest in STEM subjects and careers, and suggests strategies to reverse the trend.
- The College Board announced that participation in AP CS Principles more than doubled in the three years since the launch of the course, with female students, Black/African American students, and Hispanic/Latinx students increasing at a faster rate.
- According to data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 27% of middle school girls and 31% of boys have taken CS.
This National Academies report describes the growth of computer science undergraduate enrollments.
This report by ExcelinEd describes the relationship between computer science and information technology (see p. 6).
- A new report by the SREB recommends 5 policy actions states can take to expand access to computer science education.
- A report by the Education Commission of the States provides details on computer science in high school graduation requirements.
- A guide to computer science advocacy for student changemakers.
Americans believe computer science is cool and one of the most important subjects of study in school.
Computing skills across all jobs
- Half of the highest paying jobs in America require you to know how to code, according to this report by Burning Glass. A later report found that the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs require computer science skills (82% and 78%, respectively), yet only 18% of these jobs require a computer science degree.
Twice as many Americans use computing in their jobs than previously reported, and half of those are in non-STEM fields. Outside of STEM fields, 40% of those doing complex computing work are women.
- A quarter of all jobs are now "highly digitalized" and they're the highest paying quartile of jobs (up from 5% of jobs in 2002), according to a Brookings report.
- Computer science skills are increasingly valued in marketing and design jobs.
- A survey from Microsoft Education and YouGov found that half of parents believed coding and computer programming to be the most beneficial subject to their child's future employability.
Jobs in computing
Landscape of K-12 Computer Science Education in the US
This series of reports from Gallup and Google describes the landscape of computer science education across the states.
Current Perspectives and Continuing Challenges in Computer Science Education in U.S. K-12 Schools (2020)
- 69% of parents/guardians say it is important or very important for their child to learn computer science. 78% of Black parents say it is important or very important (compared to 67% of Hispanic/Latinx parents and 68% of white parents).
- Boys in grades 7-12 are more likely than girls to think that computer science is important to learn (49% versus 31%).
- Superintendents (75%), principals (73%), and public school teachers (66%) think offering computer science courses is just as important to a studen's future success as other required courses.
Images of Computer Science: Perceptions Among Students, Parents and Educators in the US (Year 1):
- Parents in lower-income households and teachers at schools with a greater percentage of free- or reduced-lunch-eligible students are most likely to value formal computer science education.
- Many students, parents, teachers and school administrators do not properly distinguish between computer science activities and general computer literacy.
- Observations from students and parents suggest that TV and film media portrayals, as well as personal perceptions among students, parents and educators, often reflect stereotypes about people who engage in computer science.
Searching for Computer Science: Access and Barriers in US K-12 Education (Year 1):
- Only 25% of schools across the country in 2015 offer a computer science class that includes coding or programming.
- 90% of parents believe that offering computer science is a good use of resources at their child's school.
- Principals and superintendents from schools and districts that do not offer computer science learning opportunities are most likely to say the main reason their schools do not offer computer science is the limited time they have to devote to classes that are not tied to testing requirements and the low availability and budget for computer science teachers. Few principals and superintendents mention a lack of computer equipment and software as the main reason their schools do not offer computer science.
Trends in the State of Computer Science in US K-12 Schools (Year 2)
- Only 40% of schools across the country in 2016 offer a computer science class that includes coding or programming. Schools report a lack of qualified teachers and funds as key barriers to offering computer science.
- 84% of parents, 71% of teachers, 66% of principals, and 65% of superintendents say that offering CS is more important than or just as important as required courses like math, science, history and English. Further, a majority of educators feel that students should be required to take computer science in schools when it is available (60% of teachers, 62% of principals and 56% of superintendents).
- 93% of parents believe that offering computer science is a good use of resources at their child's school.
Computer Science Learning: Closing the Gap - Girls
- Girls are less likely to have learned computer science outside of school: 31% of girls who learned computer science did so online (vs. 44%) and 41% learned it on their own (vs 54% of boys).
Computer Science Learning: Closing the Gap - Black Students
- Black (31%) middle and high school students are more likely to be very interested in learning CS than white students (21%).
- Black (47%) students are less likely to have computer science classes at their schools compared to white students (58%).
Computer Science Learning: Closing the Gap - Hispanic Students
- Hispanic/Latinx (35%) middle and high school students are more likely to be very interested in learning CS than White students (21%), yet fewer Hispanic/Latinx students have high confidence that they could learn computer science (51%, compared to 56% of white and 68% of Black students).
- 92% of Hispanic/Latinx parents whose children haven't learned computer science want their children to learn it (vs. 84% of white parents).
Diversity Gaps in Computer Science: Exploring the Underrepresentation of Girls, Blacks and Hispanics
- Comprehensive document from Year 2 of the study; contains the talking points from the Closing the Gap reports for young women, Black students, and Hispanic/Latinx students; plus additional information.
Computer Science Learning: Closing the Gap - Rural and Small-Town School Districts
- 86% of students in rural and small town schools believe that computer science is going to be important for their future jobs.
- 83% of parents and 64% of principals in rural and small towns believe offering computer science is more or equally as important as any required course.
- Principals in rural and small town schools say the biggest obstacles to increasing access to K-12 computer science are the lack of teachers with the necessary skills and funding to prepare or hire teachers.
Encouraging Students Toward Computer Science Learning
- Students who have been told by parents or teachers that they would be good at computer science are 2.5-3 times more likely to be interested in learning it in the future; yet boys are more likely than girls to have been told by teachers (39% vs. 26%) and parents (46% vs. 27%) that they would be good at computer science.
- Boys and girls have a similar level of interest in learning CS at age 12; however, girls' interest in learning CS decreases between ages 12 and 14 (27% to 12%) while boys’ increases (30% to 47%).
State-level reports: Combined data from both Year 1 and Year 2 that summarizes the status of computer science in 43 US states.