AP Computer Science Demographics Report for 2015 completed #CSEdWeek

December 11, 2015 at 7:10 am 2 comments

Barbara Ericson, with the help of Phil Sands at Purdue, has now finished tabulating the demographic data for AP Computer Science for 2015 — see link here.  We don’t yet have the statistical tests that Kevin Karplus asked for (see post here), but Barbara did list the percentage of Hispanic exam takers with their proportion of the population.


Our blog posts on AP CS have been picked up by Audrey Watters in her 2015 Top Ed-Tech Trends summary, in a decidedly negative light.

I’ll look at the whole “learn-to-code” push in an upcoming post, but I will note here: “Nationally, 37,327 students took the AP CS A exam in 2014,” Mark Guzdial observed. “This was a big increase (26.29%) from the 29,555 students who took it in 2013.” “Barbara Ericson’s 2015 AP CS demographics analysis: Still No African-Americans Taking the AP CS Exam in 9 States.” And Code.org teamed up with the College Board: because everyone needs to learn to code and then hand over money to the College Board for an AP test on the subject. Boom.

We don’t analyze AP CS A in order to market for the College Board.  We analyze AP CS A exam demographics because it’s the only operational definition we have found of the state of computing education across the United States.  From our work in “Georgia Computes!” we know that AP CS A tracks closely all other computing education in Georgia.  AP CS A is a dipstick to get a sense for who’s in the high school CS population.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Blog Post #2000: Barbara Ericson Proposes: Effectiveness and Efficiency of Adaptive Parsons Problems #CSEdWeek The Algorithmic Future of Education: The History of the Future of Education

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alfredtwo  |  December 11, 2015 at 7:49 am

    I think Audrey is more down in the idea of AP exams in general than in your use of them as a dipstick. I’m seeing more and more people looking at the AP exams as being more about money than education. But as you say they are pretty much the only game in town as far as looking at the state of CS education.

    • 2. Gary Stager, Ph.D. (@garystager)  |  December 11, 2015 at 10:46 am


      AP is a serious education problem, completely aside from computer science deprivation.

      We cannot continue to be satisfied by incrementalism. Gestures like Hour of Code may be positive, but they are literally the least we can do.


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