Starting to track CS classes in Georgia: Few all-CS teachers

March 31, 2016 at 7:18 am 8 comments

As I noted in my Blog@CACM post about the ECEP Cohort (see post here), some states are starting to track enrollments and sections of CS classes offered. Georgia is one of those, and I got to see the first presentation of these data at a CS Task Force meeting from Dr. Caitlin McMunn Dooley. Slides from the presentation are here.

There are five courses that currently count towards high school graduation in Georgia, and these are the ones being most closely tracked: AP CS Level A, CS Principles, IB CS Year 1, IB CS Year 2, and a Georgia-specific course, Programming Games, Apps, and Society. If you look at the counts of how many teachers are teaching of these course, it looks like good growth. There are just over 440 high schools in Georgia, so if there were one of these teachers in each high school, we could have 25-50% of Georgia high schools with CS teachers. What we don’t know is how many of these teachers are appearing in multiple categories. These are unlikely to be all unique teachers. How many AP CS teachers, for example, are also teaching CS Principles?


The data below were the most surprising to me. Georgia’s state education system is broken into 16 Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs). We have the counts of the number of teachers of CS classes in each of those 16 RESAs, and we have the count of the number of sections of CS classes offered in each RESA. Notice that the numbers are pretty similar. For the most part, high school CS teachers in Georgia are only teaching one or two sections of CS. We have very few high school teachers who teach CS full-time. There are a few, e.g., some of our teachers who worked with us in “Georgia Computes!” were teaching five sections of CS each day. Most Georgia CS teachers are likely teaching some other discipline most of the time, and offering just a couple sections of CS.


If our goal is for all high school students to have access to CS education, we need to have more than one section of 30-40 students per teacher or per school (which is roughly the same thing right now). We need more teachers offering a section of CS and/or we need each teacher to offer more sections of CS. Right now, too few teachers offer CS to too few students.

I don’t know how common these trends are nationwide. Few states are tracking CS classes yet. Georgia is one of the leading states measuring progress in CS education. We need more information to know what’s going on.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mgozaydin  |  March 31, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Come on now Mark . ONLINE is the solution .
    The best online courses can be designed for CS .
    Look up MIT and Harvard Cs courses online . Free .

    • 2. gflint  |  March 31, 2016 at 9:45 am

      I am hoping this is sarcasm. I enjoy programming and learning but I struggle with completing on-line courses. Kids? No way.

      • 3. mgozaydin  |  March 31, 2016 at 10:02 am

        It is not sarcam . It is a reality .
        There are around 60 million K12 students in the USA. More than 50 % are taking online courses .
        My granddaughter 9 years old, operates tablets better than me .She is designing buildings with tablet . Sure this is not a proof .
        But please look around you and see how many K12 are taking online courses . Problem is not every online course is good . But courses by MIT and Harvard are perfect almost .
        Look up Stanford online High School and MIT online high school too .

  • 4. gflint  |  March 31, 2016 at 9:41 am

    It would be interesting to see what degrees those teaching CS have or what their certification path was.

  • 5. Crystal Furman  |  March 31, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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