Google’s Brief on K-12 CS experiences of Black students in the US for Black History Month

February 27, 2017 at 7:03 am 3 comments

For Black History Month, the Google K-12 Education Outreach Team has released a 1 sheet brief that focuses exclusively on the K-12 CS experiences of Black students in the U.S. and provides specific recommendations as informed by our Diversity Gaps in Computer Science report.

Computer science (CS) education is critical in preparing students for the future. CS education not only gives students the skills they need across career fields, but it also fosters critical thinking, creativity, and innovation. This summary highlights the state of CS education during 2015–16 for Black students in 7th–12th grade, a group less likely to take the AP Computer Science Exam and with a lower pass rate on it compared to other racial groups.

See report here.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alanone1  |  February 27, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Really interesting. Let’s be optimistic and suppose this is a good survey -and- comments. The first question I have is why wouldn’t they check to see what access the kids have to a web browser (whether on phone, tablet, or “computer”)?

    I would add surveys like this as part of trying to convince “CS” to clean up its act, (a) with regard to what learning “it” might really mean, (b) what good starter systems should really be, and especially (c) to get rid of the -really quite terrible- notions orbiting the current AP mess in favor of a whole new set of ideas that look ahead in positive ways rather than not just looking behind, but looking behind at -pretty darn bad decisions- about programming, etc., and the field in general.

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  February 27, 2017 at 10:31 am

      They did find that the Black students had access to mobile platforms.

      The problem is access. These students don’t get a chance to reject CS because it’s terrible. They don’t see it at all. “Stuck in the Shallow End” showed that in LAUSD. We have multiple rural counties in Georgia without any CS teachers in any schools. Atlanta Public Schools totally got rid of all CS teachers several years ago, and only have a couple teachers in any schools. Students can’t reject something as bad that they don’t ever see.

  • 3. alanone1  |  February 27, 2017 at 10:40 am

    This is why I asked about access to browsers (which have PostScript and are thus plenty good enough to host self teaching and doing material that will work for anyone with motivation — that’s the whole point of my comment). That’s the ramp for people who desire to get out of the shallow end.

    In other words, if you can read a little -and- have motivation to go to a library, you can learn a lot without teachers. (This is why I’m homing in on the motivation part of the report.)

    If you have access to a browser -and- have motivation, you can learn and do quite a bit of computing without a teacher.

    (This is the threshold of what the word “motivation” needs to mean in such a report.)

    Next step, can’t we make “CS in the world” represent what’s great about it -and- allow perceptions that what is being learned is “the real deal”?


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