In 2013, no female students took the AP computer science exam in three states (Mississippi, Montana, and Wyoming). In eight states (Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wyoming), no Hispanic students took the exam. And in 11 states (Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming) no black students took the exam. Notice that the three states where women test takers were absent all also appear on the other two lists. It’s not a good scene.
The stats come from College Board data compiled by Barbara Ericson, who runs outreach efforts for the Institute for Computing Education at Georgia Tech. As the Atlantic points out, big talk about starting students early is still not reflected in numbers like these.
And one of the most concerning aspects of the whole situation, as contextualized by College Board spokesperson Deborah Davis in an email to Education Week, is that some of these states just didn’t really have any students taking the exam at all. The College Board administered only 11 AP computer science exams in Montana, one in Mississippi, and none in Wyoming. None!
Davis also wrote, “We were not surprised by Barbara Ericson's findings because unfortunately, computing courses have historically been dominated by white, male students.” It's true! She did say that the College Board is collaborating with national nonprofits and outreach groups to work toward access to AP courses for everyone.
It’s also worth noting that female and minority students interested in pursuing computer science in college could still be using AP math and physics courses as preparation even if they’re not taking the AP computer science exam itself. But nevertheless, these numbers are pretty bleak.
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Photos of the Crowds That Took Over NYC for the People’s Climate March
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.