On his blog, Guzdial recently posted about his NSF-funded research concerning AP Computer Science national pass-rates, specifically his studies in regard to gender and ethnicity. The chart below depicts the preliminary results that Guzdial’s work with Barbara Ericson has unearthed about pass-rates in 2011:
Here, the major takeaways are the first major gap between the blue and pink lines, which represents the gender gap, and the second major gap between the pink line and all other lines below it, showing the race/ethnicity gap.
Another statistic from his blog caught my eye, because it was Michigan-specific: “No Hispanic female has scored a passing grade (3, 4, or 5) on the AP CS test in Georgia, Michigan, Indiana, South Carolina, or Alabama in the last six years” (Guzdial).
Guzdial and Ericson are still processing the numbers they obtained from the College Board, and will possibly be looking to publish their findings in a SIGSCE paper.
Questions and Ideas:
(1) How can we target young people in Michigan with computer science related education?
(2) Could Gear Up With Alice be useful out here, not just on the Reservation? How would we tailor the curriculum to a different environment? Who would I contact in order to get the ball rolling for a project like this?
(3) Other than the Georgia Computes! program initiated by Guzdial’s lab (and discussed here), what sort of programs are being pushed throughout the US to get women and minorities into the sciences? Are there Michigan-specific programs out there?
Looks like it’s time for some Googling about the status of elementary and high school education in computer science in Michigan.