AP CSP in the News

News outlets across the country have highlighted the positive response to the AP Computer Science Principles course from both students and educators.

From The Washington Post:

Four years ago, high schools across America launched an advanced placement course introducing students to the principles of computer science in an effort geared in part toward bringing more female, Black and Latino students into a field where they have long been underrepresented.

Last week, the College Board released data showing what it believes are signs of significant progress on that front.

AP computer science principles draws more female, Black and Latino students than an older AP computer science course focused on coding, the College Board found in a study released Wednesday. It also is functioning as an important gateway to science, technology, engineering and math, the study found, becoming the first AP course in the STEM fields for many Black and Latino students.

“It really does a nice job, I think, of hooking some students who may not have considered computer science previously,” said Mike Petran, who teaches AP computer science principles at Hammond High School in Columbia, Md.

Read full article: Report finds new AP computer science course is diversifying the field

From Times of San Diego:

Teachers and staff at Imperial Beach’s Mar Vista … recall the budding computer scientist as a student who excelled at everything except the 100-yard freestyle as a Mariner swimmer. (A coach doesn’t recall him breaking a minute.)

But last month, The College Board—which runs the Advanced Placement tests for potential college credit—reported that Gaunin, 18, broke into the highest academic ranks.

Gaunin—who goes by Mark—was among only six [test takers] earning a perfect score on its 2017 computer science exam—with 48,949 students taking it worldwide, the test service said.

Read full article: “Mark Gaunin’s Quantum Leap: From Mar Vista Grad to SDSU Senior in 10 Months

From News of Orange County:

Steven Green, a 2017 North Carolina Cedar Ridge High graduate, just joined a very select group of students with AP Perfect scores worldwide. Green recently found out that he got a perfect score in his AP Computer Science Principles Exam back in May 2017. … The AP CSP exam is unique because it is comprised of a multiple choice section and two project tasks they do during the year—one exploring the role of computer science in the world, and the other to create a digital artifact through programming.

Read full article: “Cedar Ridge grad receives perfect score in AP Computer Science Exam

From Washington Post:

[A]n expansion of AP computer science classes is helping to draw more girls and underrepresented minorities into a field of growing importance for schools, universities and the economy. … “We’re trying to diversify a field that for whatever reason has remained not so for generations,” said David Coleman, president of the College Board, which oversees the AP program. “Really, what this is about is computer science breaking out of its narrow role.”

Read full article: “Expansion of AP computer science courses draws more girls and minorities”

From NPR:

According to figures just released, from 2016 to 2017 the number of underrepresented minorities who took an AP Computer Science exam nearly tripled, from 8,283 to 22,199. The number of girls shot up from 12,642 to 29,708. While significant, this increase was not enough for those two groups to reach parity. Only 1 in 5 of those taking AP CS last year were underrepresented minorities and about 1 in 4 were women. The course opened doors on a school level as well. Maureen Reyes, the executive director of the AP program at the College Board, says that 100 new schools last year offered the new class as their first AP course ever.

Read full article: “Tens Of Thousands More Women And Minorities Are Taking Computer Science”

From EdSource:

Educators were cheering over newly released results from the College Board showing significant increases in the number of females, Latino and African-American students who took either the Advanced Placement computer science exam or the new computer science principles exam this spring.

Of the 111,262 high school students who took the College Board’s Advanced Placement computer science exams in May, 27 percent were girls, a jump from 23 percent last year. Twenty percent of the test-takers were Latino or African-American, up from 15 percent in 2016.

Read full article: “New Class Leads to Big Gains in Number of Girls, Minorities taking AP Computer Science exams”

From USA Today:

Female, black and Latino student participation in Advanced Placement computer science exams has more than doubled in the past year, helped by the introduction of an AP course designed to introduce principles, according to a new report.

More than 29,700 female students took an AP computer science exam in 2017, a 135% increase from 2016 and a dramatic increase from the 2,600 female students that took the AP Computer Science exam 10 years ago, according to results released by non-profit Code.org Tuesday.

Read full article: “AP Computer Science Exam Takers Double: Here’s Why”

From Ed Tech:

More young women took an Advanced Placement Computer Science exam last year than in 2007 through 2013 combined, thanks largely to a new course designed with them in mind.

Last summer, College Board announced AP Computer Science Principles, a course that views computing through a creative and collaborative lens. It only requires curiosity—instead of previous knowledge of programming—with the hopes of attracting a more diverse group of students.

In its first year, the course was an overwhelming success. EdSurge reports that 29,708 girls and 22,199 underrepresented minorities took the exam, representing a 100 percent increase for both groups.

Read full article: “AP Computer Science Draws in More Girls, Minorities”

From The New York Times:

Computer Science Principles is modeled on college versions for nonmajors. It lets teachers pick any coding language and has a gentler vibe. There is an exam, but students also submit projects “more similar to a studio art portfolio,” Mr. Packer said. The course covers working with data and understanding the internet and cybersecurity, and it teaches “transferable skills,” he said, like formulating precise questions. That’s a departure from what the College Board found in many high schools: “They were learning how to keyboard, how to use Microsoft applications.” The goal is that the new course will be offered in every high school in the country.

Read full article: “Learning to Think Like a Computer”

From Education Week:

[AP CSP teacher] Art Lopez said he's been encouraged by the way his students have embraced the course. "Computer science teaches kids how to think," he said. "I've seen it time and time again where my kids are improving their skills in math, their ability to communicate, read, and write, and it's all because of computer science because it teaches you about logic and how to problem solve."

Read full article: “New AP Computer Science Course Proves Popular With Students, Teachers”

From U.S. News & World Report:

Even though [Newbury Park High School graduate Michael Liu] says he was already knowledgeable about the subject prior to taking the course and was simultaneously enrolled in AP Computer Science A, "what I hadn't done was apply … the skills I picked up to do random creative things," he says. "When I took [AP Computer Science Principles], that was the new experience I got."

Read full article: “AP Computer Science Principles Course Aims to Attract More Students to the Field”

From EdSurge:

From 2014 onward, [AP head Trevor Packer] and his team endeavored to work with teachers to create a course that focused less on a particular language like Java, and more on general computing concepts, like algorithms and variables.

The result—AP Computer Science Principles—is “designed to meet students where they are, getting them to use algorithms and data, and enhance their own passion in computer science,” Packer says.

Read full article: “College Board Hopes to Broaden Access to Coding With New ‘AP Computer Science Principles’ Course”

From Education Dive:

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval this week became the latest to commit to computer science education for all of his state’s students. Starting next year, every single district in Nevada will offer Computer Science Principles, an Advanced Placement course the College Board launched this fall.

Read full article: “Computer Science Education Expands with New AP Course”

From Black Enterprise:

[AP CSP teacher Chinma Uche] said, “While rigorous, AP CSP has attracted more students and teachers to CS, and has even expanded enrollment in the solely-programming course, AP CS A. I have seen AP CSP transform students’ lives.”

Read full article: “AP Computer Science Principles Course Makes CS Accessible”