- Nearly 60% of U.S. high schools currently offer classes in foundational computer science. This represents a 4.5 percentage point increase over 2022 and is the largest year-over-year increase in the last five years, according to a report released Wednesday by Code.org, a nonprofit that advocates for computer science education in K-12 schools.
- Despite greater investment overall in computer science courses, schools in rural and urban areas and those with smaller student enrollments were less likely to offer these specific courses. Additionally, multilingual learners, students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students are underrepresented in these classes, and Hispanic students are 1.4 times less likely to enroll than White and Asian students.
- The rise of artificial intelligence, as well as other emerging technologies, is a strong influence on the desire of K-12 leaders and advocates to broaden access to computer science in schools, even in the elementary grades, the report said.
"In an era where technology permeates nearly every aspect of our lives, it is imperative that students become informed consumers and creators, not merely users," the report said.
So far this year, 34 states have adopted or updated 38 policies for computer science, including 28 states that funded computer science education. Over the past six years, eight states have adopted requirements for students to take a computer science course to earn a high school diploma.
Research shows learning computer science skills correlates with better outcomes in math, science and reading classes, the report said.
"We must harness the potential of computer science, not just as a standalone subject but also as an instrumental tool to enrich subjects across the curriculum," the report said. "Embedding computer science education can help address some of the most pressing challenges facing K–12 education."
The report was a collaboration of the Code.org Advocacy Coalition, Computer Science Teacher Association and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance.
Additionally, at this year's CSforAll Summit, held in Oakland from Oct. 25-27 to promote equitable access to computer science instruction, CSforAll, a nonprofit organization, announced 434 commitments from 119 organizations and 288 elementary schools to increase opportunities for computer science instruction. To date, the organization has collected 1,556 commitments.
These commitments include promises from Code.org, West Virginia Department of Education, and Wix Tomorrow, a platform that teaches students about web creation skills, to expand computer science educational opportunities in school-day and out-of-school settings.