skip to main content

Title: Maximizing BPC Through Maryland's Annual State Summits
Computer Science (CS) education advocates have worked within states to change K-12 education policies in order to broaden participation in computing (BPC) and grow CS as a content discipline within K-12 classrooms. Statewide summits, which convene a variety of stakeholders across levels of education, are pivotal events that build momentum for change. Maryland has utilized annual summits to leverage statewide advocacy in order to continue CS K-12 education growth. Summit evaluations provided valuable data to strategically plan additional events and advocacy activities. Data from the past four annual summits are analyzed and discussed. State advocacy outcomes include: 1) increased statewide CS education awareness, 2) the establishment of the Maryland Center for Computing Education, 3) seven million dollars of state funds dedicated to K-12 CS education professional development and pre-service teacher preparation program reform, and 4) the enactment of Securing the Future: Computer Science for All law. This law requires all Maryland public high schools to offer CS, make efforts at the middle and elementary levels to include CS, and broaden participation in computing in K-12 classrooms. Valuable insights are provided for other states to consider as they build BPC advocacy efforts through statewide summits in their own states.
Authors:
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1822011
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10284396
Journal Name:
Proceedings Article published 10 Mar 2020 in 2020 Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1 to 4
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. This experience report provides insights into the unintended consequences of five states efforts to make computer science education policy changes in an effort to broaden participation in computing (BPC). At the 2019 Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) meeting, several member-states were invited to share about the unintended consequences of computer science education policy reform in their states. Due to the nature of policy making and implementation, marginalized communities including students, practitioners, and under resourced schools are most impacted by education policy reform efforts. As computer science education gains traction as an education policy priority in states and districts, it is important to learn the lessons of past education policy failures and successes, specifically how these policies could trigger unintended consequences that will impact the broadening of participation within K-12 computer science education. The examples put forth by the states include unintended consequences of policies such as making CS count as a graduation requirement, defining computer science, developing CS standards, and teacher certification. These experienced unintended consequences may be relevant to other states seeking to make CS policy changes. This paper concludes with a reflection on the ECEP model as a tool for mitigating these unintended consequences as part of themore »BPC efforts.« less
  2. Facilitating the development of a common framework for monitoring progress in K-12 computer science (CS) education and advocacy with an emphasis on broadening participation is the key to constructing strong CS education policy. Based on a project that brought together leadership teams from six states, a framework for measuring broadening participation in computing (BPC) and setting the foundation for national scaling was developed. Built around a collaboration of leaders representing experience in data gathering, data analysis, data reporting, and data utilization, this project applied the tenets of collective impact to address the challenge of consistently measuring progress toward BPC across state contexts. By establishing a common agenda, including mutually agreed upon definitions of computer science education and broadening participation, these leaders guided the selection of metrics. This led to the development of shared measurement systems and built a deeper understanding of state data systems across the participating states. This phase resulted in common goals and a monitoring system to measure BPC efforts that could inform state policy efforts. Mutually reinforcing activities included the development and sharing of tools, allowing stakeholders to quickly and accurately analyze and disseminate data that drives BPC measurement and policy work. Guided by backbone support tomore »coordinate the work and continuous communication, meaningful participation of all stakeholders was central to the project. Making the case for CS education policy via common metrics and measuring progress across a region stands to impact BPC policy efforts across the United States. The common framework developed in this project serves as a call to action, especially for state and local education agencies committed to increasing diversity in computer science pathways.

    « less
  3. Computer science education has been making dramatic increases in recent years. Across the US, different states are advancing computer science education through different policies. However, as a state makes choices to advance computer science education, it is critical to consider how these policies will broaden participation in computing (BPC). Many have indicated that only white and Asian males (who make up 30% of our population) currently have the opportunity/privilege to engage in computer science education. Therefore, as we implement state-level computer science education reform, it is critical that BPC remains as our guiding principle. Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) was created as an NSF national alliance to support state-level educational reform with regards to computer science. Over the past 6 years, this alliance of 22 states and Puerto Rico have worked together to share policies to advance BPC in each state. Through these experiences, ECEP has proposed that state change related to CS educational reform follows five stages: (1) Find your leader(s) and change agents; (2) understand the CS education landscape and identify the key issues/policies; (3) gather and organize your allies to establish goals and develop strategic plans and; (4) get initial funding to support change and; (5) buildingmore »and utilizing data infrastructure that informs strategic BPC efforts. This study examined the ECEP alliance and the five-stage model through the 25,000+ documents and data sources over the past decade, specifically investigating how these five stages impacted states’ overall BPC efforts. Results indicated that these 5 stages seemed to support states’ BPC efforts.

    « less
  4. As efforts to broaden participation in computing and provide equitable computer science education to all students increase across the country, within states, and within cities and districts, this research aims to investigate whether existing efforts have increased equity. This research analyzes three years of computer science access, enrollment, and success data across the state of California to: (a) examine whether racial, gender, and socioeconomic equity in CS access, enrollment and success has improved; (b) identify persistent barriers to racial, gender and socioeconomic equity, and (c) inform statewide strategies to ensure equity in computer science across California. Findings indicate despite several promising trends, including an increase in CS access and participation across California, racial, gender and SES gaps remain in access to CS courses, participation, and success. Additional statewide policies and practices are needed to ensure equity in CS across California.
  5. The push to make computer science (CS) education available to all students has been closely followed by increased efforts to collect and report better data on where CS is offered, who is teaching CS, and which students have access to, enroll in, and ultimately benefit from learning CS. These efforts can be highly influential on the evolution of CS education policy, as education leaders and policymakers often rely heavily on data to make decisions. Because of this, it is critical that CS education researchers understand how to collect, analyze, and report data in ways that reflect reality without masking disparities between subpopulations. Similarly, it is important that CS education leaders and policymakers understand how to judiciously interpret the data and translate information into action to scale CS education in ways designed to eliminate inequities. To that end, this article expands on recent research regarding the use of data to assess and inform progress in scaling and broadening participation in CS education. We describe the CAPE framework for assessing equity with respect to the capacity for, access to, participation in, and experience of CS education and explicate how it can be applied to analyze and interpret data to inform policy decisionsmore »at multiple levels of educational systems. We provide examples using large, statewide datasets containing educational and demographic information for K-12 students and schools, thereby giving leaders and policymakers a roadmap to assess and address issues of equity in their own schools, districts, or states. We compare and contrast different approaches to measuring and reporting inequities and discuss how data can influence the future of CS education through its impact on policy.« less