What do we mean by "for all"?

Students of color, students from rural communities, and girls are systematically excluded from CS education in our state.

There are many reasons for this:

  • Rural and low-income communities often don't have resources to attract and hire excellent CS teachers.

  • Some teachers, parents, and advisors hold myths that only some students can learn CS, deterring youth from registering for CS electives.

  • Gender and racial stereotypes about programmers being white and Asian boys deter girls, non-binary and agenda youth, and youth of color from pursuing CS education.

  • Class stereotypes about computer programmers being wealthy and elite deter many youth who think it is not for them.

  • Intelligence stereotypes about computer programmers needing to be "genius" deter many youth who think they aren't intelligent enough.

  • Youth with disabilities may be skeptical that they'll be supported in learning computing, and avoid registering for electives.

  • Curriculum that is divorced from students' interests, lives, culture, and community make youth believe it's not relevant to their lives.

Overcoming these barriers requires us to create intentional, equitable pathways that engage all of Washington's youth in learning about computing.

Are there resources for broadening participation computing?


These resources largely focus on recruitment and retention strategies that engage and successfully teach excluded students.

Where is CS taught in Washington?

Below is a map of all of the public high schools in Washington state, indicating schools that offered a CS elective in the 2017-18 school year. We don't have data for every school (yet), but a recently passed law will ensure we have complete data each year. The data below defines CS as any course that involves the use of a notation interpreted by a computer, including programming languages such as Java, C++, Python and Javascript. The data above, and the analysis for producing it, is hosted on GitHub.

For addition details on access gaps in the state, see the AP Computer Science data, which shows that a large majority of students taking and passing AP CS A and AP CS Principles are White and Asian boys in Puget Sound.