Computer Science for Texas (CS4TX) is a broad-based coalition of business leaders, parents, and educators dedicated to bringing computer science education to every student in Texas.
To accomplish this ambitious goal, CS4TX will
- Nurture an informed and engaged grassroots community network in support of K-12 computer science education.
- Support sustained professional development for currently certified educators to teach high school computer science.
- Directly engage with state policymakers and agencies to secure targeted and strategic policy changes to improve access to computer science in Texas.
Why computer science matters
Computer science develops problem solvers and innovators. Computer science teaches computational thinking, which includes logical data analysis and organization, creating concise problem statements, identifying and implementing algorithm-‐based solutions, and generalizing and extrapolating solutions that can be applied to other problems. Helping students develop these skills will be a benefit to them in every subject, in the classroom and beyond. Computer science skills are in demand in the job market. Nearly every industry today is driven by applied computer science. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that half of all STEM jobs in the country will be in computing occupations, with more than 150,000 job openings annually. These jobs pay 75 percent more than the national median annual salary. According to Code.org, by 2020, there will be 1,000,000 more computing jobs than students/graduates to fill them, resulting in a $500 billion opportunity gap. And, according to a recent Gallup poll, nine in 10 parents say offering opportunities to learn computer science is a good use of resources at their child’s school, and 91 percent of parents want their child to learn more computer science in the future.
Our public education system is not preparing Texas students for these opportunities
In Texas, less than 15 percent of high schools offered the AP computer science course in
2014‐15. In 2015, only 5,172 Texas high school students (out of 1.4 million) took the AP computer science exam. Among these students, only 24 percent were female, only 19 percent were Hispanic, and less than 4 percent were African-‐American.
Texas is falling behind other states and cities
Texas was the first state to require that all high schools teach computer science. However, since 2014, 28 other states have adopted this policy, and many others, like Arkansas, Washington, Utah, Alabama, Georgia, and Massachusetts, have backed this good policy with dedicated funding for teacher professional development and targeted programs that expand access. Texas will not remain economically competitive without improving access to computer science education for ALL students.