The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) supports President Obama’s Computer Science for All initiative. The president has announced a $4-billion plan to provide all students computer science (CS) education in school. This program builds on the progress made in STEM education when President Obama signed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December of last year. The President called on non-profits, education leaders, CEOs, philanthropists, creative media, technology professionals, and others to get involved.
Wide disparities in access to CS education exist. According to the White House, fewer than 15 percent of all U.S. high schools offered any Advanced Placement (AP) CS courses in 2015, and only 22 percent of those who took the exam to qualify for those courses were girls, and only 13 percent were African-American or Latino students.
The president discussed his Computer Science for All Initiative in his Saturday morning address.
The president’s initiative would provide $4 billion in funding for states, and $100 million directly for school districts in his forthcoming budget to increase access to K-12 CS by training teachers, expanding access to instructional materials, and building regional partnerships. The White House says the funding would allow more states and districts to offer hands-on CS courses across all of their public high schools, get students involved early by creating CS learning opportunities in elementary and middle schools, expand overall access to rigorous science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coursework, and ensure all students have the chance to participate, including girls and underrepresented minorities. Read more in this fact sheet about specifics of the initiative.