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Creating Conversation


The goal of this ongoing conversation is to help propel Advanced Placement* Computer Science A (APCS-A) to a high-demand course on par with demonstrated success by Kentucky students in other STEM domains. AdvanceKentucky schools have been successful in dramatically shifting school cultures, accelerating access to, participation and success in AP, particularly among underrepresented student populations. Participating schools have demonstrated immediate increases at eight to 18 times the U.S. rate of growth in the first year of participation among every new group of schools – and sustained growth annually thereafter. Independent research by the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics concluded that, versus a comparison group, AdvanceKentucky students that have taken at least one AP math, science or English class earned higher ACT scores, earned higher GPAs and needed significantly less remediation in college, which held true among all demographic subgroups.

Making Coding Count

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has posted clarifying language concerning existing policy of who can teach APCS-A and how CS counts toward meeting high school graduation requirements.  Moreover, Kentucky has been recognized nationally by Code.org to be among the early states that count APCS-A as a math credit toward high school graduation.

Recognizing the Hurdles

In the past five years, APCS-A has grown significantly but still much slower than other AP programs. The following obstacles to expansion have emerged from working with 92 Kentucky schools:

·        lack of traditionally recognized ‘feeder’ classes leading up to APCS-A;
·        limited representation of females (13 percent) and minorities (1 percent) in APCS-A classes;
·        short-lived success of new APCS-A courses;
·        class scheduling challenges in adding new courses; and
·        educators’ lack of awareness of broad-based coding applications across many fields.

Setting High Expectations

These locally recognized hurdles also reflect national concerns. Thus the goal in Kentucky context is to expand student CS capacity on par with the level of sustained success already demonstrated by thousands of Kentucky students in other AP programs.

AdvanceKentucky/KSTC
200 W. Vine St. Suite 420
Lexington, KY 40507
859.233.3502
advanceky@kstc.com