Computer Science for All
We should be “offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one,” proclaimed President Obama in January 2016. At the time, New York City was well on its way to that goal, already four months in on the largest K-12 computer science education initiative in the nation.
Computer Science for All (CS4All), is a 10-year initiative launched in 2015 to bring high-quality computer science (CS) education to every New York City public school student at each major stage of their education: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. The public-private partnership represents an $81 million investment shared equally by the public and private sectors. To date, more than $21 million of the $40 million private fundraising target has been secured through The Fund and its partners at CSNYC.
“The city’s tech industry is growing, yet before Computer Science for All, fewer than five percent of our public school students had even the most basic skills necessary to apply for these jobs," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. Through this program, we’re laying the groundwork today so that our kids can apply for these jobs tomorrow.”
New York employers alone will create 200,000 technology jobs over the next decade, and CS4All will provide equitable access to the skills required to fill them. Because the city's public schools reflect the city's diversity, the program enables the sector's future workforce to more likely reflect that diversity than it currently does.
The program is well on its way of meeting its goal of bringing high-quality CS education to every New York City public school student, K-12, by training 5,000 teachers in CS education by 2025. By the end of Year 2 (August 2017), CS4All had trained more than 1000 teachers from more than 500 schools. With the implementation of CS4All, the number of students taking an AP CS exam in 2017 rose more than threefold, and the number of students passing an AP Computer Science exam rose more than fourfold.
CS4All has also led the development of the Blueprint for CS Education, an implementation guide launched in beta version in July 2017 for educators and school leaders bringing CS into their classrooms. The Blueprint provides explanations of CS concepts and practices, meaningful CS sample units, and tools for teachers of all experience levels. The Blueprint continues to be refined through feedback cycles with veteran CS teachers as well as new-to-CS teachers.
As a complement to CS-focused curriculum, CS4All also offers students out of school enrichment opportunities that enhance their academic exposure to CS in the classroom. Student engagement opportunities allow students to directly relate classroom learning to real-life applications of their skills during events such as hackathons, internships, maker days, and showcases.
The initiative is being rigorously evaluated on implementation and teaching and learning outcomes by New York University's Research Alliance for New York City Schools and the Education Development Center. Research will be conducted on teaching practices, assessment tools, and model comparison for integrating CS within schools.
CS4All is a public-private partnership with New York City supported by a range of foundations, corporations, nonprofits, families, and individuals. Major partners include CSNYC; Robin Hood; Math for America (MfA); Robin Hood Learning + Technology Fund; Oath Foundation; Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.; the Hutchins Family Foundation; and Paulson Family Foundation. They are joined by additional partners such as Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz; Hearst Foundations; the Ron Conway Family; The Rudin Foundation and the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation; ABNY Foundation; Accenture; Arconic Foundation; and WorldQuant Foundation. The Fund for Public Schools, CSNYC and the Office of Strategic Partnerships at City Hall work together to develop and manage these partnerships.