Posted on February 9, 2024
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Categories: News from SDP

Four School District of Philadelphia high schools have been awarded the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women’s access to computer science coursework. Constitution High School, Northeast High School, Philadelphia High School for Girls, and School of the Future were recognized for their work improving gender representation in AP Computer Science Principle (AP CSP) for the 2022-23 school year.

“Computer science provides our students with the opportunity to help solve some of our most challenging problems and exposes students to more creative and critical thinking,” said Jermaine Dawson, Ed.D., Deputy Superintendent of Academic Services. “Congratulations to these schools and all of their students and teachers for earning this distinction and being part of a movement to diversify computer science education.”

Approximately 1,100 schools across the country and around the world were recognized for achieving 50% or higher female examinee representation in one of or both AP computer science courses, or whose percentage of the female examinees met or exceeded that of the school’s female population. Schools include private, public, and charter schools.

Providing female students with access to computer science courses is critical to ensuring gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and to driving innovation, creativity, and representation. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $100,530 in May 2022. However, women represent just 24% of the five million people in computing occupations.

According to the College Board, the first year of AP Computer Science Principles in 2016-17 attracted more students than any other AP course debut, and participation is on the rise. Within the School District of Philadelphia, fifteen schools currently offer at least one of either AP Computer Science Principles or AP Computer Science A. More than 2,000 high school students across the District take computer science courses across more than two dozen schools.