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Education Stats United States

Average HS Student Given Little Chance of AP CS Success 293

Posted by timothy
from the inopportunity-for-all dept.
theodp (442580) writes AP Computer Science is taught in just 10% of our high schools," lamented The White House last December as President Obama kicked off CSEdWeek. "China teaches all of its students one year of computer science." And the U.S. Dept. of Education has made the AP CS exam its Poster Child for inequity in education (citing a viral-but-misinterpreted study). But ignored in all the hand-wringing over low AP CS enrollment is one huge barrier to the goal of AP-CS-for-all: College Board materials indicate that the average 11th grader's combined PSAT/NMSQT score of 96 in reading and math gives him/her only a 20%-30% probability of getting a score of '3' on the AP CS exam (a score '4' or '5' may be required for college credit). The College Board suggests schools tap a pool of students with a "60-100% likelihood of scoring 3 or higher", so it's probably no surprise that CS teachers are advised to turn to the College Board's AP Potential tool to identify students who are likely to succeed (sample Student Detail for an "average" kid) and send their parents recruitment letters — Georgia Tech even offers some gender-specific examples — to help fill class rosters.
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Average HS Student Given Little Chance of AP CS Success

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  • by louic (1841824) on Monday June 16, 2014 @07:13AM (#47244759)
    Average SD article containing TM unclear ABR in TI
  • by pla (258480) on Monday June 16, 2014 @07:59AM (#47245011) Journal
    And we wonder why females have little interest in CS? The male version talks about gaming and creating toys, while the female version sounds like they want to target non-mathphobic social workers.

    All the female programmers I know (yeah yeah, n=3, anecdata sucks) got into it for the same reasons as their male counterparts - The love of ripping into the metaphorical guts of a computer and bending it to their will. The love of gaming, whether or not it satisfies the current BS about "strong female protagonists". The pure joy of losing countless hours in the trance-like state we enter in a really good coding session.

    Then again, they all self-describe as "Tom-boys", so I see it as entirely plausible that those women currently in CS simply fall into the small minority that do like the same things as male geeks. Even if that holds true, however, I find it fairly disturbing that anyone would seriously try to promote a CS degree by offering it in pink.

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

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