Teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling. Many factors contribute to a student’s academic performance, including individual characteristics and family and neighborhood experiences. But research suggests that, among school-related factors, teachers matter most. When it comes to student performance on reading and math tests, teachers are estimated to have two to three times the effect of any other school factor, including services, facilities, and even leadership. Through our teacher training and curricula development programs, in partnership with the amazing Career and Technical Education department at M-DCPS, Miami EdTech has helped double the number of certified CS teachers in M-DCPS. In 2020, more than 1200 teachers received training or access to our computer science curriculum and programming.
As part of its mission to make computer science education more inclusive and increase the pipeline of diverse computer science educators, Miami EdTech is thrilled to announce its participation in EcoSystemsforCS – a new initiative launched by CSforALL with support from Schmidt Futures and which seeks to provide catalyst grants to 10 communities across the US to promote community-led systems change in K-12 computer science education.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the fourth largest school district in the United States, comprised of 392 schools, 345,000 students and over 40,000 employees. Our goal with CS4ALL Miami is to provide professional development opportunities for teachers in Miami and to develop a strategy and work plan that can be implemented for rigorous and equitable CS Education.
With support from Microsoft, Miami EdTech has been able to work with close to 250 teachers over the past year to increase access to computer science education and reach hundreds of young people who historically are disconnected from career paths in the field.
Limited access to digital skills threatens to widen the income gap between those who have the skills to succeed in the 21st century and those who do not. To reduce the gap, all young people need the opportunity to learn computer science, especially those least likely to have access.
According to results from a Google and Gallup study, principals say the biggest obstacles to increasing the access to K-12 CS are the lack of teachers with the necessary skills and funding to prepare or hire teachers.
Studies show that less than 10 percent of students who take the AP Computer Science exam are Hispanic, and less that 4 percent are Black. In addition, Black and Hispanic students who take AP Computer Science are seven times more likely to major in it in college.
“With 74 applications from over 30 states the selection process was extensive and detailed. Applicants ranged from every region type and sector, the true variety of these applications were most impressive,” said Josh Elder, Director of Strategic Initiatives, CSforALL.
EcoSystemsforCS is a new initiative launched by CSforALL with support from Schmidt Futures to provide catalyst grants to 10 communities across the US to promote community-led systems change in K-12 computer science education.