Computer Science for All

Lieutenant Governor Newsom is a champion of expanding computer science in schools across California, and equipping our young people with the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of the twenty-first century. This is why he championed legislation that will lead to the creation of a long-term computer science strategic plan for the state, and called on the University of California and California State University to recognize computer science as a core mathematics or science course.

For a growing number of academic and professional pursuits, computer science provides just as relevant a foundation as algebra. Every student learns about photosynthesis and fractions even if they don't grow up to become botanists or mathematicians. Similarly, California's children deserve the option to learn what an algorithm is and how the Internet works.

California currently has over 86,000 open computing jobs with an average salary of about $105,000, significantly higher than the average salary in the state. Alarmingly however, there were just 3,525 computer science graduates in California in 2014, and of those, only 14% were female. This striking gender gap does not begin in college. In 2015, of the approximately 8,700 California high school students who took the AP Computer Science exam, just 26% were female; only 973 were Hispanic and only 148 were black.

One of the barriers preventing more schools from offering computer science, and therefore more students from taking it, is the University of California (UC) and California State University's (CSU) failure to recognize computer science as a core mathematics or science course, but rather as an elective. To rectify this issue, Lieutenant Governor Newsom spearheaded a letter
signed by dozens of key political, business and nonprofit leaders to the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), the UC committee armed with the ability to reclassify the course.

As a member of a task force established by the California State University Academic Senate, the Lieutenant Governor successfully lobbied for inclusion of computer science in the final report, moving the CSU one step closer to recognizing computer science as a viable option for a high school mathematics course.

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Press Releases

California Looks to Expand Computer Science Education


San Jose Mercury News: Silicon Valley leaders, politicians urge UC to elevate high school computer science in admissions standards (12.3.15)

Los Angeles Times: Coalition calls for greater focus on computer science in UC, Cal State admissions (12.2.15)

San Francisco Chronicle: A way to diversify tech? Treat computer science like math (12.2.15)

Recode: Silicon Valley urges Cal, CSU to give computer science full credit in admissions (12.2.15)